What are you talking about? Is your conversation adding value to someone else’s life or are you just talking to hear yourself talk? How many times do you find yourself in a conversation that has absolutely no merit? You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that begin with, ”Girl, did you hear…” or “Don’t tell anyone, but…” These types of conversation offer no value to your life of anyone else’s. You have a right not to be a part of negative conversations that tend to do more harm than good!

Meaningful conversations have a great impact on your life and your relationships. Although conversations are plentiful, unfortunately, many of these are merely talking and not conversation. Webster has one definition of talking as, “to speak emptily or trivially: chatter. You know those people, when you talk to them all you hear is, ”Blah, blah, blah!”

Conversation, on the other hand, is defined as “as verbal exchange of ideas or opinions. You want to maximize your conversation to end up being meaningful if you value your time and aim at being productive and contributory. There are several questions you can ask to keep your conversations on track:

1.What is the purpose of this conversation? If you stop and think about the purpose of your conversation, it will help you stay on track.
a.Are you killing time? Is this the best possible use of your time? What else could you be doing to occupy yourself? If you think of the phrase, “killing time” you might reconsider. Anything that you kill can never be recaptured. Find a more productive use of your time!
b.Are you trying to obtain information? Is this information going to help you or is it just gossip? You should consider your motives before you engage in conversation to elicit information. If the information you’re after is not going to help you, why do you need to know it? If the information you’re after is going to hurt someone, how is that going to benefit you?
c.Are you trying to get to know the person better? If so, why? What impact is knowing this person going to have on your life? Is your conversation going to help them? Some people just want to know other folk business. That’s what’s called a “busy body!” Be careful that you are not labeled as such. Those people are no good to themselves or anyone else!

2.Is your conversation genuine? You should have a conversation that is mutually rewarding.
a.Are you having this conversation because you want to? An engaging conversation should be one that you can look forward to. It should be interesting and make you feel better than you did before engaging. It should be humorous, enlightening, or encouraging.
b.Do you feel obligated to have a conversation with this person? Although these conversations can sometimes be painful, you have to motivate yourself into having these for a certain purpose or incentive. Having a conversation that makes you uncomfortable but will ultimately make you a better person isn’t fun but sometimes necessary for the greater good in your life.
c.Is this conversation benefiting you and/or the other person? Your words should:
Encourage – To give support – whether someone is happy or sad, to give support means that I share in your sadness and I rejoice in your happiness. Don’t hate!
Inspire – To stimulate into action – your words should motivate someone to a higher level. You actions should provide a testimony of better things. Do something!
Uplift – To influence movement to improve and elevate – your words should leave the person feeling better than they felt before engaging in conversation with you. Stop complaining!

Once you speak a word, you cannot take it back. That is why it is so important to choose your words carefully. When you are having a conversation, ask yourself, am I encouraging, inspiring or uplifting? If you cannot answer yes to any of these questions, you might want to ask yourself, “Why am I even having this conversation?”

You engage in conversation 24 hours a day. We often think the only conversation you can have is with someone else. But equally important, are the conversations you have with yourself! Even when you are asleep, your mind continues to operate. It is re-hashing everything that went on throughout your day. If you have negative conversations with yourself, you typically will have those same negative conversations with other people. Conversations with yourself that start out with, “how could you have been so stupid?” or “ how did you end up in this same situation…again? What’s the matter with you” Instead, I invite you to apply the same principles to your personal conversations.
Encourage yourself – I feel good about myself today.
Inspire yourself – I will accomplish something today.
Uplift yourself – The day may not have started off like I wanted it to, but I ended up having a great day!

There is true value in having daily conversations with yourself. They will reflect on how you are living and learning from daily lessons. Try this, listen to the conversations that you have with yourself and see how often those conversations are positive or negative. I think you will be amazed at how often they are negative and you cannot encourage, inspire or uplift someone else if you are down on yourself! Have the courage to create a meaningful life with intentionality. Take control of the conversations you have with yourself and others. The degree of meaning and fulfillment you experience in your life is in direct correlation with your level of engagement and conversation with the world around you and yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Linda empowers women through her gifts as a life coach, facilitator, author and inspirational speaker. Her passion is to influence women in such a way as to motivate them into positive action.

Linda works tirelessly providing her services to various women’s organizations. She facilitates several support groups, workshops, seminars and provides inspirational speaking for many women’s causes. She provides life skills to the Women’s Prison system and to community based programs offered through local agencies. Linda provides professional development to local colleges and businesses.

Linda is the author of “Your Past Is Past” and is a contributing writer to It’s All About Women.com and Self Growth.com

Linda has a degree in English and is a Certified Life Coach.