The idea of being a lone wolf may seem tempting, especially when you know it allows you to build your own world where you do not have to deal with other people. However, as a social animal, isolating yourself can have a negative impact on your well-being.
Talking to people is not only great for our mental health, but it also impacts our professional life. At a time when our network determines our net worth, we cannot miss out on the opportunity to learn more about our fellow earthlings.
So, here are 5 steps to help you be the absolute best at talking.
1. Don’t worry
To get better at exchanging your stories, you need someone to exchange them with. Hence, the first step to being a good conversationalist is approaching people.
Keep an open mind and be the first to strike up a conversation. Do not worry about preparing a flawless script every time you talk. You do not need to aim for deep, meaningful chats all the time. Seemingly trivial small talk has its own advantage. It can be especially useful when trying to begin a conversation at social gatherings.
2. Hone your listening skills
Talking to people is a two-way road. If you cannot master the art of listening, you will fail to ace your speaking skill.
All great conversationalists know they do not need to speak a mile a minute to capture someone’s attention. Letting the other person talk can do the trick. Be genuinely interested in your partner. Asking open-ended questions can reflect you truly care. Understand what they are saying instead of merely listening to reply.
3. Skip the oversharing or overthinking
Silence is not your worst enemy in a conversation, but oversharing can be. Do not attempt to fill every pause by adding a random trivia that can embarrass you and the listener. You will come across some unexpectedly exciting stories when you just listen intently.
When you become self-conscious about oversharing, the habit of overthinking may creep in. That is not helpful. Try to prevent that as much as possible. However, the solution is not to stop all kinds of thoughts before you speak. You should also be sensitive with your words. A little empathy can go a long way.
4. Continue with common subjects
Try to broaden the horizon of your knowledge by reading or learning about things that interest you. When you read about things you like, reading does not seem like a task.
You need not remember the entire encyclopedia to be a good conversationalist. You most likely know about many things thanks to this ocean of content we live in. From news about the latest movie to information about turbulence on Twitter — you already know a lot. So, find a common subject you both find intriguing and continue from there.
5. Just keep talking
Practice makes perfect. If you think you are terrible at talking, chances are you try to avoid it at all costs. That is one of the biggest mistakes.
Overcome the fear of stranger danger by stepping out of your comfort zone. Once you start actively seeking people to talk to, you will soon realize people are not as bad as you thought, and they do not mind talking to you.
In this one lifetime, there is only so much we can experience. Why waste the golden opportunity to learn about so many different experiences, so many different people have? Everyone has the ability to inspire you if you look closely enough. Talking to people and getting to know them is like a free masterclass where you can gain knowledge without going through the challenge itself.
Liked what you read? Listen to more intriguing conversations here.