There’s a lot more than what you say to make your listener enjoy the conversation–like their seldom consciously considered physical comfort! Most sensitive folks know placing someone across the desk from them can intimidate them, but there’s lots more.
Make sure the light from a window or lamp isn’t in her eyes. If your listener is seated, don’t stand for a longer than a 45-second conversation. (That puts him in a subliminally subservient position looking up at you.) If two of you are entertaining, don’t sit so far apart at the dinner table that your guest has to swivel her head like watching a tennis game to make eye contact with both of you. And finally, don’t sit on the sofa next to your guest. (Well, unless it’s a romantic situation.) Choose a chair at a comfortable angle so he needn't twist his neck to look at you. How far away should you stand when conversing? Close enough to touch the tip of her nose with an outstretched arm. Farther away is unfriendly. Closer is invasive.
Think of your relative positions like “feng shui” the ancient Chinese art of arranging furniture and other elements to eliminate discordance, even at burial sites! Choose your placement to obtain optimum comfort for your conversational partner. After all, if the Chinese do it for their dead, you can do it for your living friends!
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