How To Be a Great Conversationalist As An Introvert
As an introvert, I can’t say that speaking to other people was always an easy thing to do. Unless I knew the person for an extended period of time, their history, confirmed they weren’t crazy, and understood them to a basic degree, chances were I didn’t want to speak to them.
It wasn’t because I considered myself a better person than everyone else in the room. But because as an introvert, I know I only have a certain amount of mental energy that I can only hand out to a variety of people throughout the day.
The more people I speak to whether it be 1-on-1 or to a crowd, the less I want to open my mouth. If I do get pushed over that edge, I usually like to hide from the rest of the world until everyone else disappear.
You might be on the same boat where you want to speak to other people, but can’t because you don’t know what to say, how to impress someone, or you constantly think about how long the conversation will last.
Don’t worry. I’ve been there more times than I’d like to admit. Still do from time to time since we’re being honest. But despite how introverted I am, I use a few tools to get me through a conversation with anyone.
#1. Read a Book a Day
If you ever gone to YouTube, you’re probably familiar with a specific Ad that goes by. “Here in my Garage,” which is done by a man name Tai Lopez. Not too many people enjoy his ad, but I like the message he gives, which is the art of reading 1 book a day.
I already know that’s pretty much impossible for the average person unless they stick to those Thomas the Train size books. But I like to see his message in another fashion. One that’s easily doable.
When someone says read a book a day, you probably imagine yourself trying to read an entire book as if you’re expected to take a test on it the next day. But you might not have the time or ability such as 98% of the world.
What helps is to choose only one chapter from a book, and reflect on what you read to your own life. And don’t read fiction. Read someone’s biography. A science book. Or even something about penguins.
It doesn’t’ really matter. Just learn something new about the world so you can use that as conversation fuel the next time you speak to someone.
Chances are, they’re not going to know what a penguin does on a daily basis. And you speaking to someone about how awesome Penguins are can keep a conversation flowing for the next few minutes. And by the time you reach a dead end, you’ll be more comfortable to switch to the next topic.
There you go. Not only did you learn a new fact about penguins, you possibly made a new friend, a hot date, or a potential business partner. To be honest, I don’t really care who you speak to. I just care about you keeping your mentality stable during a conversation.
#2. Read Articles, Newspapers, and Magazines
Since we’re on the topic of reading, I decided to notch it up in case anyone prefers reading articles online, or magazines you snatch in the store as you wait patiently in line. I personally enjoy reading funny articles from this website called, Cracked, but you might like something else like The New York Times or Buzzfeed.
What separates books from articles or columns is that you have pretty much the summary of a collection of research done ensuring readers understand a recent event or project. Even Bill Gates recommends reading a newspaper every day if you want to provide great topics of conversation.
There’s nothing more irritating than when you want to speak to someone, but don’t know what to say that will capture their attention. And sometimes one chapter from a book isn’t going to be enough for you.
You might want to explain about the rising change of technology we’re experiencing today. You might want to tell someone about an article you read concerning Artificial Intelligence or Flying Cars.
Let’s not forget that information is power. Taking a few minutes in your day to read a 1000 word article can let you contribute a lot more than you think to a conversation. When possible, look for humorous articles or News stories because there’s nothing that captures’ people attention more than laughter.
#3. Take a Trip to the Funny Past
Okay. Let’s say you have no interest in reading that much. I should be lucky that you’re reading this article. What people love besides being told random facts are stories that relate to the real world.
They can be personal stories about funny things you’ve done at work, funny mistakes you made at home, or weird situations that happened in camp. Although telling someone some cool facts can get them to like you, revealing parts of your own personal life can make them feel closer to you.
No longer are you just speaking to Jill, the Bartender. You’re speaking to Jill, the Bartender who once walked into the men’s changing room by accident.
Personal stories open the door that humans don’t simply create by exchanging random information that could be collected from the internet. Personal stories give us a chance to see what we truly have in common with another human being.
Maybe someone said they had an embarrassing time at a Comic Con event and that catches your attention because you also like going to Comic Con. Or maybe someone had a funny time at a baseball game and you happen to like baseball.
We often assume that telling jokes and our life stories as a way to kill time. But what we’re really doing is displaying our own personal resume upon someone else that can possibly further the relationship.
#4. Use the Art of Humor
If you prefer keeping your personal life a secret, but still want to make a good impression, using humor is the best way to go. The reason comedy clubs can be sold out in a short period of time is because humor has a special way to bring people together. It gives them an unique and pleasant time they can spend together.
Laughter draws other people in like a drug because it feels so good when that funny bone in our brain is tickled. This doesn’t mean you have to be as good as a comedian if you want to capture’s someone’s attention.
All you need to do is to know what to say at the right moment and in the right tone. Now a lot of this is going to rely on your own judgment and intuition. You’re not going to have a handbook on what to say when a conversation turns awkward.
By using humor to make the situation lighter than it could have been, you’d be surprised how many times it saved me. The best way to learn how to use humor is to consume hours and hours of comedies. Whether it be on Netflix, YouTube, books, feed your mind humor.
Take mental notes on what people find funny based on the tone, action, and body language of each comedian. Most importantly, always have the mentality to laugh at yourself. No one likes someone who takes themselves too serious all the time, and sometimes you have to laugh at your own mistakes.
#5. Use your ears more than your mouth
Let’s not forget who we are. Introverts. That means you don’t like talking any more than you have to. After telling the other person what you had to say, they should feel warm and cozy to speak to you. They’ll want to tell you about their opinions or funny stories.
One of the main ingredients to keep a conversation alive is to be a good listener. That means staring into someone’s eyes while they speak to you. Concentrate on their words and respond based on the emotions behind their sentence. See who they are at that moment and who they make themselves out to be.
By remaining actively conscious of what the other person says, your conversational skills will improve. You’ll understand who they are as a human being and where they thrive to be at.
This is what makes a relationship sparks. It’s not the jokes, the humor, the facts, or the personal stories. It’s the chance to open yourself up to another person in a way you can’t do with just anyone you meet. It gives you the chance to see the good side of the world, and a chance to bond with humanity when we think we’re alone.
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