Breaking Through Small Talk: 5 Tips For Introverts
At some point, you probably attended that party where everyone gathered around for small talk and dreadfully boring, neverending conversations about work.
if you’re an introvert you’ve most likely wished you never went there in the first place and instead stayed home spending time with your couch and favorite TV show or book. Well, don’t be too harsh on yourself for not being able to blend in even though you tried.
As introverts, we are naturally the absolute losers when it comes to petty small talk.
The simple reason is that we constantly strive for more psychologically engaging material when it comes to socializing with people. But since we cannot expect everyone we meet to be tuned to our frequency, from time to time we have to go through the empty small talks, practicing our social skills while we search for meaningful engagement with like-minded souls.
Thankfully there are ways for us to crack through our shells of discomfort so we won’t miss out on those special people.
Here are 5 tips to help us become better at small talk:
1. Don’t let anxiety stand in your way
Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen if I try?”. Just because you’ve had awkward conversations in the past doesn’t mean the next one will go in the same direction.
2. Ask questions
If you want to avoid exposing your personality too early, let the other person reveal herself or himself to you by asking questions. This way you can test the waters before you jump in.
3. Pay close attention
Focus on what they are saying. Some people panic and tend to think about what they are going to say next while the person in front of them is talking in order to not leave awkward, empty space in between the conversation.
Naturally, by following the eye movement and facial expressions of the person we are talking to, we can understand if someone is truly listening to what we have to say, or if they are simply letting us finish while waiting for their own turn. This can cause people we talk to, to get annoyed, and swiftly lose interest in us.
You’ll have more to lose if they discover that you’re not paying attention to them. So try to relax and show genuine interest in what they have to say. This way, before you know it, you will naturally ease into the conversation without having to worry about appearing awkward.
4. Recognize social cues
Some people can be taken aback by the introvert’s reserved nature, which can make us come across as snobs. They can also find our passion for deep conversations a bit too much for a start.
If you feel that the person starts to become slightly nervous when you talk at deep length about a subject,
simply switch topics or ask them a question to keep the flow going.
5. Don’t judge yourself too harshly
As introverts, when conversations and social moments take an unwanted direction, we tend to dwell on these events and criticize ourselves for the mistakes we made. This can make us abstain from trying again and lead us to depression.
Admit on the mistakes you made, and avoid repeating them for next time. Everyone makes mistakes. The key is to use them as stepping stones instead of hindering objects.
And remember, practice will make you strong, resilient, more self-confident in small talk, and eventually happier in your own skin!