Banish Awkwardness with This Simple Technique
Awkward pauses happen all the time in conversations with someone you’ve just met.
Awkwardness is not the end of the world. But it can feel very uncomfortable for those with little experience talking to strangers.
And for some people, over time the fear of awkwardness can transform into a horrific bogeyman of anxiety. It becomes so intimidating that they shy away from networking situations just to avoid awkwardness.
Overcoming awkwardness and being totally comfortable in new conversations will take time.
But in the short-term, use this quick fix: just keep talking.
Yep, it’s as simple as that. You can talk about almost anything:
- “Oh hey, you want to hear something funny?” [insert funny story from work that happened this week]
- “By the way, you mentioned you were born in Florida, how is it there?”
- “That reminds me of something my friend said earlier today…”
It could be almost anything. People are not so concerned about the substance of what you’re saying when you first meet them. Instead it’s more about the energy and comfort that they feel in your presence.
Even if the new topic is unrelated to what was being said, that doesn’t matter. The other person might notice the change of topic for half a second. But after that, they will be too busy focusing on the story you are telling them or the information you’re sharing.
Chitchat and small talk are tools. They are always available to you to fall back on whenever you feel any awkward silence start to creep up.
Once the conversation is rolling again, it can then lead into more valuable and engaging topics, naturally and spontaneously.