The Purpose of Conversation
November 26, 2018

Conversation: What Is It For?

A quick note on chatting, for people with autism

Ever notice how people are always talking? Conversation is everywhere. People talk in restaurants, stores, buses, even in the library. And it’s not all informative, sometimes, people seem to talk about nothing. Why do they do it? Here are 3 things about conversation you might not know.

1) Conversation is more than sharing information

The purpose of conversation is to make a connection with another person. The information exchanged is secondary. This is the reason conversations can seem to be about nothing. When making a connection with another person it is much more important to compliment them and discover what interests them, than to gift them with all the useful facts you know. If the other person is looking to connect with you, they will also be looking for ways to compliment you and listen to your interests.

2) Conversation is for listening.

Conversation is about learning who the other person is, what they know, what you might have in common, and how they are interesting.  Each conversation is filled with clues for you to use in your discovery of the person. Even if you already know the person well, listening will tell you how that person is feeling, what they might like to do, and more information to help you maintain your friendship.

3) Conversation is the gateway to making friends, getting a job, making deals…

Since the purpose of conversation is making connections, and people become friends with those whom they share a connection, conversation opens the door to all kinds of relationships. For example, when you are searching for a job, remember that employers tend to hire people they have a connection with, even before they consider others that have more knowledge.

Remember: the purpose of conversation is to create a connection with another person. Sometimes, that connection will allow you to share some of your knowledge. Listen for the clues, and you’ll know when. Enjoy learning about yourself and others as you chat (and listen) away!

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help with conversation and making connections? Check out for more information.