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How to Have an Intelligent Conversation

Have a nice full conversation without accidentally insulting others and still having your say.

Many times in forums or real life I see people who demand respect when they talk , but yet refuse to give it when others do. Many times they do not realize what they are doing.

Tips For an Intelligent and Respectful Conversation

  1. Speak in (needed) details. If you don’t explain your thoughts, how will people understand you? However don’t give trivial details either- only those that help explain your point.
  2. Listen/read everything the other person has to say
  3. Consider everything people say. That does not mean consider it to be right – because you may never be able to consider it to be right. It means consider how the other person can think it.
  4. If you don’t understand what a person says, nicely ask them to explain it before making an analysis
  5. Respectfully answer back with how you perceive the opinion and how you feel. If you don’t agree, say “I don’t agree”, don’t say “you’re wrong”.
  6. Don’t use curse words (unless you’re in a debate about curse words) or references to God (unless you’re in a religious debate). They make you look desperate, because it means you don’t have the ability to prove a point by yourself.
  7. Try to keep all of your arguments closely related to the discussion

I know some of you are thinking “you can only do that if you’re having some serious debate”. Well ,yes. In real life people don’t usually follow these rules, however that doesn’t make them useless. There are a lot of misconceptions and anger that could be avoided.

A Simple Example

Mia: Don’t you think my new blue sweater is pretty?
James: Yes. I especially love the yellow flowers.
Mia: The flowers are red you moron. Did you hit yourself in the head or something?
James: Forget it.


  1. Mia automatically said he was wrong. No thinking about how he could think that. No asking him how he thought that either.
  2. Mia went on to accuse him of something unrelated to the discussion. This is disrespectful behavior.
  3. James gave up instead of explaining his view. Now both of them are probably slightly annoyed. Will it hurt their friendship? Probably not.

How This Conversation Should Have Gone

Mia: Don’t you think my new blue sweater is pretty?
James: Yes. I especially love the yellow flowers.
Mia: *one or two seconds to think about how he sees that*
Mia: I don’t see any yellow flowers, only red. Where do you see yellow?
James: I don’t, Kevin and I are switching all color names for the day to see how people react.
Mia: Oh, so you really meant that you loved the red flower.

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