Slow Down and Relax Before Starting Conversations

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Starting conversations with complete strangers can be tricky if you are a shy and introverted person.
How do go about starting conversations at a party or at a social gathering? What should you talk about and what if you say something stupid or wrong? A way to overcome the nervous feeling when you are about to approach someone, is to consciously calm yourself down.
Tell yourself that you are going to talk and breathe a little bit slower than you normally do.
The other person won't notice it all - only you will notice the difference in your speaking rhythm.
Slowing yourself down will give you a relaxing feeling and starting conversations will be a lot easier.
You will also come across as more interesting and fun to be around.
When you are relaxed, the other person will relax as well and the conversation will flow smoother.
Here are a few openers when starting conversations:
  • Ask an easy question like - "What do you think of the food?"
  • Ask a question about them - "What do you do for a living?"
  • Open with a simple greeting - "Hi how are you?"
To keep the conversation going you can talk about simple things like a book you just read, a tv show or a movie that you like, a football match etc.
Also make sure that you really listen to what the other person says.
More often than not, you will have new questions you can ask based on what's just been said.
If you are stuck, a nice trick is to ask an open ended question, which is a question that has to be answered by more than a yes or no.
For instance:
  • "I really like your new car, where did you buy that?"
  • "Who do you think will win the election?"
It doesn't really matter what it is as long as it requires the other person to elaborate a little bit more than just a quick yes or no.
Also keep in mind that people really like that you are interested in them and most people like to talk about themselves.
So if you are able to do a little bit of research before starting conversations, you will be in good shape.
If you feel the conversation is dragging out and you don't have anything else to talk about, it's perfectly fine to politely excuse yourself and say that you have to go to the restroom or that you just spotted a friend that you want to say hi to.
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