Having conversations one-on-one with strangers usually cause our anxiety to appear to ruin our conversation. A knot forms in the neck, the heart starts to beat rapidly, and our thoughts start to haunt us “What will he say”, “What if he…”. In this post, ill tell you how to remove the filter from your brain and focus the conversation on the other person, pushing the focus of the conversation away and allowing the other person to do all the talking, becoming a manageable situation for your anxiety while at the same time improving your social skills.
I know this is isn’t as easy on paper as it is in real life, so don’t feel as this is something you should be able to do right away, find one that is most comfortable for you and slowly make your way through all 4.
This is #1 for me because your filter is what makes you stay silent, when you come up with an idea you go through a filter of questions, doubts which make you re-consider telling it. Frequently our insecurity will prefer not to share our opinion, idea, thought, value because we are comfortable by not going out of our comfort zone. The fix for this is being in the present moment, living in the now. Not the past because of something you already said or the future because of what you think may come up. Practicing meditation is excellent for self-awareness, when you live in the present moment you stop worrying and therefore your true self will come out without filters. If you've never tried meditation, just search “guided meditation” on youtube. (Btw, It isn’t something out of the ordinary, ideally it’ll take 5-10 mins.)
People love to talk about themselves (this is HUGE, get this in your head. People LOVE to talk about themselves), help the other person talk about themselves and the conversation will flow and they will love you. Talking about yourself the whole conversation is selfish, you need two people talking to form a conversation. Sometimes we retain ourselves from asking questions for some reason, when asking questions is the exactly what we need to do in order to push the focus away from ourselves and allow the other person to talk about themselves. The questions we ask in a conversation usually come from past experiences and the environment we are in, and when we don’t have any idea what to say, its useful to have some questions up your sleeve. A question toolbox is great for this, have 5-10 open questions (those which aren’t answered with 1-2 words) in the back of your mind or written down somewhere you can pull out quickly.
It’s incredible how much you can learn from a person just by looking at them. This is key when it comes to social skills; understanding people’s behavior in order to reveal what they're really thinking and feeling. Before getting to the point where you comprehend behavior, on a basic level, one can observe superficial aspects such as clothing style, facial expressions, and body language. For example: take a look in the posture people take when sitting down. A laid back position indicates relaxation, a inclined and forward position indicates attentiveness when engaged in a conversation, if they’re wearing a college t-shirt you can continue the conversation by asking the major or college he or she is attending.
This is a great tool to have as a reference when trying to find topics of conversation. Just remember F.O.R.D., it stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams. When starting a conversation, try by bringing up family related questions, then followed by topics related to their occupation and job, then recreation and hobbies, and finally their dreams.
The idea behind this is to focus the conversation on them so we dont have to talk too much. I hope this will improve your situation just by 1% which will make me super happy!
Did this help you? Any feedback is helpful and will encourage me to continue making posts
Feel free to ask me to cover more areas and to PM me for any help.