How to Move Conversations Beyond the Surface Level

Tired of making small talk and want to bring up more personal topics and build more meaningful relationships? Taking conversations beyond the surface level isn’t always easy. It’s comfortable at the surface and often moving deeper entails a bit of risk. But the most rewarding relationships and conversations tend to happen when you move beyond the surface.

How do you take your conversations deeper?

==> Emotionally Lead First

Any time you want to take a conversation deeper, you’ll usually have to lead first, emotionally.

Let’s say you want to establish more trust with someone. You want them to feel comfortable confiding in you and sharing their secrets with you.

Naturally, you can’t ask them to share their secrets with you if that trust isn’t there yet. So how do you actually get someone to open up?

You do it by opening up first. Take the first step in moving the relationship to the next level by sharing your secrets and granting your trust, first.

When the other person really feels like you trust them and have opened up to them with a deeper part of yourself, they’ll feel comfortable doing the same.

This principle applies to just about any aspect of taking conversations deeper. It applies to trust, vulnerability, realness, no-BS-ness, respect and so on. Give first, before asking the other person to do the same.

==> Deliberately Choose Deeper Topics

Most people have about 10 questions or topics they tend to gravitate back to. Questions like “how is your day?” “how are the kids?”and “what’s new at work?” aren’t bad questions, but they won’t help you move conversations beyond the surface.

Experiment with trying to move topics to a deeper level by asking more important questions and sharing more impactful stories and facts about yourself.

Ask others about their passions. Share yours. Ask them about their life philosophy, or their 10 year goals. What makes them feel most alive? What are the three most important things they want to do before they die?

Naturally, don’t pile these questions one on top of another. Ask them when it feels natural and when it feels like you already have rapport with one another.

Start conversations at the surface level and naturally work your way to deeper and more meaningful conversations. Start with the “autopilot” questions, then ask slightly more meaningful yet unobtrusive questions. Then when those conversations start to flow naturally, ask even more intimate questions.

Remember also that these kinds of conversations are a two way street. For someone to feel comfortable answering a question like these, you also need to be sharing similarly intimate details about yourself.

There are few things more rewarding than a great conversation and a great friendship. By leading first emotionally and deliberately choosing deeper and more intimate topics, you’ll pave the road to having relationships that are truly fulfilling.

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