Cicero’s Rules for Good Conversation

In a futile attempt to catch up on my ever growing pile of magazines, I came across a good article in the Economist about the art of conversation. Cicero wrote in 44 BC the following rules, which all could still apply today, even to the latest form of blogging “conversations”:

Cicero’s Rules for Good Conversation

  • Speak clearly
  • Speak easily, but not too much, give others their turn
  • Do not interrupt
  • Be courteous
  • Deal seriously with serious matters, gracefully with lighter ones
  • Never criticize people behind their backs
  • Stick to subjects of general interests
  • Do not talk about yourself
  • Never lose your temper