Meeting new people and sparking interesting conversations aren’t skills everyone has. Some of us may have to work harder at small talk than others.
Some people use trivial conversation to fill awkward silences. However, small talk can guide you into more insightful conversations. Small talk can lead you to make connections you wouldn’t have otherwise made. And, some of these new connections can lead to forming new friendships.
Here are ten tips that can help take away your discomfort and minimize stress prior to gatherings and events. If you feel like you can’t do it on your own, Vancouver life coaching can help get you on your way.
# 1 – Change Your Mindset
Your mindset sets you up for the experience you will have. Instead of worrying about how uncomfortable you will feel a week in advance, try viewing the event from a positive outcome lens. Imagine enjoying yourself and meeting some cool people. The best experiences are sometimes the most unexpected.
# 2 – Plan & Set Fun Goals
Tell yourself that you will stay for a minimum of one hour, and talk to at least three people. Plan your travel to and from the event. This can help you stretch your comfort zone while remaining comfortable.
# 3 – Don’t Wait For Others to Come to You
Take the initiative to make the first move and say hello to someone you don’t know. Be curious about the other person. People love to talk if they have someone who will listen. The more you take the initiative, the more comfortable you’ll become.
# 4 – Have a Set of Questions Ready
Have some questions memorized to engage in a conversation or to keep the conversation going. Have a couple of key topics of interest that you can engage in ( recent movie, book, sports event, news event). Be curious about the other person. Chances are several people at the party are feeling just as anxious as you are.
# 5- Become an Active Listener
When you learn how to be an active listener during conversations, you learn to ask open-ended questions which will carry the conversation forward.
# 6 – Be Yourself
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Acknowledge your strengths and be yourself. When you are being yourself, you attract the right people.
# 7 – Don’t Be Afraid to Leave
When a conversation begins to get dry and runs its course, don’t feel uncomfortable in saying a simple “anyway, it was awesome meeting you! I hope you have a great remainder of your weekend” and excusing yourself. Mingle and introduce yourself to someone else.
# 8 – Find Others Who Are in Your Position
Is there someone sitting on the couch without anyone to talk to? Go over and introduce yourself. They are no doubt feeling the same as you, i.e. a little uncomfortable.
# 9 – Don’t Feel Disappointed in Yourself
Even if the get-together didn’t go like you expected it to, don’t beat yourself up over it. The important thing is that you went, you supported your friend and you did your best!
# 10 – Expand Your New Skill to Your Daily Life
Expand your network of contacts. Don’t limit yourself. Talk to the person in front of you in line at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, or the person seated next to you on your long-haul flight. The more you do something, the easier it gets.
Vancouver life coaching can help guide you to a place where you will feel more comfortable talking to people and sparking meaningful conversations. If you would like to learn more about how I work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to set up an appointment.