One of the most uncomfortable things you can face when meeting a new guy is an awkward silence. There is nothing that terrifies you more. Sometimes, you’ll actually avoid meeting anyone new for a while, as you’re so scared of running out of things to say.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. There are so many of us who are terrified of running out of things to say, or even worse, saying the wrong thing due to self-inflicted pressure and making a fool of yourself. That is no way to leave a good impression.
I used to be convinced that there was something wrong with me for just not being able to find the right words at the right time and ruining a potentially good thing. But what I’ve come to realize is that there is a solution to every problem—as is the case with this!
Everybody deals with awkward silences and is looking for that great conversation starter but not a lot are successful in it. But you can be. There is a way to solve this. Bear with me!
Not knowing what to say can seriously harm your social life and future dating prospects. But once you learn how to keep the conversation flowing at any given time, you will enrich your social life, boost your self-confidence and probably find a new romantic partner sooner rather than later!
Firstly, you need to know what it is that makes you run out of things to say in the first place.
After researching this thoroughly, I’ve come to see that it’s not a lack of things to say that is harming your conversational skills, it’s the things you are scared to say, because there is that filter inside you holding you back from saying them! Makes sense, huh?
What you do is, you subconsciously check everything first with yourself, making sure that what you want to say is cool, interesting and impressive and actually worth saying. And how does that affect your conversational skills? It kills them!
By not allowing yourself to be spontaneous and always thinking twice before saying something, because you don’t want him to think you’re ignorant, you’re ruining the natural flow and progression of the conversation.
Think about it.; how many times have you stopped yourself from saying something that is really totally okay and harmless but you just weren’t 100% sure of it, so you held back.
Stop doing that. Let yourself say whatever comes to your mind, because if you keep filtering yourself, he is never going to get to know the real you. And what’s the point in that?
Another thing that causes problems is you not being able to fully switch off from work-related stuff or the things that are bothering you on that day. When you have something on your mind all the time and you are unwilling to let it go, it is always going to just hang around in your head and create a distraction from fully enjoying things and letting go.
If you’ve had a difficult day at work, or somebody is annoying you, deal with it in due time, so that when it’s time for your date or a social gathering, you can be fully invested and without any unnecessary diversions.
It all may sound like too much to take on right now but after carefully reading the following 7 solutions to your problem, you will find it much easier to adjust and substantially improve your conversational skills!
1. Sometimes, you’re just not compatible conversationally and that’s okay
Sometimes in life, there is just no chemistry between two people and there’s no point in forcing something that feels wrong. The same goes for making the conversation flow.
When you meet the right guy, you will feel that chemistry and you’ll also know when you have to fake it, which is a red flag from the get-go. So, first make sure that you have that click with him that makes it worth going through all this trouble to make a good conversation with him.
If there is no conversational chemistry, you probably won’t be compatible in other ways either.
As you go through the dating process, you will run into all kinds of guys and not all experiences will be the same. Some will be worth the trouble, others not, and that’s all okay. You learn from experience, so never let bad dates discourage you from trying again.
Instead of focusing on all those dates where the conversation was dry and there was nothing there worth saying in the first place, focus on all those that felt right, where the conversation just flowed.
When you realize that with some guys, it’s just not going to work, you’re making it easier on yourself when you go back on the market. When there’s no chemistry, don’t force it. With the right guy, you won’t have to try that hard.
2. Learn to listen
This is what most people can’t quite grasp. The majority of a conversation is done by simply listening!
Most women are focused on the wrong thing. They all try to think of things THEY should be saying, instead of just learning to listen to their partner and letting it be the thing that gets the conversation going.
Asking questions is a great way to start up a dialogue. Avoid questions that can simply be answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and ask those intriguing ones that will make him talk a little more in depth.
Ask him questions about his passions, ask him what makes him get up in the morning. Ask him about his childhood and his family life. Try to get him to talk about his more intimate side that will make the conversation flow smoothly but also help you connect on a deeper level and get to know each other more personally.
While questions are a really good way to tickle his fancy and ignite a quality conversation, make sure you don’t come off too interrogative.
You don’t want him to feel like he’s being interrogated for the role of your husband, by prying too much too soon.
Know your boundaries and leave those most personal and intimate questions for a later time when you’re at that level of comfort with each other.
3. Don’t let the silence scare you too much
Know that not every single moment has to be filled with words. There is no rule saying that you can’t be quiet for a few seconds. Nobody will think less of you and chances are he’s feeling the exact same pressure as you are.
So, relax and realize that it’s not as big of a deal as you’re making it out to be. There are so many little ways how you can fill those few seconds when you don’t have anything smart to say.
You can take time chewing your food (nobody finds it attractive when one talks with their mouth full, anyway) or sip your drink and then pour some more. Give him a second to figure out what to say himself; nobody has the right thing prepared to say at all times anyway.
Let him do the talking sometimes. When you’re so focused on trying to think of witty things to say, you are denying him the opportunity to actually say something meaningful and nobody likes being interrupted.
So, listen more and talk less. Sometimes, that is all it takes.
4. Repeat the last thing he said
This is a great way to keep the conversation going when there’s a lull, and you just can’t take it—repeat his last statement!
If you’re at a loss for words and you’re struggling to keep it going, resort to this. Repeating the last phrase someone has said will very likely make him keep going, as he will take it as a nudge that you’re interested in what he has to say and continue talking about it.
And if he’s a talkative person by nature, you’re in luck. He probably won’t even need that nudge to keep at it but you can use it for just in case.
So if he says something like, “So as I was walking away from the scene, this guy, dressed as a clown, just jumped in front of me, out of nowhere, screamed, and then vanished in the fog…’’ then you just need to say, “A clown jumped in front you out of nowhere?!’’ and it will keep him going and explaining the story further.
Other than making him keep talking and avoiding awkward silences, it will also show him that you are listening to what he has to say and that you are interested in hearing it. So, it’s a win-win.
5. Ask further questions, depending on what his answers are
This is a great follow-up to the last one. When he gives you an answer to one question, use it as an example of what to ask next. It’s a proven way to keep him going without having to intervene too much.
If he’s telling you a story and he seems to be nearing the end, just ask him about the last thing he said in the story. Make him elaborate, be interested in how things might have turned out had he not done that certain thing.
He won’t even realize that you’re letting him do most of the talking, without sharing too much yourself. He will see that you are involved in the conversation but won’t realize that he’s the one doing most of the talking!
It’s a really genius way to keep things interesting, don’t you think?
You’re letting him talk about himself (men love that) and are therefore making him happy. At the same time, you’re getting to know so much about him and the date is going smoothly!
And when he finally has nothing left to say, you’ll have plenty, as you were so busy being the great listener that you are. So you really can’t go wrong with this method!
Genius, I know.
6. Make it as fun as possible
Sometimes, conversations need a little spice! So, adding the fun factor will make it that much more interesting for the both of you!
Play a little game. Ask him hypothetical questions such as:
· If you were forced to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
· If you just won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d spend the money on?
· If you were president for a week, which changes would you implement, if any?
You can even openly just tell him how much you love playing fun games and suggest playing ‘would you rather?’ or ’21 questions’.
Who would say no to that? Other than guaranteeing good, quality time together without awkward pauses, it will also allow you to simply have fun with each other, be in a relaxing atmosphere and laugh!
It’s a major win! I honestly don’t know what you’re waiting for! Who doesn’t want to spend a whole date laughing with a guy? It will enhance the chances of a second date and deepen the chemistry that you’re already feeling.
And the good thing is, none of those questions are of a serious, interrogative nature, so neither of you will feel pressured into answering them!
They are simply made to lighten up the atmosphere and make you as comfortable with each other as possible. It can result in a really pleasant feeling about the date afterward and create great conversation. Yay!
7. Complimenting him is always a plus
If the guy seems a little uneasy and nervous at first, compliment him! Other than making him feel good about himself, it will also be a good icebreaker for your date.
I feel like there is so much emphasis put on guys complimenting women (but without crossing any lines of normal, acceptable behavior) and not enough women complimenting men!
Guys like to hear they look good, too! They are only human, after all. As nice as it is to hear a compliment from him, make sure to return the favor and let him know how great he looks and how good he smells. It will boost his confidence and make it easier for him to start up a conversation.
Compliments can go a long way, let me tell you that.
It will immediately lighten up the atmosphere, probably make you both giggle a little (which is so cute and adorable, for the both of you!) and ease you into the conversation.
You can also compliment his restaurant choice, say how amazing the food is there, or simply compliment his manners and his kind nature. There is really no way to go wrong with any of these.
Now that we’ve covered what you SHOULD do to keep the conversation going, let’s quickly revise what you SHOULDN’T do.
Firstly, you should never talk about your ex.
While this seems like an obvious thing to say, you’d be stunned at how many people still choose to mention their exes on dates.
Sure, it’s cool to bring it up after having been on at least a few dates but when you’re just getting to know each other, steer clear of the ex-files.
No guy likes to hear about the guys you slept with before him, when he’s trying to woo you!
As innocent as it may seem, always stop yourself and say something else instead. It just won’t leave a good impression on your date, trust me—and thank me later.
Don’t talk about money, either.
Another useful tip: don’t mention money. Never ask him how much he makes and don’t mention your financial situation.
Those are all things that you should discuss at a later time, if and when things become more serious. But for now, keep it light.
Nobody likes to talk about money on first dates; it ruins the mood and gives him the wrong impression. And if you’re only looking to date guys of a certain financial success, you’re in it for the wrong reason.
Get to know the guy first and decide if you like him as a person. What he makes really shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not you continue dating him but hey, to each their own!
Steer clear of politics.
If you’re very politically oriented and you have strong opinions, that’s all good but save that for your friends. Don’t rant to a guy you just met at a bar.
That is too heavy a subject for getting to know one another and it’s too intense. Focus on other stuff and wait for at least three or four dates before getting all political. And even then, don’t unload it all on him at once.
Baby steps, as they say. Start the conversation and see how he responds. His reaction will tell you whether you should quit the subject or keep going.