How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

Often it’s not what you say but how you say it. The part of the country you come from, your ethnic background, age, class, gender, and individual personality – these and many other influences result in different habits and assumptions about how to say what you mean.  When conversational styles differ, you may draw erroneous conclusions about another person’s intentions and abilities – and they may walk away with similarly erroneous impressions of you.  For example, when two people have different ideas about how long a pause to leave between turns, each is likely to blame the other: “You don’t give me a chance to talk! You’re not doing your part in this conversation!”