'There are 6 different conversation styles. If you’re a "builder", stay away from me.'

As a professional yapper and chronic monologuer, I thought I knew everything there was to talk about. And then I realised that the one topic I haven't talked enough about is... talking. 

After some unfortunate self-discovery, I've been doing some digging on trying to figure out what type of talker I am and through my seriously in-depth, scholarly research, I landed on... an Instagram post. 

It was a video by famous life coach Hailey Magee and she was talking about how there are six different conversation types and how finding yours out could help elevate your conversations. 

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you thought they were rude, obnoxious or egotistical? Well... maybe they're not. Maybe you just weren't vibing their conversation type. Learning these conversation types has helped me give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to our chats. It also helps me keep my cool when I find myself starting to get annoyed with them... "They're just a builder." I whisper to myself every time I talk to someone I'm starting to hate (you'll find out what I mean by this soon). 

Here are the six conversation types to help you actually enjoy your next heart to heart. 

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Video via Mamamia.

1. The Volunteer.

If you're a volunteer, you are the person who's most likely to initiate a conversation by offering up a story about yourself. You are willing to put your life on the line to keep the conversation interesting and pleasant for everyone else by being the source of information. You do this unprovoked and you also don't ask questions because you know that not everyone is as open as you are. However, if someone else is willing to volunteer information about themself you warmly welcome them. 

How this plays out...

If there's a group of people, the volunteer will be the first person to talk and will say something like "The other day I was just walking my dog when he saw a duck in the lake and started to sprint towards it. I tripped and my hand was tangled in the lead so he was dragging me on the ground while everyone else in the park was just watching this whole thing happen."

You always have the best stories and people are grateful that they don't have to put the work into the whole question/answer types of conversations.

For some people however, they might not have a volunteer in their life, so this type of "spilling the beans" conversation can come across as a bit too intense too quickly.

2. The Invite-only.

This is the volunteer's direct opposite. The invite-only will only take part in a conversation if they've been directly asked a question. They also love asking questions in return and believe that the people they're talking to should have equal turns to talk. 


They will never just offer up information without being asked first as they feel like it makes them look rude and egotistical. They will usually stay quiet and play a listen-only role when talking to people unless they have directly been invited in. 

Although these two conversation styles are opposite, it's easy to be both depending on who you're talking to. 

If I'm with friends and family, I'm more of a volunteer whereas if I'm meeting a group of people for the first time, I take on more of an invite-only role.

3. The Asker.

If you're an asker, I'm going to be honest — I'm terrified of you. Askers are the type of person who will always request, inquire or ask for a favour even if they know that the answer will be a no. My fear of rejection could never. An asker does not care. They will ask if they could crash at your house for a week, they will ask if you could be their bridesmaid, they will ask if you could help them move a couch. And the best part? They literally don't care if you say no. There are no hard-feelings with these guys. One time I had to ask a co-worker if they could forward me an email and it took me three whole minutes to build up the courage to do so. 

An asker would ask them to forward them the email and then ask again five minutes later when they lost it in their inbox. The issue with being an asker is that if someone doesn't know about your care-free asking abilities, they literally sweat over the fact that they could potentially be rejecting you, not realising that you won't be offended. 


4. The Guesser.

The guesser is the by-product of the asker. The guesser will only ask questions if they're confident that the answer will be yes. If they answer is "no", they will literally pass away (I don't make the rules). The issue with this is that guessers assume that everyone is also a guesser and thus, clash hard with askers. 

The guesser doesn't know that the asker doesn't care about rejection so when the asker says "can you be one of my bridesmaids?" the guesser thinks they expect the answer to be a yes and spirals over the fact that they might be hurt over the rejection. 

The solution? We all need to figure out if we're askers or guessers and then wear big labels across our foreheads so we don't have any more awkward conversations. 

5. The Builder.

If you're a builder... we need to talk. Builders constantly add onto other people's stories with a little snippet of their own. When my dog passed away, I was confiding with a friend about the grief I was experiencing. As I was talking she said "When my dog died I was also devastated." She then continued talking about her dog and how sad she was. 

Her heart was in the right place but I was annoyed because I felt that she wanted the spotlight on her and her story when I was the one that was grieving in the moment. After learning about this particular style, I realised that not all builders are aware of what they're doing. For some, building on what you're saying is their way of showing understanding and assuring you that you're not alone in your experience. 


If you think you're a builder, I would try to be more aware of this trait as it can come across as super rude. Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them.

6. The Maintainer.

Maintainers like to show that they care and understand by identifying when someone needs to talk or let it out and allowing them to do so. They do this by listening and asking questions, making the person talking feel like they're being heard. Instead of sharing their own experience, they keep the conversation on the experience of the person doing the talking. 

This however, can sometimes be a bit intimidating for the person doing the talking, especially if they want the conversation to move along.

I think having a healthy mix of being a maintainer but knowing when to build will result in better and more genuine conversations.

What conversation type are you? Tell us in the comments!

If you want more culture opinions by Emily Vernem, you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

Feature image: Canva.

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