How to be social is one of the topic we all want to be good at. Sometimes, one of the biggest obstacles you may face when trying to make new friends or new people in general is the awkward silence. Encountering the situation is so uncomfortable that it can even force you to avoid meeting new people in the first place. Conversing with people is one of the ways to be extremely social. How to never run out of things to say in a conversation is a very important skill that everyone should know.
Luckily there is a way to get around it. Today we will discuss how filtering, threading, and pratfall effect can help you to keep a conversation going and never run out of things to say again in your conversations. Also, it can influence your conversation and transform you into talkable and likeable person.
First I need you to understand why awkward moments happen?
When you feel like you’ve run out of things to say with stranger, you actually haven’t. You simply run out of things that have passed your internal filter of “things good enough to say to a stranger”. This is a common behavior. The habit of filtering-holding back from saying something until you’ve “checked” with yourself to make sure that what you’re about to say is cool, impressive, smart, and interesting. This habit can really hinder your ability to develop your communication skills. So how do we fix it?
1. Remove the Filter
Fixing it is pretty darn simple it just requires deliberate practice to remove the filter. This is the reflex that allows you to say whatever goes on in your mind. So no more filtering, no checking with yourself “Would I sound cool if I say this?” None of that! Start to practice this ‘no filtering approach’ with people you know and are not total strangers at first. It’s fun to realize that you’re allowed to say whatever is on your mind, and that is totally okay. As long as you don’t say anything extremely inappropriate that could land you in jail, you’ll be just fine! People don’t care too much about how “awesome” what you’re saying is, because they’re too focused on their own filters and thoughts.
2. Thread of Conversation
The second very powerful technique, I want to talk about is threading. Threading is essentially branching off the conversation in different directions. For example, if you get a response like “I went to London last year to intern for six months.” You could ask if they like London, which company they went to, what is their field of work, or you could shift the focus of the conversation, you could response with “Really? I went to London last year too!” or “I like to visit London one day, I love travelling!” You could continue the conversation in multiple ways using the threads that are provided, for example continue talking about London, talk about the company or field of work, or maybe talk about your own internship experiences – you could literally talk for hours starting from that simple response. Just be creative and remember the first technique to remove your filter when talking with them.
3. The Pratfall Effect
The third one is psycholigical tip that you can use to literally make yourself instantly more likeable and easy to talk to. It’s called the Pratfall Effect and it states that your likeability increases if you aren’t perfect. When people see that you are not perfect and you make mistake, you appear more human, more like others, and so more likeable. People who are perfect can seem threatening, but people who are imperfect are safe and hence easier to truly like. If you want to be liked and easy to talk to, make mistake sometimes (or Just admit to error), but do it in context where it’s safe, don’t do it in front of your boss thinking he will like you more. You’ll just get yourself fired.
The beauty in these tips is that they work together perfectly. When you remove your filter, you will say things that come on top of your head, and you will make mistakes and blunders. By doing so, the Pratfall Effect will start to do its magic, people will like you more and they will open up easier because you seem more human, they will talk more, giving you more threads and branches that you can lead the conversation into. More branches lead to deeper conversations and increased likeability. It’s a cycle where it only gets easier and easier.
The main thing is that you shouldn’t get stuck inside your head thinking that the world will end if you say something silly, it won’t, it will barely get noticed because people have trouble with their own confidence, filters, and thoughts. Just talk about what you want to talk about, crack a joke if you feel like it, don’t try to appear perfect because no one is and I assume being one would be lonely and no fun at all.
Maghfira Ahda Amalia
XII Science 7