Do you have trouble keeping up a conversation? Do you sometimes run out of things to say?
Then you are in the right place.
Because in this post, I want to share eight of my own favorite tips and habits that have helped me greatly reduce this problem in my own life.
Here are some of the things that have worked best for me to avoid awkward silences and getting stuck in a conversation:
1. Get in the right frame of mind before the conversation begins.
This is one of the most important things in this post. probably the most important one.
Because if you’re overly tense, tense, and stiff, you’re much more likely to fall into awkward silences and struggle to get a good idea of what to say next.
But on the other hand, words, thoughts, and questions will flow more naturally from your mind and mouth if you can get yourself in the right frame of mind before the conversation begins.
Here’s a 3-step method I’ve used many times over the past decade to ensure proper headroom.
Step 1: Slow down.
Slow down when heading into a meeting or conversation.
Let’s walk more slowly. Move more slowly. Then stop.
Step 2: Breathe.
Stop or sit for 1-2 minutes. And concentrate completely on your breathing. nothing else.
Breathe deeply through your nostrils and abdomen.
Focus only on slow inhalations and exhalations for 1-2 minutes.
This calms the body and mind and makes it easier to think clearly and normally again.
Another benefit of focusing on your breath is that it brings you back to the present moment. And don’t let past failures or worries about the future hold you back as you step into that meeting or conversation.
Step 3: Build trust.
This is probably my favorite habit for reducing the tension that has been socially cramping me in the past.
So what is the trust relationship assumption?
Now, just before you meet someone, you pretend to be meeting one of your best friends and think to yourself.
Doing this will make you feel more comfortable, confident, and happy, especially after you’ve already relaxed in steps 1 and 2.
In these emotional states and attitudes, conversations and smiles tend to flow naturally without much thought or hesitation.
Just like you do with your best friend.
In my experience, repeating these three steps until it becomes an automatic habit reduces awkward silences and makes meetings and dates that keep the conversation flowing much easier.
2. Don’t forget Ford
When entering a conversation after following the above three steps, keep in mind that FORD will continue the conversation.
FORD is an abbreviation for:
A simple memory.
A reminder that people tend to want to talk. The things and topics that are closest to their hearts. Something that fascinates them and pushes them forward.
Children, pets, favorite hobbies, and dreams about where you want to travel and what you want to do in the next few years.
Of course, these four big topics don’t have to be the end of the conversation.
One of them just serves as a starting point for engaging conversations on a variety of topics for a coffee date or all night long.
So if sometimes you run out of things to say or hear, keep Ford in the back of your mind.
3. Be genuinely interested (instead of focusing on interesting things).
Dale Carnegie once said:
“You can make more friends in two months by being genuinely interested in other people than it takes two years to get them interested. It’s just another way of saying to be friends.”
This is also a great tip to keep the conversation going.
But sometimes it’s not easy because we may want to keep ourselves in the spotlight. Or you think the best way to make new connections is to make yourself more interesting.
But instead of reverting the conversation back to yourself and what you know immediately, ask questions in a pure way and be more interested in continuing to explore the other person, using Ford tips for example. , tends to do well in making new friends. To continue the conversation today and next week.
However, focus on using open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no). For example, ask, “What do you think of this music?” Instead of “Do you like this song?”
4. Talk about what excites you.
So being interested tends to work better than being interested.
But what should you say when the spotlight falls on you in the conversation?
One good tip is to talk about what excites you. It doesn’t matter if your passion is gardening, photography, soccer or music.
Because talking about your passions spreads positivity and shows some of the good things about you (which may not show up if you’re obsessed with talking about work or recent events). .
And broaden the conversation so that the other person shares their passion, creating a more positive atmosphere in the conversation.
5. Avoid talking about negative topics.
Negative topics rarely drag the conversation or stop the flow of words. For example:
- Your crappy boss or colleague.
- your boring job.
- You become too professional about your passion.
- A creepy subject like a serial killer.
Of course, there are exceptions when these topics make for good conversation. For example, if you bring up the topic with someone you know a little better or a close friend.
6. Keep other good topics in your mental pocket.
Conversation expert Rail Lounds once said:
“Don’t leave home without reading the newspaper.”
This is one easy way to always have something to say and keep the conversation going.
Another good thing people always like to talk about is likes and dislikes. for example:
- Favorite songs/albums.
- Favorite movies/TV shows.
- Worst food you have ever eaten.
- Best and worst vacation ever.
7. Step back and ask a question.
What I often do when the conversation gets a little stuck is to take a step or two back in the conversation and ask a question.
For example, if someone told you a few minutes ago that one of their favorite trips was Iceland, you could say:
“You said you went to Iceland, what did you do there? So what was the highlight of your trip?”
Or, if earlier in the conversation she mentioned that she is interested in photography, you could say, for example:
“You said that photography is your hobby. What is your favorite photo that you took this year?”
8. Practice, practice, practice.
A final tip is what you do when you want something better in your life.
practice. Use the tips above to put minutes and hours into your conversations.
Two more things to make that practice easier are:
You don’t have to take big steps for what seems scary. Thinking about things that way can lead to a demoralizing and inaction state. Instead, take small steps this week as an exercise in keeping the conversation going.
For example, use the first three-step exercise before today’s meeting. Or keep your focus on FORD for tomorrow’s lunch table conversation.
Be gentle when you get frustrated (talk to yourself like a best friend would).
Don’t blame yourself if the conversation gets stuck or if you make a mistake. A better approach is to ask yourself:
What would my best friend/parent tell me to do in this situation?
And you do what he or she tells you to do. By taking this more kind and constructive approach, You wouldn’t spend so much time blaming yourselfso you can more easily learn from what happened and get up and try again sooner.