I check my blog stats everyday, and in the blog stats page, there’s a section there where it shows the search terms that people typed and found you on.  Most of the time, they’re searching for recipes, or mywoodenrobot, but I’ve found this at least two or three times a week, “Getting to know people questions.”

I know the art of a conversation is not an easy one, especially for the shy.  (Don’t worry, I’m shy too!)  But at times, conversation is necessary, so there’s no avoiding it!  Here are a few tips that I came up with that I’ve learned from others, but mostly experience.

  • Know the name of the person you’re talking to!  I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to somebody and they feel like they can get along a conversation without ever mentioning my name.  It feels impersonal and I don’t think I could have put it in better words until I heard this in Lars and the Real Girl [this is off memory, not an exact quote], “Why yes, that’s true Bianca.  Statistics show that a person’s name is their favorite word, so just keep saying it.”
  • Avoid questions that have a “yes” or “no” answer.  Questions with simple answers like those are conversation killers, especially for the quite, hard to talk to people.  Bad question:  “Do you like basketball?”  Better Question:  “What do you think of basketball?”  This question leaves room for answers that the conversation branches off into.
  • Unless you have a history with this person, avoid talking about “the good old days.”  Even though I’ve known my friends for a long time, I still didn’t go to all four years of high school with them, so I always feel left out of conversations when they’re all conversing about the horror teachers and classmates stealing each others’ souls.  This is always hard to avoid in group, but for the sake of others, try to avoid this unless it’s a good story that they’ll all enjoy.
  • Don’t keep the awkward silences in the back of your mind at all times.  Have you ever had a conversation with a person that was so afraid of this happening that they would begin fidgeting around praying to God that a conversation piece would fall from the sky?  I have.  *sigh*  I’m ashamed to say that I’ve also been that person.  It’s not fun.  Just let the conversation flow naturally.  If you run into an akward silence, look around your surroundings for something to talk about.  The simplest thing could spark something great.
  • LISTEN.  Your conversation will never get anywhere if you only want to hear yourself talking.  You can do that later, alone in your car…  (lol)

I hope this helped all of you that are terrified of human contact.  The internet makes it so much easier to communicate with others, but I think this is still relevant even in instant messaging or email! 

 Do you have any other tips?  Questions?  Comments?   Leave a comment below or contact me!