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Dear Wendy

how to be fun and exciting and carry a conversation

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by avatarHolly-Doggo.
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  • #1031858 Reply

    so im usually quite quiet and shy at school, but the other day a popular girl asked if i would like to hang out with her on the weekend. i am really nervous about this, because i feel like i have no personality and am boring and will have nothing to talk with her about. The worst part is, its not that she invited me because she like me or thought i seemed fun to hang out with, i think she just made a random decision to ask me to meet up. i would be going with my other friend who i have known for 2 and a half years, and even with her conversation never flows easily or is fun and there are always long awkward silences because we have absolutely nothing to talk about. its also not as if she is popular in the mean girl way, she is actually nice and funny. i think sometimes i can have quite a good funny personality, but if i cant even be my funny personality around my friend of almost three years, how will i around this girl? i am really really nervous about this because i never ever meet up with people outside school because i just get way too anxious. i guess what im asking i show do i keep have fun conversations with people i have nothing in common with (she wont be interested in world news, we are 14). i need to be funny and exciting i cant be boring and closed off. Any advice?

    #1031871 Reply

    This is the sort of thing that is easily over-thought. You’re fine. “I don’t have a personality!” is not thought that occurs to someone who doesn’t have a personality. The dullest people have given no thought to what their personality is actually like.

    There really isn’t a secret art to conversation, other than talk about things you find interesting and hope they find them interesting too. If the conversation seems strained or dull, music can help fill the in-between space, and activities can be great for getting conversation flowing.

    #1031872 Reply

    First of all, it’s not true that you have nothing to talk about, so stop saying that. Without even meeting any of you, I know that you have the following things you can talk about:
    teachers you like / don’t like
    subjects in school you like / don’t like
    boys you like / don’t like
    music you like / don’t like
    books you like / don’t like
    celebrities you like / don’t like
    food you like / don’t like
    dumb stuff about your parents
    hobbies — they don’t have to be the same; ask what hers are and tell her about yours
    any trips you’ve taken or want to take
    any siblings you have or wish you had
    clothes maybe

    Don’t quiz her on all this stuff; it’s just ways to find common ground. Don’t worry so much about what they’ll think of you. If you’re kinda shy, that’s fine — it’s not a defect. You don’t HAVE to be exciting, honey. EVERYBODY is awkward at 14, seriously. For some people it shows up as shyness, for others it shows up in other ways. Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone! Just the fact that you’re going means you’re not closed off. Brava!

    #1031881 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ

    I’m painfully shy. I also have to talk to strangers a lot for work about things that are often deeply personal to them and pre-COVID I had to network at work events a lot (do not miss that!!!). So, here are some of my go to tips. They’re not perfect but they do work almost every time.

    To spark an initial conversation with someone I don’t know very well, I find it generally useful to (1) sincerely compliment someone on something and ask them about it; or (2)(and this won’t really work in your immediate situation, but may for others) ask then how they know the host/hear about the event/come to be at the conference, etc. Conversation usually will begin to flow from there with some natural follow up questions or comments.

    Similarly, whenever conversation gets stuck, I’ve found it almost always works to get it restarted when you ask someone about themselves. Not in an interrogation way and obviously avoid rude, invasive questions. But ask about something that you genuinely are interested in hearing the answer to (this is important) and then actually listen to the answer (this is crucial) and converse from there. Maybe that’s another question. Maybe they ask you a question. Maybe something they say sparks a new topic.

    It really is true that most people like to talk about themselves and will warm up to you when they think you’re interested in hearing about them.

    That said, avoid giving one word answers when someone asks you a question. You don’t need to ramble on, but say enough to either invite follow up or to introduce a new topic that you can then talk about.

    Good luck!

    #1031882 Reply

    If you want to appear to be the best conversationalist in the world

    Ask her questions. Listen to the answers. Ask follow up questions.

    What’s your favorite band…. listen listen listen…. “oh, so you saw them at super mega stadium? Have you been there before for sports or another show?”

    I really like sci fi movies – what kinds of movies do you like? listen listen listen – That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought about that before.

    Don’t try to one up or force finding common interests. Find out what she likes and listen to why she likes it and if it’s not something you’re into just say that you hadn’t really thought about it from the perspective she provided.

    #1031889 Reply

    When I think of the most charming, popular, successful person I know – a good friend of mine from college – I think of how she makes everyone feel like the most important and fascinating person in the room. She focuses her attention and asks questions. She makes eye contact, smiles, and laughs at everyone’s jokes. And she is confident! Confidence comes with time, but I’m a big fan of the “fake it till you make it” strategy. Have a little faith in yourself and keep in mind that everyone feels awkward at 14; no one has it all figured out yet. I personally got a lot of mileage out of jokes about my social ineptitude as an ice-breaker…

    #1031891 Reply

    I think the key is shared experience. These people go to your school, so there’s plenty that you have in common. Those are your top areas of communication, and you can also talk about things you’re mutually interested in. Like music, celebrities, sports, hobbies, things like that.

    I personally was a snarky betch at your age and I don’t want to steer you in that direction at all, but I was pretty comfortable in social situations because I would just be myself. It’s important to be authentic.

    And in any situation, to try and let go of your self-consciousness, focus on GIVING the other people a good time, rather than GETTING a good time. It sounds like you would anyway, but that’s a lot of people’s problem at parties and stuff, they focus too much on how they’re feeling in the moment and not focusing enough on other people.

    #1031902 Reply

    Talk about current events and pop culture, etc. If you feel you are running out of ideas and starting to panic —- simply ask whomever you are with about them. Secret tip: Most People LOVE to talk about themselves.

    #1031910 Reply

    I think you should try to ease off the pressure you’re putting on yourself. Every single 14 year old feels awkward. The above advice of how to carry conversations and stuff is great. Just know that every single person has felt awkward and not known what to say.

    #1031911 Reply

    First of all try not to overthink anout why she invited you to meet up you´ll end up with thousands of differents ideas and maybe none of those is right.

    When you talk to someone you don´t know you can talk about thinks you like or the thinks you know you have in common like school don´t think too much about that when the time comes you´ll find something, if you are worry about those awkward silences let me tell that everyone has gone through that at some point even with old friends and that because it´s impossible to have everything in common with someone, so if it happens when you are with her just try to talk about something else.

    About feeling anxious for meetig up outside the school it´s normal, it is a new experience and new sometimes can be frightening but you have to think that if you don´t give it a chance, how would you know if you like it or not? you have nothing to lose if you try it.

    Finally try to be as you are every day, don´t think about what the others would think of you. Good luck!!

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