Some articles on the blog contain affiliate links, which provide a small commission to help fund the blog. However, they won’t affect the price you pay or the blog’s independence. Read more here.
Talking to someone for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you’re not that talkative. Sometimes it leads to uncomfortable and awkward first impressions that we don’t want to make. Then the question that bothers you would be what to say when you don’t know what to say. Let’s find out!
When you don’t know what to say, the first thing to consider is finding a common ground. A common interest helps break the ice between people. This also allows people to find topics to get the conversation going. Afterward, opening up about oneself would make others around them feel at ease. It would also make the conversations less awkward and one-sided.
You should avoid asking people questions that might be too personal. These questions often put people on the spot, making them uncomfortable and ultimately ruining the experience for both of you.
Situations When You Don’t Know What To Say
There are many situations when you might feel like you don’t know what to say to the person you’re having a conversation with. People often find themselves in awkward and unpleasant conversations when they meet for the first time or see a friend after a long time.
One of the situations might be when you’re meeting a stranger. Conversations with strangers are often awkward as you don’t know where to start.
Meeting up with a friend after a long-time might be a situation when you expect that you’d enjoy yourself. But because of the long period that has passed between your last meeting, you’d probably feel like it is hard to strike up a conversation with the same affinity and comfort as before.
What To Say When You Don’t Know What To Say?
Striking up a first-meet conversation with a stranger is a thrilling experience for some. Sometimes, not knowing what to say is one of the reasons people experience communication breakdowns. Maybe begin with small talk and slowly progress to more personal and intimate conversations. This helps people keep conversations less uncomfortable.
I, therefore, suggest a few stages that would help you open up more without it feeling all forced and awkward.
Stage 1: The Small Talk
Meeting someone new and not knowing how to have a proper conversation is something that a lot of people encounter. Some are good at filling up the void with witty small talk, but if you are not one of them, it’s completely okay.
However, one of the ways to avoid this unpleasant situation is to try and find a common ground for both you and the other person. You might start with something general people would have a common interest in. Topics such as music, entertainment or even the weather are generally what could help you begin.
It is actually better not to mention any disturbing or sad incidents you had at the first meeting. There’ll be plenty of time in the future for that if you’re still in touch. Because talking about sad things in the first meeting might put the others in an awkward position where they might be thrown off with what’s appropriate to say.
Then, you can mention the general, more impersonal and objective topics to talk about. If you have something in common, such as a common place you have both been to, it could be a great topic to talk about!
Stage 2: Talk About Both Of Your Interests
You’re probably thinking if you’re enjoying talking to each other, there’s no way you’d find each other’s company boring. As you have gotten the conversation started, there’s a chance of it quickly drying out if you keep quiet.
If you’re one of the people experiencing this kind of awkwardness and afraid of being called the “conversation-stopper”, talking about your interests might help. In real life, we all have certain things that we are fond of or have a deep interest in. This might be liking a particular genre of movies and music or a particular theme of paintings and so on.
If at any point in the conversation, you approach a communication breakdown, talk about your interests. It is necessary to show that you’re not losing interest and really want to keep the conversation going.
Once you talk about your interests, for example, maybe music or drawing, you’d soon notice the other person is also feeling at ease about sharing his/her. Maybe talk about her hobbies, pastimes, or even an interest in something she’d like to pursue in the future such as her career, etc.
Stage 3: Open Up About Yourself
At this stage of the conversation, chances are that you two have already built a sense of comfort. This is essential if you want to maintain a relationship with the listener for a long period. After you’ve talked about general things and your specific interests, it’s time to start talking about yourself and learn about them.
This is a great area to have a conversation about. People are often hesitant to open up about their lives to strangers. Therefore, you could start with sharing small details about yourself. For example, talking about your day-to-day activities and what you like to do daily could be a good starting point.
Talking about morning routines or some special habits you might have are things that show our genuine effort in the conversation. Maybe you can talk about how many members you have in your family and maybe a couple of odd or strange things or customs that run in your house. But, make sure not to freak them out with unusually creepy or weird stuff!
Doing so would help the person you’re trying to have a conversation with also feel at ease. Soon, they’d also start sharing what they are like, in their everyday lives. Go forward, hold the string of topics coming your way, and occasionally throw in one or two amusing remarks along the way.
Stage 4: Talk about Past Experiences
Before you begin talking about your experiences, it is necessary to understand why you’re doing it. The purpose is that you want to give the other person an insight into your life to show that you have an interest in learning about theirs. It also gives a sense of security and amiability, which invites your listeners to also make room for you in their lives.
You may be wondering what kind of experience you can discuss without boring the other person. Well, topics such as your achievements in school or college could be a starter. But remember not to brag about your achievements too much. Also, perhaps a day when you had the opportunity to witness something weird, or a funny thing about your pet, etc.
When you are talking about yourself, observe if the other person is as interested in the subject as you are. Because some people may find these types of personal stories amusing, some people find them to be boring. Ask whether she or he has ever experienced anything similar to yours. It will help them engage in the conversation.
If you were in a dilemma to find out what to say when you don’t know what to say, I hope this article helped you out. Try to show your sincerity through the things you’re saying, show that you can be both amusing and compassionate.
Then you’ll be able to maintain a memorable conversation and hopefully, a friendship that will last a lifetime. Thanks for stopping by!