Though, it’s really tough to practice unless you commit to TRYING it out. And there’s only one way to find out which outcome you’re gonna get.
If you’re feeling really rusty, give it a shot with a friend or family member and ask for a little feedback afterward.
Your conversations will instantly be more thoughtful, and the people you’re talking to will feel it, too. Instead of saying: Like a good hairdo or pocket square, it sometimes takes a bit of effort in conversation to make it seem effortless, but it’s far preferable to freaking people out. With each conversation, you’re watering a healthy plant, not dousing a fire.
My cousin Kim met my fiancé for the first time a few months ago. I happen to be in possession of a frighteningly good memory; I remember specific conversations (as well as where they took place, and what we were wearing) with people who couldn’t pick me out of a lineup. In fact, leaving a bit unsaid is probably the best way to ensure future conversations, and give you something to talk about next time!
The idea that acting a certain way encourages us to Turns out the man knew what he was talking about.
A team led by Fritz Strack showed in 1988 showed that simply holding a pen in your mouth in a way that simulates the muscle movements of smiling makes cartoons seem funnier than when you hold it between your lips like a straw; other studies have shown that merely crossing your arms can make you more persistent!
Use the comfort of a prepared line to open with if you like, but with the goal of finding something interesting that’s happening in to comment on. I’ve had to learn to hold back a little (okay, a lot) and not spew forth with every single thing I remember about my last conversation with someone the next time I see them.
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: You: “I think I literally saw a cat and a dog raining down from the sky today.” Them: “Ha! I thought it was supposed to be spring.” You: “It must be really tough to be a weatherman.
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The main reason we human folk seek to connect with one another is that it scratches a social itch.
Our social needs are just like hunger and thirst—we eat, drink, and talk to people because there’s a gap between our actual state (hungry/thirsty/lonely) and our ideal state (satiated/quenched/connected).