If you want to permanently solve the challenge of “I don’t know how to talk to people“, then this is a must-read for you.
Not only will you get the script on what you can say to others, but also you will be able to shift your mindset so that talking to strangers will not be a problem for you again.
Why We Feel We Have Nothing To Talk To Others
Most of the time, we feel that we have nothing to talk to the others, but that is not true.
Things happen around us, and changes occur all the time, so you definitely have some good life stories to be shared with others.
The only reason why you feel that you have nothing to say is that you are afraid of rejection.
You are afraid that your life story is boring and no one will enjoy it, so you subconsciously filter away all the stories, and you ended up have nothing to share with the other person. This is exactly what made you feel “I don’t know how to talk to people“.
If you are willing to take the first step to initiate the conversation, a lot of time, you will find that people are more than happy to talk to you back.
Trust me. People are not that harsh or judgemental as we have imagined.
Just speak to them like how you speak to your friends, and you will find them ready to make friends with you.
The Cure For “I Do Not Know What To Say”
In this section, you will learn how to become better at conversation, so you will never run out of things to say again.
1) Prepare Life Stories
From today onwards, whenever something that is exciting or unique happens in your life, you should put in conscious effort to remember it. Then, in your mind, you should practice storytelling it to yourself.
Over time, you will find that you have slowly become more confident in sharing your life stories and know how to make them sounds more lively and exciting,
2) Share it As Long As You Find It Interesting.
As long as the story is interesting for you, then it is worthy enough to share it with others.
Stop worrying that your story will not be interesting enough for the others. Otherwise, you will lose confidence in sharing it. And, you will end up running away from telling it or you won’t be able to tell it well.
So, just share the stories and see if it resonates with other people. Watch their facial expression and check out their body language when you tell your stories to collect feedback. If you see they are backing off or not really engaged in your story, then you know that part of the story needs improvement.
If you do not know where to begin or you really can’t think of any part of your life worth sharing, that’s because you haven’t formed the habit of reviewing your life consciously every day.
I would suggest you start journaling and writing down the top 3 things you are grateful for every day.
Life Stories That Worth Sharing:
- What are the beautiful things that have happened this week?
- Share why you are grateful for it.
- What are the funny things that happen around you this week?
- Share the plot twist and laugh together with your friends.
- What are the silly things you did this week?
- Share the story and make fun of yourself.
Once you started journaling, soon you will discover there are so many fantastic & exciting things in your life that are worth sharing.
3) List Down Your Top Topics
Most of the time, if you are interested in the topic, you will be more eager to discuss it with others. This will naturally make you more talkative if that’s what you want.
Thus, I would suggest you list down all your passion or topics which you are interested in. Then, next time you do not know what to say to others, you can ask questions that lead to the topic you are interested in.
To find out the good topics which resonates well with you, you can start by observing how you spend most of your time every week and find out what you have been doing consistently.
On the other hand, you can also look at the book collection you have and see what you have been buying and reading. You can also check your search history and frequently see what you have been searching on Google & Youtube.
By doing all these, I’m sure you will be able to pinpoint a few of your passion right away.
4) List Down 3 Questions For Each Topic
After you list down the 3-5 topics you are passionate about, you can start listing down 3 questions under each topic you think is reasonable to initiate a conversation.
Topic & Questions Examples:
- I like your body posture. Are you into any sports, or do you workout?
- A lot of my female friends are into yoga. Are you into it as well?
- What kind of sports would you like to try if you have the chance?
- Are you into reading?
- What is your favorite book?
- If you can only read 3 books in your life, what would you choose?
- What kind of book do you like to read?
Sometimes, if the other person does not seem interested in the topic you have chosen, you can try to ask him how he likes to spend his time.
Learn what his passion is. If that interests you, you can then expand the conversation based on what he is passionate about. This way, he will be more eager to talk to you.
If both of you are not interested in each other’s topic and you do not enjoy talking to him, you can always choose to leave the scene. You do not have to force a conversation to happen.
Prepare Conversation Starters
You do not know what you can say to others, probably because you have not accumulated enough reference in the past by interacting with others and see how people initiate a conversation.
But that’s totally fine.
Here, I have gathered some good conversation starters for you to be used on different occasions. You can adjust it according to your personality.
Networking Conversation Starters:
- How long have you been in this company?
- What is the biggest challenge in your field?
- What would be your best advice for people who are looking forward to joining this field?
- What is your secret to success?
- What made you choose this field in the first place?
Friends Conversation Starters:
- What is your favorite way to waste time?
- What is your secret talent, which I do not know yet?
- Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
- What is your passion?
- What’s your plan for the weekend/holidays?
- Are you into any indoor sports or outdoor sports?
- Have you been to any exciting country or places?
Dates Conversation Starters:
- What is your zodiac sign? Do you know the characteristics of your zodiac sign?
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
- What would be your ideal partner look like?
- Do you think people from different worlds can be together?
Conversation Starters With Strangers:
- Hi, how’s your day?
- Hi, where are you from?
- You come here often?
- Do you know any good restaurants or cafes nearby?
Important note about using conversation starters:
Do not stress too much about which conversation starters to use. Just choose the one that resonates best with you.
After all, the conversation starters above are just the opening line for you to initiate a conversation with someone. How you continue the conversation and have an engaging conversation with the new person you meet should be the main focus.
How To Expand The Conversation Effortlessly
First, you can take a guess about the common point between both of you and ask questions to initiate the conversation.
For example, if you meet someone at the cafe, ask him, are you a coffee person too? If you are in the bookstore, you can ask him what kind of books he likes to read? If you are in a photography community, you can ask him how long he has been into photography?
Then you want to pay attention to what he/she said and expand the conversation accordingly.
Expand The Conversation By Catching The Key Phrase
It’s not that hard to expand a conversation if you know how to listen carefully to what the other person has said.
Try to catch the key phrase from his reply, and then you can build up the conversation based on that key phrase.
Remember to share some information about yourself, so the other person contributes to the conversation based on what you said too.
Expand Conversation Examples:
(At the park)
You: Hi, how’s your day going?
She: Good. You?
You: Not bad, so far. I’m John, by the way. What’s your name?
She: I’m Melissa.
You: It’s relaxing, isn’t it? Looking at the trees and enjoy the breeze. (Common point, relaxing in the park)
She: Yeah, and the weather is nice too.
You: You come here often?
She: Sometimes. It’s excellent for destressing after a long day of work. (Key phrase I can expand: destress or work)
You: Yeah. It does help a lot. I’m just curious. What do you do?
She: I’m a programmer. You know, coding and that sort of stuff. What about you? (Key phrase I can expand: programmer career or coding)
You: I’m a blogger. I write primarily about social psychology. Wow, you are a programmer, huh. How long have you been in the field?
She: It’s almost 7 years now. I have been with the same company all these years. (Key phrase I can expand: career or which company)
You: Wow, 7 years of experience. That’s really something. So, what do you like the most about your job?
She: Well, I would say it’s the problem-solving part. Sometimes, it takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and determination to complete a single project. But, once it’s done. I feel super satisfied with the accomplishment. (key phrase: problem-solving, hard work, creativity, determination, or accomplishment)
You: Yes, I’m sure it does take a lot of creativity and determination to get the job done. You know, I have tried to learn to code once. But, it was so complicated, and I dropped it even before I finished the basics. I just can’t do it.
She: Well, everyone has their own strengths and passion, isn’t it? (Key phrase: strengths or passion)
You: Right. Speaking about passion. What do you do besides coding?
Lessons learned from the conversation example above:
I have listed out the key phrases which appear in the conversation above. Every key phrase represents the topics that I can expand and talk about.
Sometimes, you will be able to catch more than one key phrase in the other person’s reply. Then, it is up to you to pick which key phrases you want to expand on. You can come back to it later in the conversation too.
As you can see, as long as you listen carefully to what the other person has said, you will be able to expand the conversation naturally.
Mindsets To Overcome “I don’t know how to talk to others”There are 3 ways to shift your mindset and overcome shyness in talking to people.
Mindset#1: Give Him The Spotlight
Most of the time, you are shy because you are not used to be put in the spotlight where you have all the attention. If that’s the case, why not try to move the spotlight from yourself to the other person you are speaking to?
This way, you do not need to focus too much on what you have to say next. You just need to be genuinely interested in the other person.
All you need to do is ask him questions that sound interesting to you and have him do most of the talking. The spotlight will be on him and not you anymore.
Of course, you have to contribute to the conversation too, from time to time. But, the pressure to keep the conversation going will be mostly on him.
Mindset#2: Everyone Is Your Potential Friend
Think about it. All the existing friends which you have now were once a stranger to you too.
They can become your friends because you have open up and have communicated with them, isn’t it?
Thus, you never know that the strangers you meet today could be one of your best friends in life. You just have to talk to them first to find out if they are the right person.
Mindset#3: Define The Right Purpose For Conversation
Set the goal right when you talk to someone.
We are not looking forward to being super talkative or having a long conversation. Instead, we want to have an engaged conversation and see if we can resonate with each other.
If we can’t resonate with each other, we never have to force ourselves to continue the conversation.
Think of conversation as a way for us to discover more things from the new person who we have just met. Find out what are the positive and exciting things which you can learn from him.
When you explore more about someone, you will see the similarity and differences between both of you. This allows you to learn more about yourself too.
If you think it that way, the conversation will become an excellent way for self-exploration, which makes conversation super fun.
What If Someone Does Not Want To Talk To You
If someone does not want to talk to you or be impolite, it’s often more about them and their character than you.
It’s not that you are unworthy to talk to, but maybe they just had a bad day, or that’s who they are.
You should not take it personally or get offended. Instead, you should just walk away because there are so many others who can resonate better with you out there.
Do not worry, even if there is a third party on the scene and see the whole thing where you approach the person, and he totally ignores you. If you were just being friendly and he ignores you totally, then it’s him who is being impolite, not you. The others who have some common sense will think the same too.
The Bottom Line Of Solving “I Don’t Know How To Talk To People.”
Remember, the conversation’s objective is always about exploration and fun.
You never know that the stranger in front of you might become your best friend in life until you start talking to him.
The worst-case scenario is that the person does not resonate well with you, and you can always choose to leave if that happens. You have nothing to lose throughout the process, so why not give it a try?