We’ve all been there. You want to do something or meet someone, and your inner monologue starts listing all the reasons why you can’t. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, all because of this fear of rejection.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to be able to talk to strangers, but I never knew how. So I began looking into it, and it turns out that some simple steps will help you overcome shyness and start talking to people quickly.
Before we dive into those, let’s first understand why we feel shy in the first place.
The thing is, when we’re talking to someone we don’t know, we’re afraid of two things:
1) We don’t want them to think badly of us.
2) We don’t want them to think we’re boring.
Now, this may seem silly—who cares if someone thinks you’re boring or weird? Right? But it’s important to remember that when you’re in an awkward situation (which happens a lot), your brain will try to make you feel comfortable by telling you what other people think of you.
So how do you get around this? The answer is simple: being confident in yourself and knowing that no matter what happens during the conversation, it doesn’t matter because YOU are in control.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s get into the good stuff. Do you want to know the best course for having a conversation?
Well, if you’re looking for the most effective way to start a conversation and build rapport with someone. You’re going to have to learn how to be yourself and communicate in ways that are natural for you, as there are no one-size fits all solutions.
When it comes down to it, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to making friends. There are, however, some general principles that can help you along the way.
Here are some tips on how you can beat your fear of rejection and enjoy your following conversation:
- Don’t use one-word answers
If you’re like me, having a conversation with a stranger can be terrifying. But let me tell you: it’s easier than you think! The first step is avoiding using one-word answers, making your conversation more natural and genuine. Instead of just saying “yes” or “no,” try to expand on your answers and maybe even ask questions in return. Try asking the person about themselves or commenting on something they said or are wearing, for starters.
If you’re having trouble thinking of anything to say, try asking questions back! It’s a great way to keep the conversation going and get to know your new friend better.
The trick here is to find ways to keep the conversation going by responding with more than just one word. If someone asks what kind of music you like, don’t just say, “I like rock music.” Instead, say, “I love rock music because it makes me feel free.” Your conversation partner can also continue talking about their favorite bands or genres! You get the idea.
- Listen more than you talk
We’ve all been there: You’re having a conversation with someone, and you find yourself just mindlessly rambling on about yourself. What else are you going to do? You don’t want to be rude, so you keep talking, but it’s not working for anyone involved.
You can make your next conversations more enjoyable by listening more than talking. When someone asks you a question, take a moment to think about what they said before jumping in with your response. If they’re asking about something that interests them and that’s related to what you were saying (which happens a lot), then go ahead and answer them! But if their question is unrelated to anything that happened earlier in the conversation. Try asking them more questions instead of answering right away—you might be surprised at how much fun it can be learning about other people this way!
Someone who I believe demonstrates this great is Vinh Giang. If you don’t know who he is, Vinh is a magician and Inspirational Keynote Speaker. He offers excellent advice via TicTok and Youtube on conversation and networking.
Even if you don’t have time to digest what someone is saying before responding fully, try pausing after they’ve asked their question or made their statement. This will give them time to finish speaking without feeling rushed because they know there’s no pressure from your end. Also, it’ll give you a chance to process what they’re saying so that you can come up with a more thoughtful response.
- Find common ground
But why? Glad you asked.
Because when you find something you have in common with someone else, the conversation is easy. It’s natural. You can relax and be yourself because the other person likes what they see. Think of being on a date with someone you’re comfortable with: the conversation just flows, am I right?
And that’s what you want, right? To be yourself. To relax around people and not feel like you need to put on a show. Start by discovering what you have in common with the person you’re talking to.
Sounds simple enough, right? But how do you do it? Here are some tips on how you can beat your fear of rejection and enjoy your upcoming conversation:
– Talk about your hobbies or interests. Do you like hiking? Sports? Crafting? Reading? Movies? Whatever it is, find a way to work it into the conversation.
– Ask questions about the other person. What do they like to do for fun? What kind of music do they like? Are they into technology, or do they prefer to stay away from it?
– Share stories about your life. What’s been your most memorable experience? What was your childhood like? What are some of the things you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of?
You will find your sweet spot eventually.
- Make the other person feel comfortable first
Don’t worry about making the other person feel comfortable; you’re already doing it!
After all, you’re reading this article, aren’t you? You’re here to learn how to make someone else feel comfortable, which means that you’re already putting your ego aside and helping them feel at ease. So congratulations, you’re already ahead of the game!
The best way to make someone feel comfortable is to let them know you’re interested in hearing what they have to say. Ask them questions about themselves, and then listen carefully to their answers. Nod your head occasionally to show that you’re paying attention, and make sure to show that beautiful smile of yours!
No matter what situation you find yourself in—whether it’s a casual chat with an acquaintance or a high-stakes business meeting. The best way to start building rapport is by being nice. Don’t worry about being too formal or too informal; just be genuine and say something nice about them before getting into any kind of serious discussion. It doesn’t matter if they tell you their favorite movie is Harry Potter or if they tell you they can’t stand horror movies—the point is simply to let them know that their happiness matters to YOU.
5. Be yourself and use their name when possible
People love it when you’re genuine, and it’s an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.
It’s also great to get them to trust you and open up about themselves.
If you’re trying too hard to be someone else, they’ll see right through it—and they might not even be able to tell why they don’t like you, but they’ll have an instinctual sense that something isn’t right.
You have to be confident but not arrogant.
You have to be curious but also respectful.
And you need to make sure that you’re using their name when possible because that’s how you show them that you’re paying attention and that you care about them as a person.
Bonus tip: If you’re ever feeling lost during a conversation, ask them questions about themselves. It’s a great way to get them talking and give you a chance to think about what you want to say next.
- Compliment the other person
You’ve got great hair.
You look like a supermodel, and you’re not even trying.
And that’s what I love about you. When you wake up in the morning, and your hair is all over the place, I know that means you were just getting some beauty sleep. Now, how did that make you feel for that split second?
You felt great, didn’t you?
The same goes for the person you’re talking to. Compliments can make anyone feel incredible—even if they don’t think they deserve it. And if someone compliments you on something small like your hair, outfit, or whatever.
The next time someone asks for your advice or opinion on something they’re working on, don’t be afraid to give them some encouragement. It will go a long way!
- Use body language
Your body language says a lot about you.
You may think your stance communicates confidence, but it could also be interpreted as overbearing or intimidating. You may think your hand gestures are playful and friendly, but they could appear flirty or rude. Your face may tell the world you’re bored, but it could also mean you’re tired or angry.
It’s important to remember that body language is like any other form of communication: what you say matters, but how you say it matters too.
So what should you do? Glad you asked!
-Keep your head up and shoulders back. This position makes you look powerful and confident, which is how you want people to perceive you.
-Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, as it sends a negative message that can make others feel threatened or uncomfortable around you.
-Make eye contact. It’s one of the most essential pieces of body language because it shows that you’re engaged with whoever is speaking to you and actively listening to them.
-If someone touches your arm or shoulder while speaking with them, don’t recoil—instead, just stay relaxed and let their hand rest on yours for a second before gently moving it away.
-Make sure your body is facing toward whoever you’re talking to—this shows that they have your attention and interest. You can also lean in slightly toward them when they speak, making them feel valued and vital to the conversation.
Remember that everyone has different signals for different feelings and emotions. For example, some people shrug their shoulders when they’re confused; others flap their hands around like crazy; others might fidget with their clothes or hair.
The best way to learn someone’s body language is to pay attention to them and see what they do when feeling various emotions. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be able to understand the conversation better and respond accordingly.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to put this advice into practice. Are you able to hold a conversation with a lot of confidence? Remember that no one is perfect, and everyone has their own fears.
The best way to overcome rejection is by trying to achieve what you want to do instead of thinking about the possibility of something going wrong. If you feel your self-doubt creeping in, make a list of what you have accomplished so far and remind yourself that you are worthy of explaining your ideas.
Last but not least, be genuine in every conversation you have—whether it’s with a friend, family member, or even a stranger. People can see through fake smiles and insincere comments, so just relax and be yourself! Being authentic will build trust and respect, which are essential for any strong relationship.
And if you still need more advice, might I suggest the following books that are certainly conversation starters:
–Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results by Rob Biesenbach
What suggestions do you have for others trying to hold a conversation? Let us know in the comments below!
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