We’ve all been there before.
You’re in a conversation, things are going smoothly and then out of nowhere an awkward silence rears its ugly head…
At that moment your mind goes completely blank, you don’t know what to say and you can sense the other person’s eyes wondering as their interest is slowly fading away…
That scenario sucks!
But, wait a minute…
Why Do You Run Out of Things to Say On A Date?
The psychology behind running out of things to say boils down to two simple things:
Filtering what you have to say – you worry too much what kind of impression you are going to make on the other person.
That in turn stifles you conversational abilities to a point where nothing seems to be good enough, funny enough or intelligent enough to say.
And guess what happens? You end up saying nothing.
Don’t try to impress. Simply express yourself, you’ll be better off!
Not being in a mood for conversation – if you spent an entire day working on a computer or studying analytical subjects, your mind needs to switch gears before you will be able to get into a nice flow.
Just like you need to warm up your muscles before working out, in the same way you need to warm up your social muscle before you can truly express yourself.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
Here are 5 tips to make sure you’ll never run out of things to say ever again.
How To Never Run Out Of Things To Say Again
1. Play “Reminds Me Of”
When your mind went blank, try to remember to look at the environment and say “that reminds me of […] (fill in the blank)”.
This is great for opening new conversational threads, but it will also work as a follow up, when someone finishes a story.
In the case of the story, you really want to focus on listening, instead of formulating your response ahead of time. Listen intently and when the other person finishes talking say: “that reminds me of…” and see what comes to your mind. This is a great way to make friends.
Why is this strategy so good?
This is how friends interact normally. By free associating and not filtering too much what they have to say. If you can do that, it sub-communicates a lot of positive things like:
- You are at ease
- You don’t care about what his opinion of you is
- You assume familiarity which completely obliterates the need to “break the ice”
- You instantly build rapport with another person
Moreover, people are drawn to other people who they feel are similar to themselves and related stories can help to build that bridge.
Make sure you don’t intentionally make your story superior to theirs or else it may feel like one-upping.
2. Keep Your Questions Open-Ended
If you keep your questions open-ended as often as possible, you encourage the other person to go provide more depth in their answer.
So how do you keep your questions open-ended?
Consider the following scenario:
You: So… you’re from New York, do you like it there?
In this scenario the other person doesn’t have much wiggle room to explore the answer in more depth. It only encourages one word response and then awkward silence followed by another question.
Now consider this scenario:
You: You’re from New York. How do you like it there? I’m curious to hear more about it!
Him: So, you know, they call New York The Big Apple because…
In that case, it gets the other person talking about what it is that they like, which is going to open more conversational threads.
Also… remember the conversational rule every 3 year old knows about conversation…
Simply asking “why?” is a great way to get people to open up more.
If he says that he’s a lawyer you can get him to open up more by asking “why did you decide to become a lawyer“?
To be perfectly clear, unlike 3 year olds you don’t have to repeat the word why over and over.
All you want to do is to drill down deeper into their motivation, which helps to establish a deeper connection.
3. Use Revival Questions
Use these for the worst case scenarios, when the conversation flat out dies and it seems like there’s nothing you can do, to bring it back to life.
Here are couple examples:
So, what’s your story?
Great thing about this question is that it is so open ended, that the other person will guide you towards the topics that they want to talk about.
They will usually respond with something like:
You mean, what do I do for work? Or what do I do for fun?
Their tone of voice and enthusiasm will tell you the best angle you can take the conversation in.
Another great, thought provoking question is:
What are your plans for the future?
This one can take you places you wouldn’t even imagine and it is endlessly renewable.
4. Make a Complimentary Cold Read
Everyone appreciates good compliment that feels personal. Here is how to give one:
1. Notice something that stands out (even a little) about the person
2. Give a compliment on that particular quality
3. Connect it to something positive
In case you didn’t get it here is an example for you:
1. You notice that the other person is particularly smiley
2. You can say: I like how you smile a lot
3. Followed by: You look like a type that would be great with kids
Step 3 requires a bit of improv skills, but don’t overthink it, just say the first thing that comes to your mind, even if it is a bit goofy.
All of a sudden, you made someone feel good about themselves and you have a new conversational material to work with.
5. Flip The Script
Flip the script so you don’t have to worry about running out of things to say.
Instead, allow the other person to move the conversation forward by getting comfortable with silence.
Trust me, those 3 empty seconds may feel like forever but if you can just take a deep breath while maintaining easy eye contact… more often than not the other person will make a comment or ask a question.
If you really want to encourage them to continue, then you can repeat the last few words they said. This mirroring effect can help people open up in very powerful ways, so take advantage of it!
There you have it!
After reading this article you will never have to experience the awkwardness of the silence.
To recap what we just covered:
1. Play “Reminds me of”
2. Ask open ended questions
3. Use revival questions
4. Make a complimentary cold read
5. Flip the script
Want to find out if he’s really losing interest? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Is He Losing Interest” Quiz right now and find out if he’s really losing interest in you…
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
About The Author
Artur Kot is the ceo of Menprovement. He’s been interested in the areas of self-development, dating and success for the last 3 years ever since his last girlfriend broke up with him leaving him sad and butt hurt;( He’s now traveling the world and is on a mission to inspire as many people as he can on the way.