Discover How To Be More Outgoing And Enjoy Conversations
Today we’re going to discuss a tool that’s going to help you in both your social life and your business life—we’re going to explore the art of social connection and how it can boost your confidence, allowing your social life and networking skills to flourish.
Successful networking is all about bonding with people and making good connections. Good business relationships come from making friends either in your own industry or other businesses that relate to your industry. Once you’ve established those connections, you can call on them to help you grow your business in countless ways. In effect, it all comes down to social skills.
When you get into conversations you don’t enjoy, you tell yourself that it’s because you’re an introvert . . . that’s not true. Your social aptitude is not determined by whether you enjoy socializing or not:
It’s about you taking responsibility for your involvement in the conversation.
So, how do we take responsibility and get to the point at which we are comfortable in social situations, whether business related or not? The key is to talk about what you want to talk about.
This might seem simple, but hear me out. When you get stuck talking about stuff that’s not that interesting to you, you have a terrible time and start to believe that it’s merely because you are bad at socializing. Many times, you may feel that you have to carry on with a boring conversation because you don’t want to upset or offend anyone. You merely pretend to be interested. What’s really crazy is that we don’t just stop at feigning interest—most of the time we’ll be so concerned about taking responsibility for the conversation that we’ll ask someone a question that keeps him or her going for another five minutes and releases us from the pressure of coming up with something to say.
You don’t have to do that to yourself. You can assume responsibility for the situation, and it’s easier than it sounds. You simply need to give yourself total permission to take control and shift to what’s most interesting to you.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a boor who only talks about himself and doesn’t care what other people talk about. That’s not going to build a great connection either. You just steer the conversation skillfully so that you can stay interested in it. Here are a couple ways for you to do that:
- Bring up topics that you’re interested in and ask questions about them.
- Ask questions you genuinely want answers to that relate to a topic someone else has brought up (another name I have for this is called “following the fascination,” and it’s a topic I delve into in my program The Confidence Code, which you can check out through links on this page).
Let’s say some guy is talking about remodeling his basement. I’m not super interested in that, but it makes me think about a debate I am currently having with my wife about removing a wall in our home. Since this person is going through his own remodeling experience, I can ask him if he knows about removing walls between rooms. If he knows a lot, maybe we even get to the point where I explain our layout and ask him what he thinks about the situation.
Now he gets to talk about remodeling (which is what he’s into) and I am fascinated in the conversation because I am getting the answers I need. He’s engaged, I’m engaged, and we’re having an awesome time all because I followed my fascination.
Not only can you ask questions about something someone is already talking about, but you can also shift to something else. If someone is talking about what she did for the weekend and mentions twenty things, but you hear her mention her dog, go ahead and make the conversation about that. Even if the other nineteen things were more important than what she did with her dog, it doesn’t matter. You will be more engaged with a conversation about her dog because you love dogs, and the conversation will be more interesting for both of you because you are making a real connection.
The power of this tool lies in your ability to become engaged.
You must take responsibility for your experiences in conversations from now on. You are responsible to do it. Do your best to steer the conversation, and if you try your best and it still bores you to tears, guess what you’re responsible to do? Exit the conversation (I’ll have some tips on how to do that in a future episode).
Now, if just the thought of having a conversation causes you anxiety, you can learn how to break through that as well! Start by checking out my podcast, Shrink for The Shy Guy, on iTunes or at shrinkfortheshyguy.com. You can also check out my book, The Solution to Social Anxiety.
If you want to dive super deep into this stuff, then check out The Confidence Code and additional episodes via the links on the left. You can leave your comments, “like,” or subscribe below as well. I would love to hear about how you have begun to make conversations incredibly engaging and fun for yourself. We can all learn from each other, after all.
Until we meet again, may you have the courage to be who you are and know that you’re awesome.
I’ll talk to you soon.