Conversation Balance

Many conversation guides you may encounter will encourage you to ask questions and get the other person to talk continuously about themselves.  However, while this is definitely a great way to get to know someone, avoid awkward silence, and develop a relationship, it creates a conversation imbalance that is potentially taxing and tiring for the other person, particularly if the other person is not prepared or interested in being interviewed.  Remember that a conversation is one in which the participants should all take part and contribute to, while an interview is one where an interviewer asks the interviewee(s) questions.  To help you take part, I would recommend that for every question that you ask to the other party, try to add in your own answer after theirs, sharing the weight of the conversation as opposed to dumping it all on the person you are conversing with.  This also allows for the other person to get to know what you think, which is important if you want to develop a relationship that goes both ways (How to Make Friends).

Conversation Flow example

Person A: Question
Person B: Answer
*natural pause*
Person A: Answer or Follow-Up Question
*repeat*

Resources

List of Conversation Transitions 

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