25 February 2018

How to avoid running out of topics in a conversation


How to avoid running out of topics in a conversation

You finally got into a conversation with the person you wanted to talk to since long. Everything was going nice and easy.
But what happens when after 10 minutes, that dreaded moment rears its head?
The awkward silence!
What should you do when you feel like a particular conversational topic has expired?  And how to never get out of topics so that people are interested in talking with you and they are engaged in your conversation.
Well, let’s take a step back to understand the awkward silence
Who does the awkward silence seem to occur most with strangers or friends? Undoubtedly, strangers. But why? You’d think there would be so much more interesting things to talk about with strangers but you don’t have a starting point for it. With friends, you know which topic you can talk about. You’re left with just random stuff that pops into your head. Yet you still can find yourselves talking for hours in a stream of all unrelated topics. Without any sort of agenda, the conversation just flows on and on.
This is exactly the point. When you feel like you’ve run out of things to say with strangers, you haven’t actually run out of things to say. You’ve simply run out of things that have passed your internal filter of “good enough to say to a stranger!” in mind.
This is why you can talk for hours nothing with people you know well. Why you can turn a conversation about “nothing” into something you both really cherish. It’s not just because you have common interests but because neither of you has a very high threshold for what is “good enough” to say. If something pops into your head, you blurt it out.
This is also why it is much easier to speak to people when you’ve had a few drinks. It’s not that you’ve suddenly become more clever or interesting (sorry to burst your bubble!) It’s that you’ve lowered your inhibitions. You say what comes to your mind without thinking if it is “good enough” to vocalize.
The key here is that you are not anticipating too far ahead. You need to trust yourself to adapt on the fly.  You need to remove the filter.
So the first step needs to be “Removing the filter”.
It may sound disgusting but I can talk about hours on poop with my best friend. I feel sorry for her though :P.
Then comes the point of sparking your conversation with the person.
So once you’ve cleared the filter, the goal is to drive conversation back to something that is fun or fascinating to both of you.
You don’t want to be trapped with just sticking to the literal words at hand. So if we’re talking about the weather today, I shouldn’t be limited to just talking about the weather this week. I want to be able to make conversational leaps.
One of the best tools to do this is, “Reminds me of.”
“Reminds me of” consists of thinking not just linearly (i.e. weather today > weather this week) but in larger leaps (i.e. weather today > gorgeous weather > the vacation I took last year to Costa Rica when it was sunny and then poured on us as we hiked up a mountain.)
“Reminds me of” can also be used to a re-spark conversation with someone to whom you’ve already spoken. For instance, last night I was out at a bar with an extended group of friends. I was standing watching a drummer play a solo. We’d already exchanged pleasantries so I didn’t have any questions to ask many of the people. Still, to the re-spark conversation, all I had to say was:
“This guy is amazing. He reminds me of the anime which I watched yesterday.”
Or:
“This club is so cool. It reminds me of the club which I had when I visited to Goa last September.”
Use “reminds me of” in conjunction with the fun and values modes of conversation to rekindle any conversation and move it in a direction that will keep people captivated. It’s also a fantastic tool for connecting with someone with whom you may not have much in common because it allows you to trade stories based on whatever is happening around you.    

Ref from: Charismaonmind.com 

© 2018, copyright Sankalp Singh

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Thanks for finding time to write down what you felt.