What to say when you have nothing to say?

By 08:00 ,

This is always a difficult one, at social occasions, at a meal wherever, what do you say when you have nothing to say?

Firstly I would say work out three topics which are different and which you have a lot to say about. Top figure these out think about:

  • What interests do you have? This can be anything from a bird watching to shopping for clothes
  • What experiences have you had? Where have you visited, exotic islands, villages nearby. Have you had any adventures or accidents? Did you ever get stuck in Wales with only an umbrella and a car with no petrol?
  • What do you like? Do you have a passion for blogging and writing or painting or planning holidays? How do find time for this, when/ where do you do it? Does this tie in with your job?
Have a few anecdotes, some stories that you can know so well. If you are in company you've known for a long time can you draw on previous things you've done with them? I have had quite a few accidents and many of them have happened in some quite entertaining circumstances like walking off a treehouse (there was a swing, I missed it). I always like that story, I probably tell it too often.
Know what you talk about too often, do you always talk about your job? Do you continue to repeat the unlucky illnesses of your blind, deaf cat that you've had for what seems like centuries?
Here is something you can do.
So you have the story about playing tennis, it's your favourite hobby and you like to talk about it all the time but everyone has heard about when you went to Wimbledon and when you hit that ace against a champion. Instead briefly mention one line about tennis: "I've been so busy I haven't managed to get down to the courts as much" then move on to something related but not the same such as being healthy "Now I haven't been playing quite as much I'm really trying to eat more salads and fruit." Ask them a question. Then you can relate it back to an old anecdote "when I was at school I hated sports can you believe it? And those gym outfits, and my teacher he was the worst always making us run a million miles it seemed." Then they can talk about their experiences when they were children.

The other main problem is getting an 'In' into the conversation.  How do you begin your brilliant anecdote if accidents or pets are not even near the conversations. It is difficult to find a route and people often spend too long working out how to have the perfect first sentence that they aren't actually listening.

I find this really hard, I often sit/stand there trying desperately not to be the silent person watching as everyone else has an animated conversation. So what to do? One way to solve this is to just say anything. But this can be difficult for a lot of people. Relate everything back to you, that's easiest because you have a stack of memories, just say one sentence. For example, makeup, you don't know anything about it. Be honest, just say so, ask their advice.

Well in doubt ask about the other person, people like to talk about themselves - it's the easiest topic. Compliment their top, ask where they got it, where is the shop? That's quite near where you play tennis ... see it all goes in a loop to whatever conversation you want.

What are your top tips for talking to other people? How do you strike up conversation with a stranger? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and helpful tips.

Have a wonderful week,

follow me on twitter @theclumsyword
Photo 1: cmgrclass.syr.edu Photo 2:www.professionallyspeaking.net Photo 3:www.lcup.net

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