The main part of learning how to develop conversation skills is learning to deal with one on one conversation.
As if having to be outspoken in group situations wasn’t enough, one on one conversations can be a bit anxiety-provoking too. Most shy guys will usually feel like the pressure is on them to keep the conversation going.
This whole situation may make one a little bit uncomfortable, stifled and mind-blanked. Nervous laughs, dumb or dull conversation topics and awkward silences are ensued.
Well, fear no more!
Stopping this is very possible by taking the right action towards it and knowing how to work your way around it, start dominating the art of one on one conversation.
What you have to say is as good as what anyone else has to say.
For some reason we get to feel like what we have to say isn’t as relevant as what anyone else has to say, if you started observing what “the cooler guys” are talking about; you’d notice it’s just random nonsense.
The difference lies in how convinced they are of what they are saying. People will genuinely buy into the idea you sell them, if you sound convinced that what you’re saying is cool; they will genuinely believe it’s cool.
So, no more “I don’t know what to say”, anything is valid.
Let’s say that getting uncomfortable is a wall that builds up as we let it.
If we aren’t too socially savvy – like most people – we will let the tension build and build especially if we’re scared to break it.
Ironically, most times this uncomfortable tension is built by the fear of being uncomfortable. Some people just eject the conversation as soon as they feel it might get little uncomfortable.
I’ve had hundreds of people just go somewhere else when left in a one on one conversation with me, used to make me sad. Now it’s just funny as I notice they are more scared of being uncomfortable than I am. Never take it personal.
Anyway, enough about how things get uncomfortable. Let’s walk the way around it.
The way to break the uncomfortable wall is to break the wall before it gets higher. Remember that this happens all in your mind, so; don’t let it happen.
Start talking right away, do anything you can to build comfort. After all, this is what it takes to develop conversation skills.
If you’re anything like me, you might feel a bit awkward and silly asking interview-like questions.
However, before you get more comfortable in general with your conversation skills, you’ve got to practice the hard way. Train yourself to be able to break through your own stifling walls before they build up.
Go with one basic to develop conversation skills: ask questions. So, what follows these questions?
Focus on listening to what the other person is saying, usually people will give you lots of clues on how to follow the conversation.
For example: Someone says “So I went fishing with my grandpa last week in a pond.”
Look at all the possible conversation topics in that sentence:
Make it a two-way conversation - don’t just ask questions; share your experiences too.
Let's say you take the topic "pond" to extend the conversation.
You could say: “yeah there used to be a pond in my backyard; I used to play Rambo in it. What pond did you go to?”
You’ve just extended the conversation so much by leaving all sorts of cues for the other person to catch and it will go on and on.
Practicing makes keeping up a conversation much easier. As you develop conversation skills and your confidence in your conversation skills goes up; it’ll get easier.
With confidence in your skills comes relaxation and relaxation makes it easier for your mind to add:
That awkward “I want this conversation to end so I can breathe” emotion, will go away. I’ve been personally, it goes away as your confidence in your social skills grows.
DO NOT avoid uncomfortable situations. You’re training your brain to be awesome at social skills, the training is not so much about the content and being perfect.
You’re training so that you can make quick emotional shifts in yourself with your mind, break through getting uncomfortable before it happens, acting regardless of emotions and so on.
What matters is the ability to make yourself comfortable, not the actual social interactions.
Once you get more and more comfortable everything will flow naturally.
Go out with the basics first:
In the end, your own comfort will dictate your social interactions so begin to develop conversation skills now and you’ll have it down in no time. Follow the simple rule: Go out and get social!