But... you’re not much of a talker.
You’re asking yourself something along the lines of: “How do I talk to girls? How do I meet new friends? How do I keep conversations interesting without getting awkward?”
Maybe you’re shy or just too lazy to carry on a conversation or simply do not give a fuck about other people.
You’re quiet, an introvert and quite possibly feel drained if you talk too much to other people. You might even consider yourself a bit “socially awkward”
But you realize making new friends and maintaining old ones requires actually participating in a conversation.
Friendships and dating, relationships, seem like a lot of effort and you’d rather sit on the couch all day than have to worry about it.
Unfortunately, that puts you in a perpetual loop of wanting to go out with friends or meet new people, but feeling too shy and awkward to actually do those things. It creates this feeling of loneliness.
Luckily for you, the key to attracting people (as friends or otherwise) is to get them talking.
For the most part, you lean on back and let the other person do all the heavy lifting for you. Embrace your laziness and let them talk.
You ask a question and let them answer, then follow up with another question.
People absolutely LOVE talking about themselves. They love being the center of attention. They love feeling important, like their story matters.
All you need to do is make them feel like they matter.
Just. Ask. Questions.
That’s it really. You don’t need to put on a show or “try” to make the conversation interesting.
As a matter of fact...
Being a great conversationalist is less about being interesting and more about being curious.
You’ll be doing a lot more listening than speaking.
You'll transform from a Socially Awkward Penguin into a Smooth Talking Sloth if you read this blog to the end and go apply it.
So you ask questions...Then what? How do you even know what questions to ask?
Actually pay attention to what the other person says. Even then, not much attention is required, as you can eventually learn to pick up “key words” and know what sort of “threads” to look for based on those key words, as we’ll explain in detail in a bit.
Did s/he mention she has a dog? Follow up with a question about the cutest thing he's done. Did s/he mention their favorite music? Ask their favorite album s/he listens to or any concerts she's been to.
You basically create these conversation "threads" and can essentially never run out of things to talk about.
Think of talking to a person like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure Book and each "thread" is a different story path you can explore.
When you read a CYOA book, you go back and read the different paths to get the "fulls story" and all the possibilities.
Apply this theory to your conversations. Just like flipping back some pages, you can also "take it back" to a previous turning point, or "thread" in the conversation and "see where it goes".
You can go back to any thread/turning point *at any time* and "see where else it goes.”
Using the dog example, s/he may tell a story about how her dog swam in her pool and loved the water.
You can tease them and say "oh wow a puppy and a pool. Someone was spoiled as a kid"
Gently teasing shows a high level of comfort and confidence.
But just make it natural and not forced. Also, try to avoid over-teasing. There’s a fine line between being playful and being a bully.
You can then ask them if they had any pool parties, and maybe s/he tells you about that one crazy day s/he and the entire swim team went skinny dipping.
Boom! Now you know she was on the swim team and you know s/he went skinny dipping
Did you get caught? would be a good question here and may open more threads and an entire story in itself.
You can also choose to tease them again and be like "that's awesome. remind me to never let you in my pool"
A good go-to question, if you're stuck or can't think back to a thread or maybe were just too lazy to be paying full attention is "How did it make you feel?"
This question works more so with girls than guys. In general, guys like questions that allow them to express their knowledge or ability. Girls like questions that allow them to express their emotions.
There are exceptions of course and ideally you should mix in both for either gender but lean
towards one or the other, depending on the type of response you get.
Are they answering more enthusiastically when you dive into their knowledge or their emotions?
To dig for knowledge, you could say something like "explain that in more detail" or "tell me what you mean" or “How did you figure that out?”
Also, don't try to "fill in the gaps" and break the silence. Just relax. Take a moment to absorb the information. It's sometimes good to let a little silence create social pressure, and it again shows confidence that you're patient and not so jittery to quickly say something
Procrastinate the conversation for a few moments.
In terms of body language, lean back with open arms. You're not interrogating them, you're just talking. Also, avoid nervous laughter. It helps to hang out at a place you feel comfortable at and can “live in your humble abode”. Embrace the Lazy mindset and put yourself in a place of leisure, where you’re totally relaxed, if not physically, at least mentally.
As a rule of thumb: Ask questions that you are genuinely curious about. Your motive is curiosity -- behind every conversation.
Don’t force a question just to ask a question. Don’t ask dumb questions.
Like “oh you mentioned you like purple. Do you have a lot of purple clothes?”
No one cares about the colors of another person’s wardrobe (unless they’re obsessed with like, a celebrity or something) and you certainly don’t either.
Only ask questions that you would actually want to know the answer to. You’re trying to avoid talking here and wasting precious time and energy so you can go back to bed, so don’t waste your breath asking POINTLESS questions.
You want to ask COMPELLING questions that engage. Avoid mundane, small-talk questions. You can “small talk” to get the conversation started, but eventually you’re gonna have to dive deeper.
This will create a deeper connection and stronger rapport with that person.
The truth about small talk is no one really likes small talk. It’s boring, redundant, and a waste of breath. Skip to the juicy bits, like you skip a Netflix show intro. Ask the *good* questions. Get to the show and skip the fancy introduction.
Like okay they mentioned the color purple, maybe they’re into fashion, maybe they started a fashion company or work as a model, maybe their an artist or a painter. NOW you’re on to something.
While you can “choose your own adventure”, you want to make it an actual ADVENTURE and not a regurgitated conversation you both had a thousand times over.
If you were actually reading a book, you’d want the dialogue between characters to be interesting, compelling, inspiring you to want to, you know, actually read it.
Likewise, you want to make your IRL dialogue interesting, otherwise people will want to put down the book -- end the conversation.
How do you make IRL dialogue interesting? Again, not by being interesting yourself, but by being curious and making *the other person* interesting (or at least appear interesting anyway).
Your goal as a great conversationalist, and lazy PRO-crastin8r who minimizes effort and maximizes results, is to make the other person believe they are interesting. And quite consequently in doing so, you will appear interesting yourself.
Open-ended questions are typically the best in terms of inspiring conversation. Don’t ask too many “yes” or “no” questions.
A child will always asks “Why?” about nearly everything, because they’re just naturally curious about things. Embrace the same level of enthusiasm, just don’t be as annoying about it.
Think about what “thread” would be interesting to find out or learn more about, then follow it.
Ask the questions that everyone wants to know the answers to, but are afraid to ask.
As your conversation unfolds, switch between a serious tone and witty banter. Too much seriousness makes you dull. Too much quirkiness makes you a clown.
It's a balancing act, but don't overthink it. You'll learn to ride the waves so to speak, and know when and how to switch accordingly. Relax and “go with the flow”
Humor and banter also goes a long way in creating compelling conversation and making it fun, as well as build rapport.
But definitely shouldn't be used as a crutch. It should be used as a purposeful rapport building exercise and lightening of the conversation, not a "well this is awkward. let me tell a joke"
Procrastinate the conversation with purpose.
It's better to let there be silence than to have a poorly timed joke.
It's best to avoid self depreciation humor completely, or use very very sparingly. This can easily come off as insecure. For the most part, I'd say don't use it at all until you have the skill to carry on a conversation and tell jokes without resorting to it.
Teasing can be good too, as it shows a level of comfort, but too much of it can also just come across as salty. There's a fine line between teasing and bullying, as mentioned earlier.
Improv is an incredible skill and joining a local improv group is an incredible experience. It can definitely help with sparking the humor side of things and keeping a conversation flowing.
The truth (and the ability to point it out) is funny.
Honesty is what a lot of humor comes down to.
The funniest people are normally the ones that aren't even trying to be funny, but just speak their minds. A lot of great stand up comedians are funny because they are just telling the truth.
No need to be an overthetop slapstick clown to get a few laughs. Plus, that’s a lot of work, which you probably want to avoid anyway.
Show you have a sense of humor but not that you're a jester here to entertain. That’s an extra job you don’t want.
Laughing at your own jokes, especially before anyone else laughs should be avoided (and even more especially if it's self depreciating) as it communicates a lack of self esteem and will encourage people to DISrespect you.
Remember, the most compelling conversations are perfectly balanced between humor and seriousness. But again, I can't stress enough: you'll be doing a FRACTION of the actual talking.
Not only should you listen to the words of the person you are talking to so you can create more threads in the conversation down the line, but in your free time...
Listen to Talk Show and radio hosts. These are literally professional conversationalists.
They know how to get answers out of their guests and they know how to keep a conversation flowing smoothly. The more you listen, the more you'll be able to replicate the style of others and combine it to create a unique conversation style of your own.
You'll learn it's less about what you say, but how you say it .
It helps to know a little bit about everything. You can relate with knowledge and personal anecdotes but keep it brief.
By listening to talk shows, you'll get a sense of how to integrate your own ideas, anecdotes, and jokes into a conversation but keep the "guest" (the person you talk to) in the spotlight.
Now how do you start a conversation in the first place??
A good conversation starter is always some current event. Current events work wonders in getting people talking. It kind of knocks people out of “their own little world” and gets them thinking “oh yeah, we share this world together, and there’s some bizarre shit going on”.
You can also use something they’re wearing as a conversation starter.
Avoid commenting physical body features (especially to girls). First, they hear this type of shit all the time. Second, there aren’t really many conversation threads you can open from “nice tits, nice ass, nice eyes.”
Instead look at what’s she’s wearing/holding.
Maybe she’s wearing a t-shirt for her soccer team or maybe she’s in a classy business suit.
“I noticed you were wearing [blank] and thought you might [insert assumption]”
Guys rarely receive positive attention, so compliments actually go a long way for them.
Once they mention some personal info, use it as a thread to create further engagement.
They basically do 80% of the talking. You lead the conversation. That's it.
You only put in 20% of the effort. That’s the lazy way. That’s the effective way. You put in very little effort, yet people will be drawn to you.
It’ll win you way more friends and dates than you ever did actually “trying” to be liked and a good talker.
Now in order for this to happen, in order to be successful at winning friends as a charismatic Bard or something...
You must eventually dive deep into who they are, as a person -- their beliefs, their fears, their goals.
Think like a journalist and "find the story".
Every person has a story and unique perspective.
Strike up "no risk" conversations like a cashier, waitress, or bar tender just so you practice your conversationalist skills.
That way, when you approach a girl (or potential lover of any gender) she's just another person you're talking to and not some princess you're trying to woo or whatever.
Take the pressure off yourself. Chill dude.
You don’t have to talk a lot to be a great conversationalist. You just have to know how to get other people to talk a lot.
And that’s the secret that lazy people know.
Always end the conversation on YOUR terms..
Make the person want *more*.
Don’t wait for it to get awkward. Don’t wait for them to tell you they have to go themselves.
Be the one to end the conversation first. Always. Besides, they’re lucky you got out of bed, yet alone are talking to them, of all people, in the first place.
Wait for an opportune time, when positive emotions are high -- a good time is when you get the person laughs hard --- then take your exit.
“Hey, I gotta go get back to playing video games.” or whatever. Communicate that, yeah maybe they were interesting, but you have better *more interesting* things to do.
How long the conversation lasts varies depending on the situation. Like if it’s a person you just met, keep it under 10 minutes.
If it’s an old friend, you could go on for a few hours.
Remember, time is you most valuable asset, especially as a procrastinator. There are movies to watch, naps to take, video games to play. You ain’t got time to talk or hang out too long, but when you do, you make people want to be around you and share details about themselves that they don’t normally share.
It’s better to talk little and say a lot than to talk a lot and say little.
Confession: I used to be that awkward shy lazy nerd in high school, but now I’m a smooth, suave talker. I’m still lazy though. I just found a way to talk “enough” to be interesting.
This stuff worked for me and can hopefully work for you too.