Small minds discuss people; average minds discuss events; great minds discuss ideas. --Eleanor Roosevelt
Now, we must delineate: what is the difference between the person who talks my ear off without even registering my complete disinterest, and the person who wonderfully catches my interest and engages me in such a way that the rest of the world seems to slow down? I would probably argue that the people who are dawned as 'annoying' are simply not self-aware. And because of it, they live their life in a confused stupor as to why everyone tries to escape their presence. Slow down, work on being more self-aware and pay attention to the person you are engaging with. You can normally tell how truly interested someone is in the conversation just by their body language and their verbal responses.
Remember, it's a dance. Your interest and willingness to express your ideas will often free the other person to express theirs. That is where the conversation takes off. Ask good questions about taste, current events and why someone feels a certain way about that specific idea. Be open minded and think about how you can add value to the conversation. There are people who always throw up facts just to show they are knowledgeable about a certain topic, but they aren't really adding value. They aren't willing to learn or ask any questions, leaving the conversation dry and not really thought-provoking.
It’s honestly all about the tension between abandoning insecurity and being self-aware. The tension between listening and speaking, between interest and being interesting. Becoming comfortable in that balance is the key to good conversation. Care about things, have inspired thoughts and be willing to share them with the world.
Photograph by Paige Jones