Just like me, you've probably struggled with having flowing conversations when you want them to flow. It only seems to work with your closest friends, and that's it. Today, I'll be sharing a few easy tricks you can use today for better conversations with anyone.
As with any other tips, you must practice using them. You won't get the benefit of these if you don't put them to use.
These tricks are meant to be very easy to understand and implement. You need only find somebody to use them in conversation with.
Without further ado, here are the easy tricks I've picked up for better conversation.
1. Stop Overthinking
Here's a fact about modern people: they're way too hard on themselves. They overcriticize themselves for the smallest things. including conversation. This overthinking causes many people to not talk at all and is the first thing you need to stop doing.
I grew up very socially anxious. As in, I would be very cautious about trying to start a conversation. I was overly critical of what I thought I should say, so I barely said anything even around my closest friends.
I became this way because of an experience I had when I was younger. I tried starting a conversational thread, but it fell flat, and I felt absolutely embarrassed and humiliated.
I grew up thinking that I just don't have the charisma to start a fun, flowing conversation. Fast forward to now and anything couldn't be further from the truth.
Since then, I've learned to just let go and say what's on my mind, provided that it's appropriate of course. The result of this is many many fun conversations that I've started myself.
Next time you want to start a conversation or talk about something, just go for it. Most people are nice and smart enough to make something flow from it.
2. Be more interested in them than yourself
One of the biggest concerns surrounding conversation for anybody is running out of things to say. I too struggled with this problem, until I came across this mindset. In order to keep a conversation not only flowing but interesting, be interested to be interesting.
One of the pieces of advice my dad gave my younger brother when it came to talking to girls is to always have something interesting to say to her.
While this isn't horrible advice, it places way too much pressure and responsibility on you. This prevents you from having fun, flowing conversations.
Luckily, there's a little behavior trick we can use to get around this.
You see, everybody's favorite thing to talk about is themselves or things relating to them; this includes their interests, hobbies, plans for the future, and dislikes.
By getting somebody to talk about themselves, we show them we are interested in who they are. And hey, so are they!
They're interested in who they are, we're interested in who they are; we must be interesting people!
The other big benefit of this mindset is that people will talk for hours on end about themselves if you let them. If they keep talking about themselves, then you never run out of things to say because you haven't really said anything yet.
Of course, you still want to listen with intent and relate to what they talk about.
While you should still aim to live an interesting life, you don't need to be talking about yourself all the time to keep people engaged in conversation.
3. Stop preparing lines ahead of time
Going back to dating advice, too many men rely on pre-planned lines when talking to girls. While this does have its merits, most men become weak at coming up with conversations on their own. The result is they end up in awkward silence. As counterintuitive as it may seem, you don't want to pre-plan conversations if you can help it.
It's pretty common knowledge these days that pick-up lines don't work on girls. If they did, more nerds with no game would be in relationships.
When you have fun conversations, they aren't pre-planned. In fact, most of it, if not all of it, is free form.
Most people get nervous about conversations because they want to avoid making a fool of themselves. What they don't realize is that by following this fear instead of facing it, they make it harder for themselves to have conversations in the future.
One thing I noticed about myself when I used to get nervous about talking to someone is I'd hold my breath. I learned later on that this is part of the fight-or-flight response.
By letting yourself freeze like that, you're telling your body that there's a threat nearby. This causes your body to act as if there is a threat, even though there isn't.
Instead of letting yourself freeze, just keep taking deep breaths. I promise you your nerves will calm shortly after.
Rather than preparing lines ahead of time, it's more effective to dive right in and let your brain come up with something.
The street goes both ways
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. Communication is a two-way street. If you're doing your damndest to have a fun conversation and the other person is being a stick-in-the-mud, then you don't have to put up with it.
Learn how to walk away from unfavorable situations, and together with these tips, you'll become more charismatic in no time.