SRS I am terrible at making small talk...help??

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by SovietRussia, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. SovietRussia

    SovietRussia What? You pooped in the refrigerator? OT Supporter

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    I feel like i am socially inept. i dont seem to be able to make small talk well at all, and instead am stuck in akward silence. is it possible to learn how to make small talk, and if so how? help would be appreciated.
     
  2. happyrobots

    happyrobots Ü

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    As am I.

    Although I have been working on this as well. Recently I took a Meyers-Briggs personality test, and there was a class that went into detail about introverts and extroverts. Short version, you're probably an intro and they just have a harder time.

    Some things I've done is just speak up. I was in a group of 3 guys and there was just a weird silence. So I brought up how I almost got pulled over on the way into work today. Some chit chat about it, and they tell a story as well. Once one ended, I thought of another good story about tickets and shared it. I jumped in and didn't wait for the chance to come to me. I didn't interept him, I picked what I thought was a good time and said it.

    It seems as though it's about speaking your mind. Although if I try to hard nothing comes and it's silence....which is where I need help.
    Most introverts, like myself, a better at talking to people about what intersts them. They're good at that, and not good at the small talk part. Extros can do both usually, it depends on other aspects of the tests though.

    If you're not good at telling stories, work on that. I think that helps small talk personally.
    That's all I can think of off-hand....esp since I need some help as well. Sorry to bore you.
     
  3. scaryice

    scaryice New Member

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    I really don't believe that people belong to one group or the other. I think people just tried to come up with a label to explain why they suck in this area. If you go around telling yourself that you are this way, and you're going to have a harder time because of it, it's stupid and will probably make you do worse. Also, everyone is better at talking about stuff they're interested in. So in summary, I think that this stuff is counter-productive.

    Now as far as actually helping with the problem. You guys need to be confident and happy with you and your life. Because then, you won't worry about whether or not what you say is stupid or unimportant. That's easier said that done. But if you do fit that category, then you probably wouldn't have this problem.

    happyrobots is right, you need to just steer the conversation yourself. Just say what's on your mind, whether it's a story from your life or something about pop culture. Even if it's stupid, nobody's gonna care. It's not like I remember conversations I have at parties a week after they happen. It's easier to do with friends and people you know, but it really shouldn't be any harder with strangers. After all, they're just friends you haven't met yet...that is so cheesy. :big grin:
     
  4. Guz200sx

    Guz200sx The man who does more than he is paid for will soo

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    Me too.

    I have problem with this as well. It seems like I start having a good conversation then when it dies down, their is that silence afterwards and its like :ugh: and I get nervous then and its especially terrible when your talking with a girl.
     
  5. PocoDiablo

    PocoDiablo New Member

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    Simple solution:

    Ask lots of questions. Ask other people about what they did, what their favorite movie is, when the last time they went out and what happened. Ask folks where they grew up, where they went to school, what they majored in, what they did after they graduated, what their plans are.

    Simply ask questions in a time line - from where they grew up to how they got to where they are now. Many people - like you guys - would be more than happy to share details about themselves. And the less you talk the cooler you will appear to these other people. You'll also learn a lot about them and maybe find someone who's cool and you'd like to hang out with more.

    This is especially true of hanging with women. Unless you're some wonder stud, stories about cars, computers, religion, politics, drugs, blood and guts, work, ex's, a person's body, and other similar "downer" topics should be avoided at all costs.

    If you want to keep the conversation going, try my motto: "Never be serious." Simply poke fun at things people say every once in a while. You don't want to joke about everything someone says, but if you can twist something every 10-20 times and get a laugh, that helps. So if someone says you look nice today, you tell them "Thanks, I got this outfit from the Salvation Army." Or whatever your sense of humor is.

    Just lighten up, don't be so serious, have some fun. Ask questions. Listen. Most conversations will just make themselves work. If you feel things start to slow down, step away and go hang out with someone else and come back later.

    Of course, having a drink can always help loosen folks up. ;)
     
  6. SovietRussia

    SovietRussia What? You pooped in the refrigerator? OT Supporter

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    yes questions. i know, but i guess the hardest part is starting the conversation. especially with new people.
     
  7. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    1. Observe and pull material from your environment. If you're both in the same room, you have something in common. 2. Make the other person feel good by being interested in either themselves or something they care about, and be sincerely interested.

    Try asking a question that needs more than one word for a response, such as about an article of clothing ("I like your shoes - where'd you get them? I've been looking for something like that.") or about something that's common to the two of you (see #1). If you know something about where they work or what they like to do, get them going on that. If you don't know anything about them, ask about where they work and what they like to do.
     
  8. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Being good at conversation is a learned skill.

    There are naturally extraverted people who are better at it, and why not, being extraverted, they've been "practicing" this skill since they were old enough to talk.

    But it's not too late for you. Even an introvert can learn this skill. Remember, a skill is an ability for you to use as you see fit.

    Does this mean that you have to force yourself to endlessly blather about inane meaningless subject just to make "small talk"?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    It means that when YOU want to, you can then engage in talk with a person of your choice. Remember that. OF YOUR CHOICE.

    Wouldn't you like to have that skill at your disposal, to use when and where you see fit? So don't be afraid to develop that skill. It won't turn you into a talking head or a blabbering fool.
    Just one more tool in your kit of useful tricks.
     
  9. SovietRussia

    SovietRussia What? You pooped in the refrigerator? OT Supporter

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    YES! i want that tool, but it seems you forgot to tell me where to buy it. :mamoru:

    but really, how can i learn it? i think if i were to just go up to random people and talk to them about stuff, that would be good, but i get nervous and cant ever think of things to say. :o
     
  10. Jester

    Jester OT Supporter

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    When I was trying to get over the hump of being introverted, and I was trying to think of something to say, I'd then try to think about whatever I was thinking about before I started to try and think about something, and I'd blurt out a comment that reflected my previous thoughts. It really did work well.
     
  11. SovietRussia

    SovietRussia What? You pooped in the refrigerator? OT Supporter

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    :confused:
     
  12. happyrobots

    happyrobots Ü

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    I somewhat agree that you can't put people in categories about their personality, but overall this course pretty much helped. If you took it, you'd understand. There was more to in than intro/extrovert. Also, if you think you are an intro and don't like it....use that as a boost. You can change from being one to the other, so work at it.
    I am happy and I would also say confident as well. It has helped, but only to an extent. I told a friend that was lacking socially just to relax, who cares what other people think, be yourself, etc (short version). Since then he's made a few friends and he's just been much happier.
     
  13. fėnrir

    fėnrir New Member

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    carry a flask of 151 with... as soon as you start sobering up, take a swig


    works wonders
     

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