Expand Your Conversation Skills by Expanding your Horizions
If you’ve been reading the articles here, and you’re serious about improving your conversation skills, there are a few things you should understand. If you’re reading this either you’re either very motivated to improve, or stuck in the bathroom with nothing to look at. If its the latter, the back of the shampoo bottle is also quite interesting.
You can read all the literature and try out as many programs as you want, and each one will surely have some nuggets of useful information, but until you actually put yourself in the situation where you need to use this information, it will be of little value. All your hard work and studying will slowly wither away and disappear like an atrophied muscle. Use it or lose it.
Get yourself out there and get in the game. JB of Tenacious D said it best:
Sometimes you gotta leave your zone of safety. You have to manufacture Inspirado. You gotta get out of the apartment. You’ve got to run with the wolves. You’ve got to dive into the ocean and fight with the sharks. Or, just treat yourself to a delicious hot fudge sundae. With nuts.
A lot of the problems you face with conversations and shyness, as we mentioned earlier, revolve around the fact that you’re afraid to make a mistake. This pressure might seem to double when dealing with people you’ll see again on a regular basis. Are you nervous about saying something stupid to a person you work with, and forever associating your blunder with their face? Who isn’t?
If you want to get some practice free from this pressure, try and put yourself in a new environment. Don’t turn down that invitation to go to a party where you only know one person. Go to a party where you don’t know anybody, and while you’re there make it a point to talk to at least one person. Make a first impression on a complete stranger you might never see again. Throw your own party, invite people you know and like, tell them to bring a friend. Its much easier to be comfortable on your home turf. Go to a strange bar by yourself, and strike up a conversation. Sit on the patio at the coffee shop. Join a club, a sports team, sign up for an activity at the community center, take a night class.
The goal here is to challenge yourself to break out of the rut. Once you’ve successfully initiated even one conversation you’ve increased your confidence a hundred-fold. You’ve broken that self-defeating fear and put the entire thing in perspective. Next time will be a lot easier, the time after that it will be a breeze.