You’ve been doing it all wrong—eventually, you are going to meet a new face. These keys ensure you never have to be at a loss for words ever again. Get rid of awkward silences and start having meaningful and engaging conversations—even from today!
Random Person: Hi, how are you doing?
ME: Hello. Fine fine, wassup?
Random Person: Good.
ME: (starts getting nervous. Awkwardddd…)
How many of us have actually been in situations like this? It may look funny, but it is not actually funny when you do experience it. At this point, your mind is already blank, and the person has probably lost interest in you, and the value you could have brought to the conversation—if only you knew the right words to say. Which brings me to my first point:
To be honest, no one wants to relate with a person who has low self-esteem, or a person who always acts as if he has nothing to offer. It’s all in the mind-set, people! Think about it, there must be something that makes you have that mind-set; an experience, or a deficiency you think you have. Change that way of thinking and start working on yourself. Always remember that no one has it all, we all have weaknesses and challenges that we face on a daily basis. On the other hand, I’m not saying this so you can sit back and do nothing. Pray, for genuine repentance and have the desire to demonstrate that you can indeed live by a higher standard.
Try this, when in conversation with a person, assume that the person already likes you—because, really, why shouldn’t she (or he) right? I’m not trying to be a motivational speaker here, but the truth remains that you are unique and fashioned for God’s purposes: so when conversing, always remember that, and express yourself accordingly. Without moving past this hurdle, it might be difficult to continue with the next.
In my excerpt above, the awkwardness could have simply gone if I had asked a question. Not just any question, mind you, but one showing genuine interest—with a blend of curiosity. For example, most people are perhaps already tired of questions like “How was your day?” or “What did you have for dinner?” Unless you have a very cordial relationship with him/her, it may be a little difficult to pull off.
Instead, try questions like “What made your day today?” or “What’s going on in your life right now?” Of course, there is no one way to be creative with your questions—as long as they’re expressing genuine interest.
In order to get to know the other person better, you can also use these topics for conversation starters. They include the following: family, interests, education, and the most important—spiritual matters. You can explore these topics in a limitless number of ways—the only requirement you need is to be open-minded, and honest.
The truth is that most people do not listen with the intent to understand, but with the intent to reply. Listening effectively helps communication, and ensures that you build relationships. Listening entails giving your attention. You cannot desire to listen and be juggling tasks. It shows you are uninterested—one sure way of ruining conversations.
Remember to keep an open mind; don’t criticize exactly that moment you get the chance. Instead, see things from the other person’s perspective. Ask questions like “What if I was in that situation, how would I expect to be treated?”
In addition, after the other person finishes speaking, it’s okay to pause and mull over for at most three seconds, and clarify whatever you do not understand. If you are in a tight spot or cannot relate with what he (or she) is feeling, you can use the Repeat-agree-Review principle. For example, “I understand that I have disappointed you (Repeat), and I know I’m totally at fault (agree); but could you at least hear my side of the story? (Review)—instead of instantly going on the offensive.
Moreover, if engaged in face-to-face conversations, pay attention to the things that aren’t said. The old maxim, “Actions speak louder than words” still applies. For instance, you can always know if someone is not interested in you when his or her feet are not pointing to you, but away from you. Facial expressions and body language also count.
That’s all for now my people. I wouldn’t want to bore you with a long and dreary write-up, but I sincerely hope that you implement these rules the next time you have a conversation. Anticipate the remaining four. #winks
Is there anything you noticed? Or else, would you like to complement, or criticize positively? You can do that in the comments below!