The human being is an amazing animal for the simple fact of having the power to converse; through speech, we can both cooperate and persuade or even defend our perception of the world, or just meet people and seduce. However, and while the range of possibilities offered by word art is almost limitless, there are situations where none of it matters because we find ourselves stuck trying to chat with someone. a.
Uncomfortable silences are situations that many want to avoid but which, incomprehensibly, appear again and again in many people’s daily lives. However, by learning some social skills, it is possible to master a few simple ones. tips to avoid these annoying silences. Let’s see how to do it.
Social skills to avoid awkward silences
You speak to a person with whom you have hardly crossed a few words before, and everything goes perfectly: during the first minute, you realize that you could easily have overcome this phase of uncertainty in which you have to decide how to start conversation., and at the moment everything seems to be on wheels. However, there comes a point when the subject you are talking about apparently no longer gives up on itself, and that obnoxious awkward silence arises. What didn’t go well?
As we will see, there are different answers to the previous question. To explain this, we’ll look at several strategies for avoiding these little relationship problems. Of course, in each of them it is assumed that the conversation has already started. If you also want to know how to start talking to someone you don’t trust a lot, it’s best to check out this other article: “How to Start a Conversation with Whoever You Want, in 6 Steps”
Without further ado, let’s see what steps to take to have smooth conversations and where naturalness prevails.
1. Focus on the positive aspects of the other
It might sound strange, but flattery has something to do with awkward silences or, rather, the absence of awkward silences. And it is that very often these “dead points” of the conversation were neither more nor less than what we or our interlocutors adopted. a defensive attitudeThis is, on the other hand, common when you don’t know much about the person you’re talking to. In the face of uncertainty, we subconsciously believe that it is best not to expose vulnerabilities through what we say.
Therefore, flattery is a simple and easy way to break down a lot of those defenses. The consequence is that the person who receives these positive reviews spoken out loud will be more open, more expansive and at the same time more comfortable.
2. Start conversations about something that interests the other
It’s a simple way to avoid annoying silences. On the one hand, allows you to skip these phases of formal conversation composed of topics that do not have to be of interest (time, work in general, etc.), and on the other hand, puts our interlocutors at ease to talk about something that they are passionate about and what they have a lot of ideas. For example, you can talk about hobbies, news in an interesting topical area, etc. The answers are therefore unlikely to be short.
3. Don’t talk about breaks
One of the key aspects of awkward silences is that for them to occur, almost any pause in the conversation must be interpreted as an “error,” a symptom that those involved in the dialogue do not connect to. However, this should not happen; a break can mean a lot of things.
For example, it is possible that in order to underline a statement it is accompanied by a pause displayed here, so that the strength of the response is highlighted and, therefore, we have a very clear opinion of what we are doing. speak.
Many times an uncomfortable silence appears when this happens and we cannot draw attention to the expressive power of this fact: we just say a sentence and we are silent because we fail to conceive of another possible response. However, on some topics on which one might expect opinions other than our own, the mere fact of having created this silence is in itself another topic of conversation, as gives rise to explain why we are so sure of what we say.
In other cases, awkward silence can occur because the other person responds briefly and concisely. In these cases, we can reverse the situation so that the interpretation comes out that it is a sign that it is the interlocutor who is nervous and does not know how to continue speaking.
Faced with these situations, it is good to adopt a benevolent attitude and to redirect the conversation by implying that one releases oneself from the responsibility of continuing to speak to the other person; sign of good will: “well, if I understood you correctly, it seems that you do not agree with the proposed reforms …”. Of course, this has to be done if there is really reason to believe that the silence is due in part to the other’s nerves, and not just because they don’t want to keep talking.
4. Get used to giving opinions without fear
Everyone will be eager to end a conversation if all we bring to the dialogue is one question after another. Interrogations don’t please anyone, And they are the most conducive context for seemingly awkward silences. The solution to this is simple: avoid asking questions all the time.
In practice, if what you say is interesting or expresses an original point of view, the effect of these contributions to the dialogue will be very similar to that of a question requiring an answer. For example, if the other person talks about one of their hobbies and you talk about what you know about that activity by adding an opinion, the other person will feel called to take a position in front of this kind of statement. .
In short, we must keep in mind that questions are not the only tool to make the other person speak, and sometimes it is quite the opposite: something that leads our interlocutors to decide to stop talking.