Take a minute to analyse whether you are following some conversation basics.
1. Listen: It’s obvious but many still forget to do this. If you aren’t listening to the person you’re with then they will feel irrelevant to the conversation.
2. Don't talk about work: Asking someone what they do for a job or "how is work going" is the laziest trick in the conversation book. And it's not a good trick. If someone is genuinely passionate about their work or if you are intrigued by it, it's fine conversation. But if they are bored talking about it and you don't care to hear it, why ask about it?
3. Bounce back questions: At Awkward Silence, one of the biggest conversation pet-peeves we get feedback about is people not bouncing back questions. One person asks all the questions but the other answers without reciprocating. If you act disinterested in the other person, they will lose interest in you.
4. Allow for personal points of view: Someone having a different opinion is never a threat to your own point of view. Varied opinions are a fact of life. Hear, discuss, learn what you can. But don’t dismiss someone just because you disagree with them. Otherwise, you’ll never have any friends.
5. Don’t give up when an answer isn’t immediate: If you can’t respond instantly to a question, it doesn’t mean you have no answer to offer. Often when we are on the spot, our mind can draw a blank. But think out loud and you’ll soon discover your answer. Sometimes it’s a process.
6. Make it a worthwhile exchange: Sometimes it’s fun discussing silly unimportant things. But other times people can get bogged down discussing completely pointless vapid topics. If you aren’t having fun, learning something new about your friend, learning something new about life, or simply pondering life, then change the subject so it becomes a worthwhile exchange. Awkward Silence gives you thousands of alternatives.
7. Be personal: Each conversation should be unique. Have a conversation that is driven by the unique personal chemistry you have with that person. It doesn’t have to be personal in the sense of revealing intimate secrets. But it should be personal in that it’s a conversation only the two of you could have.
8. The weather is a warning: Started discussing the weather? This is a sign you need to change the topic to something more interesting.
9. Don't ask about unpleasant things: If I have a pimple, it’s the first thing my Mum will comment on when she sees me. It’s not something I want to draw attention to and there is no reward in discussing it. Ask yourself whether someone would want to talk about something unpleasant that is happening with them. Sometimes people need to talk about their problems, but topics that are simply uncomfortable are better left undiscussed.
10. Don't be sleazy: When you are getting to know someone, don't take away from the conversation by making it crass or making cheap attempts to request sex. The only result it gets is to objectify your company.
11. Take the opportunity to learn something: Treat every conversation as an opportunity to learn.
12. Don’t get hung up on unnecessary details: Sometimes when recalling something that happened to us, we get hung up on details that aren't crucial to the story. We try to figure out where or when it happened and stop the story until we've remembered the right details, when the "what" is the point of the story. Remember to cut to the chase.
13. Don't interrupt: People who constantly interrupt make the person they are speaking with constantly frustrated. They never get to express themselves.
14. Don’t be afraid of a deeper turn: Some people start getting alarmed when a conversation gets serious or unpredictable. This is often when conversations thrive & friendships grow. So don’t be afraid to get serious.
15. If you run out of things to talk about, use Awkward Silence: That’s pretty basic! Subscribe and you will always have something to talk about.