We’ve all been there. You’re talking to this person that you really really like, but just don’t know how to keep the conversation flowing. Or maybe you’re at a networking event and don’t know what to say to people after you’ve said your hello. Whatever the case maybe, sometimes you simply run out of things to say.
Now pay attention to this first point, as this is the mindset shift that will really make the biggest difference ever in your social skills, and it is this. Just lower the bar for what you think is “worthy” of conversation. It’s just that simple, but it may not be that easy at first. We all have this self imposed image of perfectionism that we like to portray to the world. I can’t say weird things, I’m this prim and proper person who runs a company. This is all a facade. The truth is, most of us are quirky and weird and don’t really say clever stuff all the time.
When you try to filter whatever it is that comes into your mind, you’ve already defeated yourself. Once you go down that road of judging whether you should say a particular thing or not, you’re inevitably going to say something that’s not authentic because you’ve thought about it way too much.
Now the second thing is, stay in the moment and don’t skip ahead.
I’ve been guilty of this and I’m sure you can relate. Let’s say you’re talking to a girl and she tells you about the time that she went to England. Now what usually happens is, you immediately sort through all your own stories, and you choose the time that you went to England, and you say to yourself, I’ll tell her about my own trip to England. So now, you’ve decided to tell her your own story, and you pretty much stop listening to her.
The third tip is that it doesn’t matter what you say, what matters is the energy behind it. If you have a hard time keeping a conversation flowing, you first lower your bar, then you start to listen, but then you actually have to talk. And if the way you talk is boring, then the other person is going to lose interest.
All I’m telling you to do, is to express your stories more vividly using powerful words and expressions. Try to use words like imagine, and feel, and you might have seen these words being used in ads because they invoke powerful emotions. Imagine how it would feel like to go on a trip of a lifetime. That is much more powerful than saying go on a trip of a lifetime. even though you’re saying exactly the same thing.
And the last tip is, to be comfortable with the silence. This is one of the things that instantly made me a better conversationalist. I used to think of every conversation as a performance, and I thought that I had to keep speaking in order for the conversation to be interesting. That’s not true at all. Like they say, actions speak louder than words, and that’s exactly why silence can be so powerful. If you say something and then pause to let the words sink in, that can be infinitely more profound than just rambling on and on about the same thing.
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