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Advice on having discussions

Stazy

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All my life I've been a quite person. It's not that I'm socially withdrawn or excessively shy, but rather I've always been more inclined to listen rather than talk.

I'm now beginning to believe that this may have adverse affects. That is, when I want to start a conversation I'm often at a loss of what to say. Furthermore, when I've succesfully initiated a conversation, it seems as though I struggle to keep it flowing.

I also seem to have a tough time inviting people to partake in group activities (such as going to a bar, movie, sporting event, etc). I'm not sure if this is a fear of rejection or not, but it is something else I'd like to remedy.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 

vanity

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Start putting yourself into uncomfortable situations. Situations you normally avoid b/c you don't like them. You need to train your brain to handle new, varying scenarios and build a confidence level with them.

If you've been a wallflower for the most part, you won't change over night. You've got to continually enter into awkward situations and work at coming out on top. It takes practice, practice, practice. Just like anything else in life.
 

Quirk

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Originally Posted by vanity
Start putting yourself into uncomfortable situations. Situations you normally avoid b/c you don't like them. You need to train your brain to handle new, varying scenarios and build a confidence level with them. If you've been a wallflower for the most part, you won't change over night. You've got to continually enter into awkward situations and work at coming out on top. It takes practice, practice, practice. Just like anything else in life.
Who the hell are you? Does Vanity know you're using his log-in?
laugh.gif
 

vanity

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I used to be a really great people-person and worked very hard at it. It became a game to win people over, score dates, job interviews, networking contacts, etc. I had tons of friends, was very socially active, and honestly enjoyed the company of others. It was after years of dealing with so many people that I became the sociopathic and scathing person I am today.
 

Quirk

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Originally Posted by vanity
I used to be a really great people-person and worked very hard at it. It became a game to win people over, score dates, job interviews, networking contacts, etc. I had tons of friends, was very socially active, and honestly enjoyed the company of others. It was after years of dealing with so many people that I became the sociopathic and scathing person I am today.
laugh.gif
I hear you.
 

Alter

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Originally Posted by Stazy

Anyone have any suggestions?


There are some excellent books that have great advice on this. I would start with the classic "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It can change your life!

Also, learn to ask effective questions and to be a good active listener. Those are the keys to being a good conversationalist.
 

Gladhatter

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Originally Posted by Alter
There are some excellent books that have great advice on this. I would start with the classic "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It can change your life!

Also, learn to ask effective questions and to be a good active listener. Those are the keys to being a good conversationalist.



AGREED and tells self to follow this advise. Needs badly.
 

Stazy

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Originally Posted by Alter
There are some excellent books that have great advice on this. I would start with the classic "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It can change your life!

Also, learn to ask effective questions and to be a good active listener. Those are the keys to being a good conversationalist.


I just ordered the book from Amazon. I'm looking forward to reading it.
 

Bandwagonesque

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Originally Posted by Stazy
All my life I've been a quite person. It's not that I'm socially withdrawn or excessively shy, but rather I've always been more inclined to listen rather than talk.

You must fit right in with the Finns
lol8[1].gif


I'm the same way too - the silent observer rather than the center of attention.
 

texas_jack

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People love to talk about themselves so you may want to work on asking meaningful questions. This will encourage people to talk and then you just follow on what they are talking about.

Second, you may want to have a stock of subjects that you like talking about that you can go to when you don't have anything to say. I know this sounds contrived but most people do this naturally. Just sit around and think of some things you like and next time you talk to someone bring it up. Preferably something non-psychopathic.

Finally, the advice about putting yourself in awkard situations is very true. Familiarity builds comfort. Start hanging out at a local bar and become a regular.
 

vanity

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Originally Posted by Stazy
I just ordered the book from Amazon. I'm looking forward to reading it.

I would also recommend that.

A lot of Harvey Mackay and Tom Peters books are the same way. Even though they're business-oriented books, they're for client-facing results. So many of their tactics and tools apply to everyday, real-world life.

I read "Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive" when I was 16. After that it all became a game and my social life completely exploded. Great stuff and extremely interesting to learn/use (to me at least).

http://www.amazon.com/Sharks-Without.../dp/0449911489
 

Brian SD

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I might read that book. I'm the type that always has to be the center of attention around friends. I am never silent and rarely observe.
 

MrRogers

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Originally Posted by Stazy
All my life I've been a quite person. It's not that I'm socially withdrawn or excessively shy, but rather I've always been more inclined to listen rather than talk.

I'm now beginning to believe that this may have adverse affects. That is, when I want to start a conversation I'm often at a loss of what to say. Furthermore, when I've succesfully initiated a conversation, it seems as though I struggle to keep it flowing.

I also seem to have a tough time inviting people to partake in group activities (such as going to a bar, movie, sporting event, etc). I'm not sure if this is a fear of rejection or not, but it is something else I'd like to remedy.

Anyone have any suggestions?


I can really relate stazy, I'm definately more of a listener than a talker and definately an all-around quiet guy. I've had some great accomplishments in my life but still I find starting up a conversation with someone to be the most difficult thing in the world for me.

If I have to speak to someone about a specific topic or matter I'm fine, however, general conversation has always been really hard for me, so much so that I really have isolated myself over the past few years. I'm in grad school now working on a PhD in psych and I work as a psychotherapist as well. In my field everyones a little strange so I think I fit in rather well
bigstar[1].gif


When you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable starting up a conversation, try and monitor the first few thoughts that pop into your head. Alot of people fear a negative evaluation from others and withdraw as a result.

good luck

MrR
 

Tck13

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Originally Posted by Stazy
All my life I've been a quite person. It's not that I'm socially withdrawn or excessively shy, but rather I've always been more inclined to listen rather than talk. I'm now beginning to believe that this may have adverse affects. That is, when I want to start a conversation I'm often at a loss of what to say. Furthermore, when I've succesfully initiated a conversation, it seems as though I struggle to keep it flowing. I also seem to have a tough time inviting people to partake in group activities (such as going to a bar, movie, sporting event, etc). I'm not sure if this is a fear of rejection or not, but it is something else I'd like to remedy. Anyone have any suggestions?
Conversation is a funny thing. I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules outside of being polite and tactful. To make a long story short, I try to lead conversations either by talking about something I love or know about ("that's a cool band", "Do you like motorcycles?") or comment on the other person. If the other person doesn't have the same interest (music, sports, motorcycles, clothing, or whatever) You can then ask / find out what interests them ("You don't like Lincoln Park - who do you like?"). Or, talk about something that you know interests them. The other person (people in general) gives off tons of clues (a hat with some logo, t-shirt with a band, John Lobb shoes) that can get things started. Humor works pretty well also. One can say, "So, you don't like U2? You must be a Garth Brooks fan!"
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I am not sure if just putting yourself into awkward situations (although a new situation may feel awkward) is a great idea as people sense insecurity and it pushes them away. Also, if the conversation doesn't flow, let it go. Don't try to force conversation. People will think you're desperate. Finally, don't try to have a long drawn out conversation. Just keep it light and, sometimes after saying something, let them walk away or go get something to drink or whatever. Even a small opening line and brief greeting has broken the ice for later (especially if it's a girl / woman). You can always go back later and talk more. Talking to people is easiest when in a relaxed situation such as someone's house, a small party, hanging out with friends, even weddings? It's much more difficult in large groups of people, bars (everyone's defenses are up), concerts (noise, lots of stuff going on). The smaller or more relaxed atmosphere the easier to talk (for me anyway). If someone doesn't talk back, there could be many reasons and it probably isn't about you (especially if it's a girl - imo). As far as group activities, it's hard to get a group of three or more to do anything together. That takes work and if it's something serious (party, bowling, whatever) a little bit of advance warning and planning always increases the chances of people showing up.
 

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