Socially awkward and shy people often tend to wonder how some people are able to keep a conversation so well, and other people never seem to run of things to say to them. But when they try it – it’s completely different, awkward silences all around from a stalled conversation.
Even though over the whole course of action, these awkward moment of silences don’t really mean much, but they can feel like a huge burden especially more so if you are a socially awkward person, as it only helps to further reinforce your negative beliefs about yourself.
This first thing that you have got to understand and accept is that awkward silences in conversations happen to almost everyone, even the most confident person in the world. It is completely normal for conversations to have bumps at the beginning between 2 persons who do not know each other at all beforehand.
So, what are some of the things you can start to do in order to keep a conversation going and reduce the amount of bumps?
1. Find out your favourite topics and make a mental list
All of us probably have a few things that we are really passionate about; they could be hobbies, projects, goals, dreams, or even your favourite TV show or movies. The problem with socially awkward people is that they always tend to lie to themselves that they do not have any real interest in anything or any favourites, which is not true at all. It is more as though they do not want to face the truth that they are really passionate about something!
So take some personal time off and make a short but relevant list about the things you feel most passionate about in life and would help to make easy conversational topics for you. Then, whenever you feel stalled in a conversation with anyone, pick anything off the list and try to steer the conversation towards there.
2. Ask questions that are open ended
Another simple way to learn how to keep a conversation going is to continuously get the other person doing, so that you don’t have to do anything at all. This works especially well if the other party is a person who is an extrovert and likes to talk a lot. It might seem that this would actually take a lot of effort on your part, but this is definitely not the case. All you need to do is change a phrase or a few words and you have a simple open ended question rather than a “yes-no” one. For instance, instead of asking “Did you have fun last weekend?”, you could simply ask “What did you do last weekend?”, and the responses you get would be completely different.
A lot of times, people find it difficult to try and keep a conversation going not because there is nothing to say or that they cannot think of anything to say. Rather, it is because we often fear that the other party might not enjoy the subject or opinion that we currently have in mind. But as always, this is often not the case in reality, and we miss out on a lot of potential conversational topics this way. Blurting just means that you speak whatever is currently on your mind right now without worrying about what the other party would think of you. You can always just say a simple sorry or quickly change the topic afterwards if you find that the other party don’t seem to really like it.
4. Let someone else end the silence
Everyone seems to feel uncomfortable with silences in a particular conversation. Whenever a silence surfaces, people always try to get rid of the silence by finding something to say immediately. And you can use it greatly to your advantage. For instance, when you meet someone new at a social event and the conversation is stalling, don’t immediately run away and say you need to do something else. Instead, just hang around the person and the person will eventually try to get rid of the silence by finding something else to say, and the conversation will pick up from there.
5. Practice x 3
Have you ever had friends whom you thought were so shy and socially awkward in the past, but yet now they are able to talk to anyone under the Sun without any problems at all? They definitely did not take any sort of pill, so how did they get to this point? The simple answer of course is practice. These people continuously got out of their comfort zones and practice with a lot of people they meet. If you would do the same, you can probably see the same results with your conversational skills after some time.
So there you have it, 5 simple tricks you can start to use today to keep a conversation going. The last thing to remember is that you do not always have to try to keep a conversation going, you can end it immediately if you don’t feel like the other party appreciate it. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that!