Some social situations are naturally enjoyable, and you look forward to being with the people there. Then there are those other situations… the ones you dread every minute leading up to, and then count every second until your time together is over.
Although there are certain people that we would rather not have to see on a regular basis, it is important to know how to treat every person we meet with respect. It’s a good idea to have a small list of conversation starters for those times. Sometimes the meeting is planned, such as a family party, and sometimes it is spontaneous, such as running into your not-so-favorite person at the grocery store. No matter what the occasion, keep this list of ideas for any moment when you can’t think of anything to say.
“It’s Great to See You!”
This is a great way to begin any conversation that you are feeling awkward about. Whether the person you are speaking with is your boss, or a family member you feel guilty about not making more of an effort with, this will begin the conversation on a positive note. Being able to bring up a positive attitude about the person standing in front of you will give both you and the other person positive feelings.
“What Have You Been Busy With Lately?”
This is a basic question, but one that can keep a conversation going for great lengths of time. If you need a time filler to prevent the conversation from lapsing into uncomfortable silence, this is the question for you! It’s a creative way to ask them about themselves without specifically using the words “tell me about you”, which can often feel phony when said.
It is a great question because when the person you are speaking with answers, it can easily be followed by another question from you. If they answer that they have been busy with work, ask them more details about their work. If they mention their kids, follow up with questions about their children.
Find Something in Common
Almost everyone has something in common with one another. Use this commonality to find something you both enjoy conversing about. Maybe they are wearing a sports jersey, and you love sports. Or perhaps they mentioned a vacation they are planning, and you have been to the same place. It doesn’t take long to find a topic you both enjoy if you put a little effort into it.
Give Them a Compliment
This is not about phony, over-the-top gushing that some people are prone to do. Rather, think about something you like about the person you are conversing with. It could be as deep as admiring them for facing tough circumstances in their life, or as shallow as you being in love with the shoes they are wearing. Find something about them you admire, and let them know it.
Know When to Say Goodbye
Last but not least, know when to end the conversation. Sometimes this is the hardest part, because you may be afraid they think you are trying to get rid of them. Be confident and when it is time to go, let them know you enjoyed talking but you really must go.
Everyone has people they enjoy socializing with, but that doesn’t mean that you need to give everyone else in your life the cold shoulder. Put these conversation ideas into practice and watch your confidence soar as someone who can hold a great conversation with anyone you meet.