by Catherine Pratt
Do you cringe at the thought of starting conversations with other people?
It seems awkward and painful and no one seems interested in talking to you? When this happens, it can make you feel like no one likes you or that you don’t belong or even isolated from others.
it just means you need to know a few conversation techniques. So, let’s
start with conversation starters and how to make it really easy. You’re
going to be amazed at what a difference this little tip will make for
The Usual Conversation Starters
So, you’re probably used to a conversation going something like this:
You: “Hi, how are you?”
They answer: “Good, You?”
Now that uncomfortable pause in the conversation starts. Your brain starts freaking out with, “What should I say now?!!!” So awkward! What do you do? You may end up just slinking away in complete embarrassment and vow never to have any more conversations with people.
Or you imagine it’s going to go this way so you don’t say anything at all. Or you decide to wait for them to say something first. And, then the conversation goes like this. Ick.
No wonder you feel like starting conversations with others is complete torture.
Improved Conversation Starters
It’s easy to completely turn this situation around. All you have to do is remember this quick and simple trick and you’ll find that people suddenly want to talk to you. Those tortured conversations will be a thing of the past.
So, what do you do?
You provide more information.
What I mean by this is that you give the person something to pick up on which they can use to advance the conversation. Here’s an example.
Someone asks you, “How are you?”
Now, instead of answering the way you used to with the one syllable answer of, “Good”, try this instead:
“I’m good. I just finished a really big project at work and I’m so happy that it’s now done.”
Just by adding that little bit of extra information, you’ve suddenly completely opened up a new set of possibilities for that person to talk to you about.
The other person might reply to your comment:
As soon as they provide more information to you, you now also have the opportunity to ask them questions. People like it when others are interested in them so you now have a great opportunity. They’d probably love to tell you about their project.
The advantages of providing a little more information are:
See what a difference a little bit of extra information makes? This is a really easy thing to try and you have nothing to lose. If the other person doesn’t pick up on your info, you can take it as a sign that the person is busy and perhaps just doesn’t have time to talk now. Most likely has nothing to do with you. It has more to do that they’re just busy right now or aren’t comfortable talking right now.
point of this technique isn't to reveal confidential information about
yourself. Don't reveal too much about yourself, just add a few details. You also don't want to give them your whole life story and
bore them or make them uncomfortable with the details. No one wants to hear every detail about your latest illness which brings us to another point, don't focus on negative things. You don't want to overwhelm someone with all the negative things going on in your life. You just want to
add a few extra details so that people have no problem thinking of other
things to say to you. You're just making the conversation as easy as possible for the other person.
Conversation Starters When Introducing People To Each Other
Another great way to use this tip is when you introduce people to each other. So, instead of saying, “Bob this is Mary, Mary this is Bob” simply add some additional information. “Bob this is Mary. Mary works in Human Resources. She’s just finishing up a course on Discrimination in the Workplace.”Now, the first person has a couple of avenues in which to start a conversation with Mary. He can ask how she likes working in Human Resources or he could ask her more about the course she’s taking.
If you know something that the two people have in common, you could also mention that. "Mary just got a cute puppy from the Humane Society. Didn't you get your dog Rocko from there too?" Now, the two people have something they're both interested in (dogs) to talk about. Again, don't provide any personal information that the other person might not want known to others. You're just providing something very general that provides openings for people to continue the conversation.
People will love you for this. You’ve suddenly made meeting new people so much easier and so much more comfortable.
The other great thing about this is that people will have an easier time remembering each other as well. It’s no longer a matter of trying to remember the person’s name. They know it’s Mary in Human Resources who’s completed a course in Workplace Discrimination. The person will be able to remember her far easier just because he has more to work with than just her name.
Conversation Starters - You Can Do It!
It doesn’t take much to completely change how well a conversation
goes. Add a little bit of extra information and you’re going to find
that talking to others is suddenly fun and much more
interesting as you'll discover new and fascinating facts about the
people you interact with on a daily basis.