Uneasiness in Striking up Conversations
The introverts among us do not like being the center of attention and the life of parties. We prefer small get-togethers with a selected group of familiar friends. We have a tendency to shy away from interacting with new people.
We introverts are not very comfortable with small talk. We would rather choose meaningful conversations about a variety of topics that are closer to our hearts. Consequently, we are likely to find it difficult to strike up conversations in social gatherings, parties, and meetings.
The Positivity Blog discusses a simple and effective technique to help initiate conversations. In essence, as opposed to initiating a conversation with uneasiness, act as if you are meeting one of your best friends. The resulting assurance will ease up the anxiety and help initiate and pursue a conversation with new people. In addition, the ensuing poise results in a more forthcoming body language.
I have adopted this technique to better myself in presentations and speeches, meeting new people at work and play, and overcome my own introversion to the extent that now people often label me as being talkative.
Here are a few more suggestions to help introverts get more comfortable in social gatherings.
- Ask to be introduced. Ask your host or a fellow-attendee to introduce you to the other guests by citing common interests. This will help you connect with other guests over the topic of common interest and pursue a conversation more effortlessly.
- Interact with other introverts. Surveys suggest that 60% of people tend to be introverts. You could identify like-minded folk through their shy body language, approach them, and introduce yourself to them.
- Connect with extroverts. Extroverts like meeting people, enjoy interactions, and love introducing people to one another. Being around extroverts can help overcome some initial difficulty with starting conversations and engaging in small talk in unfamiliar social situations.
- Learn and practice the art of small talk. Most people are enthusiastic about sharing their stories. Favorite sports, travel destinations, kids, opinions of celebrities, movies and other current events make great conversation starters. Steer away from conversations on social or economic status, health, faith, and other personal details. Watch for gestures of discomfort when you ask questions.