Dead end conversations drive everyone nuts, right? I mean, come on, "I don't know, what do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?" gets old after a while.
The more open ended, the better. Not only is it good manners to ask, "How are you?" or in the more common world, "Sup?" it also gives the other person a chance to share with you and takes away the pressure to provide a conversation topic. Conversations are two way, that means you talk for a while and then THEY talk for a while.
STAY POSITIVE ABOUT OTHERS
Smart people talk about ideas, average people talk about events, and the rest talk about each other. Don't be a backstabber. Better yet, stay off the topic of others. Even if what you say is true, it reflects poorly on yourself.
TUNE IN TO BODY LANGUAGE
If your conversation partner is looking around, acting disgruntled, or sending other messages your way: be open to receiving them. I know, I know...It's the twenty first century and body language isn't always available. But even over the phone or computer, if your conversation partner is dropping hints of boredom or discomfort,do what you can to change whatever's bugging them.
WHEN YOUR CP's ACTING ODD
Does it seem like something's up, and they won't tell you? Some people are shy about sharing why they're upset, often because they don't want to seem like they're complaining. Don't play guessing games, they do more harm than good. Ask straight out, "Is something bugging you?" With any luck, your CP will open up and clue you in.
For more information, google 'art of conversation'