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Chatting with others and not knowing what to talk about is a “problem” that everyone of us encounters now, especially when we are used to using mobile phones to communicate for a long time.
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Whether you’re an introvert, suffer from social anxiety disorder, or have been out of social life for a long time and forgot how to chat with people, this article can help you become “chatty”.
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As long as you can stick to the 7 tips shared below to practice.
Remember, it’s practice, not just watching.
Tip 1: Practice asking effective questions
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People usually like to talk about themselves.
The best way to make the chat always have something to say is to invest more interest in the person you are chatting with and dig into the other person’s “story”.
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How to dig?
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Here I share a method, which is the “Ford method”, which is “FORD-method” in English, that is, the abbreviation of the English acronym of family, occupation, recreation, and dreams.
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Using the Ford method, you can find out what you want to know and let others talk about it yourself.
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For example, family issues are where you grew up, where you live, and where you live;
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The work question is what job do you work in, what job do you do, and how do you feel about your work;
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The question of leisure and entertainment is your usual hobbies, what do you like to do on vacation, whether you like to read books or watch movies;
The question of dreams is naturally the view on the future, society, and life.
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Of course, you don’t have to ask people questions like “check your account”, it’s better to have an interactive discussion like “you come and I go”.
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When others have finished sharing their own stories, you’d better share some of your own stories too, so that others can dig out what to talk about from you.
Then the topic of chat has been expanded between each other.
Tip 2: Master small talk and safety topics
Starting with some safe topics is the best way to create small talk. If you do it right, small talk can be an important stepping stone to a deeper conversation.
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Safety topics started with weather, food, social news, etc., such as “Do you like watching the news? The latest is that Macron actually published an ancient poem about our China online. What do you think about it?”
Talk about something related to work, life, and the economy, which everyone cares about and has their own experience accumulation, so it will be easier to become a topic of small talk.
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Try to avoid controversial and sensitive topics such as politics, unless you already know the other person very well, you can’t go wrong.
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Start with small talk and slowly increase the depth of the problem; or when there is nothing to say, introduce the topic of small talk again to fill the cold field.
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In short, make good use of small talk, and you won’t be afraid of not knowing what to talk about.
Tip 3: Develop your interests
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Yes, you have to admit, chatting is sometimes related to our personal experiences.
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The fuller your life is, the more you can share with others; and the more you can share with others, the more you can have your own experience.
For example, about playing games, a friend recently talked to me about the GTA reset version. Although I rarely play, I have also been exposed to these games, so everyone is very dissatisfied with R Star’s approach, thinking that the quality of the reset is too poor.
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If I don’t understand, then sitting with each other, it will be difficult to “develop” this topic.
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Of course, people’s experience is always limited, and they can only expand their interests and hobbies as much as they can.
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Take a walk outside and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Try to get in touch or chat about some new hobbies and learn new skills. Listen to the radio, read books and follow the news.
Once you find something interesting in life, you can start sharing what you’ve learned with others.
Tip 4: Know who you’re talking to
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If you can, it’s also a good idea to collect topics based on who you’ll be reaching out to.
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If you know that your friend sent Moments two days ago and talked about playing the game, but you don’t know much about the game, then before meeting him, take a look at the content of the game, it’s easy to build a topic of small talk.
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Sometimes in addition to taking the initiative to ask questions to understand the current situation of others, you can also build a chat topic in advance by paying more attention to the other party’s dynamics in private.
For example, some boys want to ask girls out to dinner. If possible, learn about the other party’s concerns and current situation through different channels, and then start to create a topic based on this. It is easier to chat together than you grope yourself.
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Don’t try to think of yourself as someone else. Topics that interest you are not necessarily interesting to others. Instead, try to talk about things that your conversation partner will also find interesting.
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During this time, pay attention to their body language to see how they feel about the conversation, and then change the topic appropriately.
Tip 5: Share Yourself
There is always something you can talk about, such as yourself. Practice slowly opening up to people and sharing yourself.
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People who can’t chat either talk too much about themselves or never talk about themselves. As a result, everyone can’t find the “entry point” for chatting.
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Suppose you’re talking to someone and they ask you how your week is going. You can say, “Fine, how are you?” This is a typical response when someone asks you by the way how you’re doing, as a way of being polite.
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But if you want to start a conversation, your “nice” answer just stops the conversation.
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Instead, you can use the opportunity to share things you’ve done over the past week that can turn into deeper conversations. You can even use what you’ve shared to ask them relevant questions.
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When someone asks you a question, and you feel that the current situation can be talked about more, then try to share more details, rather than simply answering “good” and “good” and ending the topic.
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Be specific and extend the content of the topic.
Tip 6: Learn to be a good listener
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You don’t have to gush and have something to say to be with someone. In fact, being a good listener is also an important part of chatting.
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Being a good listener involves not just listening to what people have to say, but also practicing active listening to show that you are interested in what they have to say, thus forming a “conversational feedback loop”.
For example, for ordinary listeners, their feedback loop of the conversation is like this: someone chats with you — you listen at will — simple answer — end the conversation.
And for a good listener, their feedback loop is this: someone else speaks — you listen carefully — finds the point or speciality of the topic — expands the topic to answer or ask questions — continues the conversation.
So, you can see what real listening is all about.
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Many people are in a state of tension, often focusing on their own performance and ignoring what others are talking about.
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In fact, pay attention to other people’s words, maybe you can find those points of chat.
By listening, if you are impressed with your conversation partner or have positive thoughts about them, speak up directly. People love to receive compliments and hear good news about themselves. E.g:
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“That’s really good.”
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“I found that you are very good at summarizing things. How did you find the essence of things?”
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“It’s amazing that you can actually learn this by watching a video! How did you learn it?”
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Simple, isn’t it?
Tip 7: Practice word association
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When you hear the word “Douyin,” what do you think of?
Do you think that often immersed in short videos will make your attention less and less, or do you think that short videos are a good thing to pass the time?
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I’m sure you have your own opinion.
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Or, “falling house prices,” what do you think of? Do you think that no matter how much house prices fall, you can’t afford a house, or do you think that falling house prices remind you of the impact on economic development?
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By associating words, we can relate to different topics and themes.
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Sometimes, when we feel nervous in front of people, we don’t hear our inner voice very well.
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You can familiarize yourself with how your brain expands the topic by practicing association at home using a random word generator.
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When you find an inner connection with words, you can express your opinion and say things that are familiar to you in relevant conversations.
This is how we build back and forth.
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What is a good conversation? It’s that everyone can engage in it, not each other. Remember, you are one of the people involved in the conversation, and you can steer it in the direction you like.
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Bring up topics of interest to you as easily as possible, preferably so that your conversation partner is equally interested.