The world is starting to open up — and, with all of these days spent contained in our rooms, we haven’t had many chances to properly socialize. I mean, sure, we’ve been texting and using online chat services to talk with each other. But, that’s just not the same as taking a calm stroll with a friend and sharing news in real time. Since we need to oil our rusted skills, here are some tips on how to make your first in-person conversation with a new or old friend a tad bit less awkward — and a lot more interesting.
If you have trouble starting a chat, try giving them a compliment or gently stating an opinion, and asking what they think about it. It is also helpful to have a talk in a thought-provoking setting or a place where you can eat.
Dig deeper, and find something that you both have in common — whether it be in favorite foods, travel destinations, or hobbies. Maybe they have taken the same art class as you. Maybe they have read the same books and love the same fandoms. When you ask basic questions, it can open up threads of new conversations.
Everyone has gone through those awkward moments when they can’t think of anything to talk about, but it can sometimes be okay to acknowledge it. Don’t go back to stale topics, because that will get you nowhere. To make it a bit less weird, break the silence by asking a question. In the time that they are answering or thinking up their response, you can try to formulate ideas for a new topic to talk about.
Ask questions, and make them feel like you care about listening to them talk. When you shift the spotlight to them, they’ll feel appreciated and it might want to make them share more details about themself. This can open up new topics to talk about. Think about what they’re wearing, why they’re at the place they’re at, and similar things.
And, most importantly, don’t worry. Stressing about everything that could go wrong will just make you more paranoid — and that usually doesn’t bode well. It’s important to present yourself as a human, not a robot. When you laugh at your minuscule slip-ups, the atmosphere will have less tension.
Hopefully, you’ll be armed with these tidbits of insight to aid you on your next conversation. Don’t forget, though — the beginning of a talk may feel rocky, but once you let your true comments flow, it’ll get more meaningful and enjoyable!