I believe that most of us could probably use some pointers when it comes to the conversation game.
Even if you think you got it all down and you would never feel weird when talking to someone, chances are you’ll hit an awkward silence at some point.
So how do you get around those roadblocks?
Folks on AskReddit shared their thoughts about this.
1. Current events.
“Try talking about something trendy or current affairs, but non controversial with a one liner opinion, like:
1. Suez Canal, god knows when it be open again.
2. Bitcoin, I think I missed that bus.
3. Global warming, climate is changing very fast.”
2. Get ’em talking.
“It’s corny but try to ask open-ended questions.
For example, ask who he or she listens to or what genre of films is her favorite.
And then you can continue your dialogue by asking other questions based on these”
3. Oh cool.
Great tension breaker, and you know who is cool and isn’t.
The fun ones giggle, the miserable sods pretend it isn’t funny.”
4. Where’d you get that outfit?
“Everyone loves to be complimented like their hair or their shirt and then you can ask them where they got their outfit and the conversation usually flows pretty well from there.”
5. Good times.
“My teacher gave this advice in 6th grade.
Whenever there’s awkward silence just say, “Good times”.
He would just randomly say it when we were silent reading and people would just laugh.”
6. Open-ended questions.
“Never ask yes or no questions.
Always open ended to give the speaker room to talk.
Example: If you could take a month vacation right now, where would your top 3 spots be, who would you bring to each destination and why?”
“If it’s a new person, find some baseline information. I recommend the acronym FORK.
Family. Most people have something to say about family good or bad.
Occupation. Where do they work? Where did they retire from? Where do they WANT to work?
Recreation. Ask about hobbies, entertainment whatever. Just what they do in their spare time.
Knowledge. Ask em if there’s anything they know a lot about (usually something mentioned in an earlier topic like what they do at their job, what’s it like living at their home town, etc.). I’ve had some DEEP conversations about space, religion, movies etc. from this one. It’s great. Real great.
If they’re someone you already know, you can still go through those steps just pick more advanced questions (how’s your sister doing? Does work suck during the pandemic? You ever finish that movie series? Remember when we had that deep conversation about the expansion of the universe and God? That was crazy!).”
8. Let’s talk about dreams.
“Depending on how well you know the person, I like to tell them about any wild dream I had last night.
Leaves it open for them to tell you if they had a wicked dream too, and then you end up talking about all sorts!”
9. A good one.
“What do you miss the most about pre-Covid life?
Most people (today) would definitely have a great response.”
10. Belt it out!
“Burst into impromptu song.
My current three favorites:
- Jerusalem by William Blake
- Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers
- Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce.”
11. And there’s this.
“The best way to avoid awkward silences is to get comfortable with the silence.
It’s much more awkward to try and come up with something to say when you have nothing to say than it is to to say nothing at all.”
12. Good advice.
“Having things you are passionate about helps. As for drawing things out of others a couple of easy tricks is to:
Ask questions to others, people like to talk about themselves.
Once someone tells you about themselves find common ground. They grew up in another state, whoa I’ve never been there, how was the weather. Schools. Football team.
Whatever just keep the convo going and find something else to remark or tell a personal story on. People love when you share personal stories as well. Not like, I’m so awesome story, but stories that show emotion or feelings. Let’s people know they can trust you
Anyhow, just start talking to people and you will learn how to talk to anyone in whatever situation you find yourself and not over think it.
Also, you stop caring as you age and don’t worry, what if I say something they think is stupid.”
How do you think people can avoid awkward silence?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
We look forward to hearing from you!