A Conversation Checklist for Making Friends
Conversation is an important part of making new friends. Communication is the key to all relationships.
You might have learned how to bisect a triangle in high school, but it’s unlikely anyone taught you how to have a successful conversation.
Some of us were lucky enough to be born with this skill. Others need a little guidance and a lot of practice. Either way, enhancing this skill can yield great benefits in your live.
- Smile. It’s easier to start and maintain a conversation if you’re smiling. Imagine two people at a party. One is smiling, and the other is clearly unhappy. Which one would you rather speak to?
- Having a smile is extending an invitation to everyone to enter your personal space and begin a conversation. Smiling will also keep people in a conversation longer.
- Have a positive attitude. If you find social interaction with strangers uncomfortable, you might have an ineffective perspective. Avoid having a conversation with the goal of impressing the other person. You don’t even know them. How can you know what will impress them?
- Have the intention of getting to know the other person.
- Show that you’re a friendly person.
- Make the other person feel good about themselves.
- If you can do these three things, you’ll have more friends than you can cram into your schedule.
- Ask questions. Questions demonstrate interest. It’s also an easy way to get the ball rolling. Ask questions that require a longer response than a simple yes or no answer. Ask the other person about their hobbies or other interests. Find out what they enjoy and ask a few questions about that.
- Show interest. You can show interest by asking questions, giving your full attention, maintaining eye contact, being a good listener, and with your facial expressions. Be interested. It’s the greatest compliment you can give someone.
- Use the other person’s name. Ensure you get the other person’s name and then use it in conversation. “That’s so funny, Steve.” People love to hear their name. It will also make it easier for you to remember it. The more you say it, the less likely you are to forget it.
- Keep the conversation going. Allow the conversation to drift to more interesting topics than the weather, work, and the Cubs prospects this year. Use questions to keep the conversation moving forward. Look for topics that interest you both. This is a key component of any friendship.
- Stay in touch. You’re not going to make a new BFF in 10 minutes of chatting, but you never know what the future may hold. Ensure that you can speak again in the future. Give the other person your business card and exchange phone numbers or email addresses.
- Practice as much as you can. Imagine that everyone you meet has been sent to give you the practice you need to master your communication skills. You’ll never run out of potential victims for practicing. You might become the most popular person you know.
Sharpening your conversational skills can boost your social life to a new level. Each conversation you have is a new chance to practice your skills and potentially make a new friend.
Keep these tips in mind when chatting with someone new. With a little practice, you can have the conversational skills of a talk show host.