With some people, conversation comes naturally. With others it is like trying to bite your own teeth.
What makes you an easy person to talk to?
1. You are welcoming. When someone chats to you, you welcome the conversation. You take immediate interest rather than waiting for the other person to prove they are interesting. This makes that person more comfortable with talking to you.
2. You don’t just stick to small talk. People aren’t going to have a very long conversation with you if you just want to talk about the weather. Comments about the rain make for ironically dry discussion.
3. You are friendly. Aloof people aren’t easy to talk to. They often aren’t interesting or likable either. It’s obvious, but be friendly.
4. You don’t feel a need to shoot down their opinions. Some people have a need to assert the superiority of their opinion. Others can express their opinion and listen in full to yours without feeling threatened. Hearing someone’s opinion doesn’t damage your own, and it indulges the other person. They can express themselves without being defensive. Ask them to explain their reasoning and express counter-arguments, but do it respectfully instead of trying to bash them with your view. A conversation is an exchange, not a competition.
5. You are vulnerable. Vulnerability is the key to engaging conversation. It demonstrates to the other person that you are actually willing to share something with them by being personal. The alternative is having a wall up, which doesn’t make for easy conversation because it feels restrictive.
6. Be memorable. If your previous conversations stand out then people will remember that you are fun to chat to. I once met a friend of a friend and asked her if anyone had ever told her that she looks like a female Ross Noble. It was a bizarre introduction, but one that still gets laughed about every time I see her.
7. Be present. Don’t be checking facebook or your text messages. Be devoted to connecting in the conversation so that the person feels like they are interacting with you instead of trying to get your attention.
8. Give the other person a chance to comment. I have been in conversations where people talk so long without room to interject that I stop listening pretty early on. I feel irrelevant to the conversation as I have no opportunity to participate, so I don’t bother noting what they are talking about. If you find you are talking at length, give the person a chance to comment, or ask them a question so they can be involved. For instance, if you are going on about a sky-diving experience, pause to ask them if they would ever try it and how they are with heights.
9. You aren’t afraid to be challenging. You stir the pot to make the conversation less predictable. You ask for the whys, and you present alternate opinions. This evolves the conversation naturally, making it easy to continue.
10. You have things to talk about. Awkward Silence can help you out there. We send you interesting conversation starters every week.
Are you an easy person to talk to? Which areas listed could you improve on?