We live in a society where many people fear talking to strangers. Many people are able to verbally fight you on social media as if they were professional martial artists. The issue is, when they get to actually speak to people directly, they shy away. I am not saying that social media is the root of this problem, but the way people use it and the way people prioritize their methods of communication leaves them with little or no skill in terms of personal face-to-face communication. In his article, I aim to provide you with the 3 basic tips of interpersonal communication that can help you connect with pretty much anyone. Make sure you understand each of the tips and then practice. Communication is a skill – you need to practice loads and fail loads before you master it. Give it some time and you will see great results in your relationships as you will be able to deepen your conversations more effectively.
What do we first need to do to start a conversation? Breaking the ice is one of the scariest parts of having a conversation, which also makes it one of the harder parts (even though it is technically very simple). There are generally two ways you can do this. The first one is very simple – just say hi. Coming up to someone saying something like “Hi, how was your day?” is a very quick and straight forward way of starting a conversation. This has an advantage and a disadvantage. The good part is its simplicity – you don’t have to know much to do this. The bad part is the awkwardness and the lack of connection it might create. The connection you make with a person might not be strong enough to continue the conversation. A good solution for this issue would be following up the first sentence with a question or with a compliment. That is also the second, more advanced method. Breaking the ice through a compliment is something very powerful. Why? Because we all love being complimented. Imagine a person coming up to you saying “Hey! I love your jacket, where did you get it?” This gives the person instant rapport and likability in your eyes. Use these two methods to break the ice when you want to speak to someone. Additionally, don’t be scared to talk to people. Most people will really appreciate if you have a short conversation with them. It is a great feeling if you compliment someone and improve their mood instantly! If you still feel a bit nervous about this, utilize the 5 Second Rule! What is the 5-second rule? We will definitely explain this in detail in one of our future articles. In short, when the idea of speaking to someone comes to your mind, you count from 5 to 1 and then you make a move. What this does for you is that it breaks the thought of doubt in your mind and skips directly to taking the action.
Controlling The Direction of The Convo
What’s the best kind of conversation you can have? The one that you can control. Now don’t get me wrong – you don’t want to be a control freak or something like that. What you want to do though is ask loads of questions. Why? Because that is how you control the direction of a conversation. Being the one who asks questions allows you to direct the conversation and to deepen it much better. Bear in mind that in order to deepen the conversation, you need to ask open-ended questions, such as “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you think about …?” You don’t want to ask the kind of questions that can be answered by a yes/no or a one-word answer. You want the other person to talk as much as possible. Through the questions, you learn about the other person and you can take the conversation in the directions that will interest the other person. This will allow you to increase your likability and trust in the other person’s eyes. We all love talking about ourselves, so let the other person speak.
Always, Always Use Their Name
What makes you feel closer to the person? “What is your favorite football player?” or “What is your favorite player, James?” Using other people’s names will bring you even closer to them and will improve the connection between the two of you. Even more, the best way to remember a person’s name is by continuous repetition of the name in the conversation. An example would be:
A: What’s your name mate?
B: I am James. And yours?
A: I am Bob, nice to meet you, James. Are you a student here James?
B: Yeah, I am in my second year.
A: That is really cool, man. Do you do something outside of your studies James? Any sports or societies?
You can see that you don’t always have to say the name, but you should somewhat incorporate it into the convo. This will help you remember the person’s name and will create a sense of likability for you in the other person’s eyes.
Extra: Don’t Be Awkward
I know it can be hard at times to overcome the mental barrier and talk to someone, but the worst thing you can do is making things weird. Be yourself and use the tips from this article to improve your conversational skills. Most importantly, have fun!
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