You're on a date. You know, the one you met on Tinder.
All was going well but suddenly an awkward silence fells over both of you. Your mind starts to race as it tries to figure out what to say next, but nothing seems appropriate or interesting enough for a conversation starter...
Why do you run out of things to say? You don't want your date to end so early because she is really cute. You have to find something!
Yes but what? How can we keep them interested in us?
In this article, I'm going to provide some tips for keeping your conversations alive, so you never run out of things to say again!
Why do we run out of things to say?
When chatting with family or friends, it feels natural to have plenty of things to discuss and conversation flows effortlessly.
However, why do we hit a mental block when trying to make connections with someone new? The answer is vastly simple- we put pressure on ourselves and unreasonable expectations into how the conversation should go.
Conversations are not perfect. There are silences, tangents, and completely unconnected threads of thought. But the difference is that we don’t judge ourselves in these situations because we aren’t looking for a specific outcome.
The problem is not that we run out of things to say, but it is the filter we put in ourselves. How to remove this filter? How to never feel this block again?
Read the next section to discover the 7 hacks that will free yourself from this curse.
7 hacks to keep the conversation flowing
Hack #1: Take the pressure off of yourself and what you expect from the interaction
I love talking to people I know well.
It is because it feels like we are all the same in a way - both of us have low thresholds for what good enough conversation starts with, and both our minds naturally turn towards many different things that make perfect subjects for discussion.
When my mind goes blank or when you go silent while trying to think about something else, there's always some other idea ready on standby waiting to jump into your head as soon as one slips out from mine!
Why does it have to be different when we are meeting someone new?
We're often too hard on ourselves when it comes to social interactions - wanting them always seem seamless from both ends, which of course rarely happens. The secret is therefore to take it easy and think you're talking to a friend.
Hack #2: Learn to listen!
Sometimes you could be so worried about what you should say next that you almost forget that the other person is talking. This is a terrible mistake...
People not only love talking about themselves but also love feeling listened to and understood. Plus, conversation threads come out of it naturally! Incredible, isn't it?
For example, if someone says “I’m not from here, I came here because of my work” that gives us three threads to follow.
- Not from here => Where are you from?
- Came here => How long have you been here? How do you find it here?
- Work => What do you do?
Hack #3: Give value and share
It’s completely normal to share things about yourself. Give us a glimpse of your life. Share about yourself, what you are excited about or what you have been up to lately.
By doing this we also take the pressure off of the other person. By doing so, they will feel more comfortable and more likely to open up. Hence the conversation will be flowing more naturally.
Attention to not fall into the trap of the one-sided conversation.
The important thing to remember is that each person in a conversation gets an equal amount of time to speak. That seems obvious, but it's really easy to get centered on what you're going to say next and then not even notice the other person has stopped talking. Try your best not to do this!
Hack #4: Stop worrying about the words
You may have heard it so many times, but it's still worth being stated. What you say doesn't matter. At least 90% of the conversation is sub-communication, how you’re saying things, how you’re feeling, what your eyes and body language are conveying. So, great news the words really mean less than you think.
Hack #5: Honesty, observations, and assumptions
The world is a little more honest place when you start to follow these few easy steps. Watch how your conversations skyrocket as soon as you call out what's on your mind or make an observation about the person in front of you - it will speak volumes!
Hack #6: Avoid close questions
Have you ever noticed that when people get asked the same question over and over again, they eventually stop giving a response? It's called conversational fatigue.
One way to avoid that and have a clearer conversation going is by avoiding questions that can be answered with yes or no. By asking deeper, more thought-provoking questions, you will have an easier time getting the most out of your conversations and your relationships in general.
Hack #7: Be genuinely curious.
Curiosity is key.
You may not have a lot in common with the person you are talking to, or feel that the conversation is running out of steam. You can always find out something new about someone if you really care for them enough to do so.
The great thing about genuine interest and curiosity is that it makes people attracted to your energy. Remember, people love talking about themselves and love being listened (Hack #2).
Being genuinely curious about the other person will prevent you to fall into the interview mode - flat, platonic tonality. In fact, curiosity makes it exciting for both of you.
If you want to never run out of things to say again, there are 7 hacks that you can use every day. Start by taking the pressure off yourself and what you expect from the interaction. Stop worrying about all those words and instead learn how to listen! Give value when necessary and share as much information with others as possible.
You should also try honesty, observations, or assumptions if it feels natural for that particular conversation. Finally, avoid close-ended questions whenever possible because they limit open discussion which is key to having an engaging dialogue with someone else.
Do you want to know the best part? All these hacks come naturally once you practice them enough times in conversations so don't feel overwhelmed - just get started today, and improve a little bit every day!
Till next time,