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The 4 Step Plan to Talk to New People: Learn to Master the Conversation With this Guide

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If you find yourself unable to talk to new people, you’ve come to the right place!

Today we’re gonna teach you how to master a dialogue, instead of staring at your foot hoping somebody else will come talk to you.

We’ll teach it in 4 easy steps 😛 TAGEND

Step 1: How to Construct Small Talk- and Not Suck at It( Human Interaction ) Step 2: How Do You Talk to Random People( Thoughtful Small Talk ) Step 3: How Can I Be Good at Talking( Be Quirky ) Step 4: How Can I Be Fun to Talk To( In Defense of Being Imprecise ) How Do You Interact with Others( Start Talking )

By the end of today’s article, your friends will need a muzzle to shut you up.

Believe it or not, we really often work on “social skills” with our 1-on-1 NF Coaching. Many clients are bettering themselves to start dating again, so we work hard to help them level up all areas of their lives.

Click below to learn more, then head to the article to learn how to master a conversation 😛 TAGEND

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Step 1: How to Build Small Talk- and Not Suck at It.( Human Interaction)

Small talk can make you happy.

The main reason we human folk seek to connect with one another is that it scratches a social itching. Our social needs are just like hunger and thirst–we feed, drink, and talk to people because there’s a gap between our actual state( hungry/ thirsty/ lonely) and our ideal country( satiated/ slaked/ connected ). Your brain is saying, “Dude, mind helping me out a little? I’m not where I want to be.”

The whole idea here is to feel better after than we did before. You ever talk to people who are in a super sour mood? It’s kind of contagious, isn’t it? Unless you happen to be friends with people who can build crankiness charming( such as professional comedians and/ or giant puppies woken up from deep slumber ), it’s usually a bit of a bummer. Let’s not be bummers! Let’s be those other various kinds of people, the ones who leave our conversational partners in good moods after they talk to us.

Engaging in happy small talk isn’t just good for the people we talk to, by the way–it helps us as well. “Fake it’ til you make it” is more than just a catchy rhyme. The idea that acting a certain way promotes us to be that way has been around since Aristotle’s time. Take a look at his quote( from over 2,300 years ago !):

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. We become simply by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.”

Turns out “the mens” knew what he was talking about. A squad led by Fritz Strack proved in 1988 showed that simply holding a pen in your mouth in a way that simulates the muscle movements of smiling builds cartoons seem funnier than when you hold it between your lips like a straw; other studies have shown that simply intersecting your arms can stimulate you more persistent!

So the next time you’re feeling surly and looking forward to a alter, challenge yourself to talk to someone in a more upbeat style and see if that helps shake it off.

I’m not suggesting you bop around like sunshine and fairy dust, but isn’t it powerful to be recognised that by simply chatting with another person in a positive way, you can walk away from the conversation with both you and them feeling better off?

( Feel free to give a little mental fist bump to Aristotle when you see how well this works .)

Step 2: How Do You Talk to Random People?( Thoughtful Small Talk)

Be thoughtful in your conversations.

Good small talk adapts in real-time, thoughtfully and attentively applying to whatever is happening in the moment.

This may sound overwhelming at first, especially if you like to plan things to say out in advance. The trick is to take a step back and pick one thing, any thing, on which to focus your attention.

There’s a finite list of what this thing will be:

Whether it’s sunny, rainy, or snowy, that’s weather. Whether it’s a street parade, an art exhibit, or a hot tub limousine driving by, that’s scenery. Whether it’s someone with crazy shoes, a guy doing back handsprings, or a woman swinging from a chandelier, that’s people. Whether it’s a cute newborn, a fluffy puppy, or a cool volume, that’s belongings.

See how all of a sudden you can imagine having one or two prepared responses that can still perfectly apply to even the most novel of situations?

Now, you are able to only get you as far as your first or second line within a dialogue, after which you may need to start coming up with stuff in the moment. But the same logic of “step back/ pick one thing” applies here too, and will help you keep from getting overwhelmed or panicking about what to say.

Here’s an example 😛 TAGEND

You: “I suppose I literally watched a cat and a puppy raining down from the sky today.”

Them: “Ha! I know, right? I thought it was supposed to be spring.”

You: “It must be really tough to be a weatherman. You’re either stating the obvious or you’re a liar.”

Them: “My cousin is a weatherman.”

Curveball! You haven’t prepared anything about weatherman cousins! But this is interesting and fiction enough to justify a conversational tangent all its own( and could fall under the category of jobs, if you wanted to add it to your earlier listing ). Try a simple question.

You: “Oh, interesting. How’d he or she get into that? ”

Before you know it, you’re having a unique dialogue , not banal “small talk”. You’re also learning things about your conversational partner( and they about you ), which will help you build from one-off conversations with strangers to consistent friendships and relationships with people.

Challenge yourself to identify these “one things”( weather, books, back handsprings) as you’re out interacting with people. Use the convenience of a prepared line to open with if you like, but with the goal of finding something interesting that’s happening in that moment to comment on. Your conversations will instantaneously be more thoughtful, and the people you’re talking to will feel it, too.

Step 3: How Can I Be Good at Talking?( Be Quirky)

Be quirky in your small talk.

My cousin Kim met my fiance for the first time a few months ago. As soon as we all sat down, she said to him, “Tell me every single thing about yourself, starting from birth, and objective with right now.”

I thought it was just about the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

If my friend Jess is at someone’s house for the first time, she’ll say, “If I were the bathroom, where would I be? ”

She gets the answer- and a chuckle.

My friend David struck up a conversation with a cute girl in Jiffy Lube by asking her if she believed the guy in the waiting room looked like a beagle.

He called me to thank me for introducing him to his girlfriend.

These instances all have in common the theme of turning awkwardness into awesomeness. They’re about being confident , not being smooth. Sometimes dialing up the awkward dial can be just what everyone needs to loosen up a little, like when my friend Mike starts his presentations at work by saying, “If I seem unbelievably nervous, it’s because I am indeed incredibly nervous.” It’s a bold strategy, must be ensured, but it can be incredibly refreshing.

There’s something undeniably fun about someone who says, “I’m staggeringly overcaffeinated right now, so I may pass out at some point. How was your weekend? ”

In short, don’t feel pressure to rigidly adhere to some abstract notion of what small talk should be, losing all of your own delightful personality in the process. You’re a member of the Rebellion, after all!

You challenge conventional wisdom and embrace the weird every day- let small talk be no exception.

Step 4: How Can I Be Fun to Talk To?( In Defense of Being Imprecise)

Be imprecise in your conversations.

Remembering the little things? Sweet. Remembering every little thing? Creepy.

I happen to be in possession of a frighteningly good memory; I recollect specific conversations( as well as where they took place, and what we were wearing) with people who couldn’t picking me out of a lineup. I’m utterly the person who goes up to people and says, “You’re a chiropractor? We sat next to each other on a plane from L.A. to San Francisco about a year ago, right? ” Yes, right … but it didn’t matter. The dude was exhaustively creeped out, and I couldn’t blame him!

I’ve had to learn to hold back a little( okay, a lot) and not spew forth with every single thing I recollect about my last dialogue with someone the next time I insure them.

Instead of saying:

“Hey, how was that conference you went to in Phoenix? ” go with, “You were going out of town when I saw you last, right?

“Is your upper left molar impression any better? ” go with, “Hey, how’s it going? ”

Like a good hairdo or pocket square, it sometimes takes a bit of endeavour in conversation to make it seem effortless, but it’s far preferable to freaking people out. Take your time. With each dialogue, you’re watering a healthy plant , not dousing a flame.

In fact, leaving a bit unsaid is probably the best way to ensure future dialogues, and give you something to talk about next time! Besides, when you’re imprecise, you let the other person to narrow in on a topic that they are comfortable with, rather than forcing them to talk about their upper left molar!

How Do You Interact with Others?( Start Talkin’)

These Troopers are stoked they know how to have a conversation.

With these four keys in mind, you’re ready to start small talkin’.

Challenge yourself to approach one person a day and strike up a conversation, even if it’s brief.

Like everything else we do in life, good social skills can be learned, developed, sharpened, and improved. Though, it’s really tough to practice unless you commit to TRYING it out. And who cares if the conversation goes poorly? Failure is awesome. Odds are you will NEVER see that person again in your life, and your life is no different now than it was 5 minutes before the conversation.

Of course the opposite could be true: you could satisfy somebody awesome.

And there’s only one way to find out which outcome you’re gonna get.

If you’re feeling actually rusty, give it a shot with a friend or family member and ask for a little feedback afterward. If you’re feeling bold, approach person you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to. If you draw a blank, ask a question.

Breathe, smile, listen.

Most of all, remember why you’re doing this, and remind yourself that you’re not enforcing on someone by having a pleasant conversation with them–you’re making their day a bit brighter, and you should never be made to feel bad about that.

As always, I’m very interested to hear what you think, and how these lessons feel when you take them out for a spin.

We all crave regular social interaction; you might be surprised by how easy being good at small talk really is!

What are your major hangups with small talk?

Where do you plan to give these tricks a try?

-Lindsay Miller( good friend of Steve, and the Relationship& Social Skills expert of Nerd Fitness !)

PS: Like developing your social skills, getting healthy can be really intimidating, which is why we’ve built services and products to help you overcome the chaos and are certain in the actions you’re take every day 😛 TAGEND

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Check out Lindsay on Twitter @RellimYasdnilor send questions/ commentaries at LoveAndDatingAdvice @gmail. com.

photo source: lego small talk, happy, thoughtful, imprecise, quirky, storm trooper

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