Just when you think you are having a smooth conversation with an acquaintance or a friend, comes that little break, where the brain freezes and you feel completely lost.
Yes, awkward silences are part and parcel of all conversations. It can get embarrassing too.
Just looking away or surveying the scenery is not a good option. The conversation must flow again to restore your equanimity and that of the opposite person.
So stop fidgeting with your keys or watch and chin up. You have grey cells so exercise it. And in case you need help, check this list of expert tips.
These tips, ( words of wisdom ! ) may help unblock the head, unfreeze the brain and break the wall of silence.
- Emotional connect is extremely important. Small talk about the weather or “how’s it going,” will probably hit a wall after some time. Get emotionally connected with the person in conversation with so that his/her level of comfort increases.
- You could ask some personal questions on any subject or ask about his/her last vacation or what exercises he/she does or how they spend their evenings. It is sure to move the conversation forward.
- Ask the person about his personal tastes in films, movies or his views on the current political situation or religion.
- It is a good idea to memorise the subject you are talking about and break the silence barrier by asking a personal opinion on any aspect of the subject. Or get technical. That gives you time too to think up other things and move the talk forward.
- Don’t worry. You can ask silly questions too. Don’t be harsh on yourself by feeling stupid. It does work and the other person probably won’t even notice it.
- If you are dealing with a reticent person or a famous one, get them to feel comfortable first. Fire some harmless questions or some passing remarks so they warm up to the task and then let them hold the floor. Don’t make it sound like an interview.
- Don’t be afraid to profess your own opinion or relate your own experiences if need be. Throw in your own two-bit during conversations and let the other person react. This helps in bonding.
- Mutual interests are excellent. If you come across anything which is interesting to both, bring back that subject during silences.
- There are two questions which are a sure-shot solution to keep things moving – “Where are you from” and “Did you hear about ….”.
- Don’t forget the golden rule – it is the “You” factor which is important. So ask questions starting with you.
And if all this doesn’t help, God will.
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