The ultimate goal of this article is to give you the choice to be more talkative when you want to. You can be a more talkative person, able to make conversation, instead of being quiet when you really want to socialize.
It may not be this easy to be talkative but there are strategies that can help you get into the right frame of mind for that social occasion, even when you are feeling a little introverted today.
What It Means To Be Talkative
The standard definition of talkative, found in most dictionaries, is to be able to talk a lot. To be talkative is to be able to continue a conversation with ease. You have a lot to say.
But, in the social sense of the word ‘talkative’, from my experience teaching people how to improve their social skills, talkative means the following to me:
“Talkative” is an emotional state
Some dictionaries do see talkative as a mood, or as an emotion. I feel talkative today is a way of saying you are feeling open to connecting with others. You are experiencing that wonderful feeling of confidence that you can talk to anyone and you are ready to embrace your social nature.
There is a pleasure in this emotional state – as you enjoy talking to other people in this social setting. A talkative emotional state is marked by being present – you are in the moment and not lost in the past or the future and you are certainly not second-guessing yourself.
In other words, talkative suggests a lack of anxiety or nervousness in the exchange. You are happy to be in that situation – and you can just talk.
It’s a habit
Being talkative can become a habit. You can, at any point, go into your talkative routine, without even thinking about it. Whenever you meet people in a social gathering, you just know what to talk about.
You develop a social mood “routine” that you generally use, with some minor variations each time.
Here is an example of a pre-trained social-mode routine. These are the topics you pretty much always get into when meeting people:
- So how are you? Good? Great?
- Here is what I’ve been doing lately with work
- How I’ve been doing health-wise and with physical activity.
- Here is what I’ve been doing lately when it comes to going out. I went to this place, that place, and the other.
- Here is what’s upcoming in my life (about to do a major purchase, about to launch a project; about to travel for work/pleasure; about to host friends coming from out of town…
In other words, when you are thrust into a social situation, you have a set chat to fall back on that will help you out. You have your rehearsed starting points that will help snap you out of your quiet mood and get you into a talkative space with this person.
Being talkative is a skill
You can develop this routine to a high level of skill with some practice. The more habitual it feels, the more you can use it whenever you want, wherever you are, and with whoever you are talking with.
As with a sport or a craft, you can get to the level of skill where you can be talkative in even high-pressure situations. It just takes a degree of commitment to practicing and refining your efforts.
For example, you are with a few people who you know are in conflict with each other. The only way to mediate between them is to take charge of the exchange and make small talk. You can use your skill for being talkative, even in very awkward situations, helping to diffuse the tension.
Why & When To Be More Talkative
It may be that you have no desire to be that person that takes charge of the conversation. You may decide that someone else will step up and diffuse tension or keep a stilted conversation going with an important client.
However, there are some vital moments in our life – whether professional or personal – when we will be glad we practiced being talkative.
Where and when to be more talkative
There are lots of contexts when being talkative is an essential skill. For instance:
- you are going to a dinner party and your friend is going to sit you next to someone who is a challenge. The friend trusts you to keep this person happy throughout the meal.
- you are at a conference and you need to collect a host of business cards to help move your business forward – that small talk is going to be your foot in the door.
- there has been a difficult event for a friend and you are called in to manage the many conversations needed to resolve the issues/ upsets.
Remember, we can’t just flick a switch in our brain. Therefore, if there are times when it is essential that we are talkative, we will be glad we have honed our skills.
Be a more talkative person or just be more talkative sometimes
Do you want to become a talkative person or just be able to move into a talkative state whenever you need to be?
If people are always telling you that you’re quiet they may not be aware that introversion is normal for some. In this situation, it is their issue. Socially skilled people know that we can’t all talk the same amount. Some people talk more than others, and it’s completely appropriate to talk as much as it feels natural to you.
However, if it’s beyond introversion, and you really don’t talk much, if ever, then yes, you may want to become a more talkative person overall. You have to decide if your quietness is an issue for you or not. If it is, then you can choose to work to change the situation for yourself.
In general, you can start by setting a goal for yourself to become “I want to become 20% more talkative in the next three months. ” And make a plan of what you will do to make it happen. We’ll talk about more in the next section on how to be more talkative.
The more talkative you are, the more social success you’ll have … up to a point
Being talkative can help you get to know more people, talk more, make more small talk, get to know people on a deeper level. It can help you have a good time and rarely experience any awkward silences.
It can tell others more about you, which makes them get more familiar with who you are, be more comfortable around you, feel like they know you, make friends with you and invite you over to their next social gatherings, introduce you to others, etc.
Being talkative can help you have long discussions and access information you wouldn’t otherwise.
There are many benefits to being more talkative, and the more talkative you are, the more social success you’ll have … up to a point.
It kind of follows a bell-curve of social success…
As you can see from the “very scientific” chart I drew above, the more talkative you are, the more social results you’ll have. That social success is how you choose to define it.
Maybe you want more friends, a different type of friends, better friends, maybe it’s about meeting people who are more successful and therefore more inspiring to you. Wherever you are right now will define what your next level is.
But there is a point where being more talkative doesn’t necessarily get you more results. You don’t have to talk more, contribute more, or have any more small talk than you want to. Because doing so won’t necessarily change your social life.
This is why I often remind my readers that many of the most socially successful people I’ve met are introverts. They are far from being “chatterboxes” – they have mastered social skills to a level where they don’t need to put in a lot of effort to have access to the right friends and social circles.
Important note: I don’t advise that you get to a talkative level and stay there all the time. If you like to be on your own, be quiet and collected then don’t change that.
But when you’re socializing, practice talking more so you have the skill – and the choice. The choice to be very social when you want to, and quiet when you want to.
How To Be A More Talkative Person
Find Sameness and Connection Between Conversation Topics
Everything is connected: see sameness and wholeness in topics, for instance, routine: work-workout-relationships-entertainment, break-routine, travel).
The concept of seeing the differences everywhere, versus seeing sameness everywhere, is just an alternative way in how we perceive things.
The concept of “sameness vs. difference” is about the two ways we perceive the world (and conversation topics).
It’s easier to be more talkative if you can shift your mind towards sameness and generalization. To do that, consider these mindsets:
- every topic of conversation is connected to every other topic
- it’s all part of our “existence” as human beings
- we all have a time we’re born and a time we pass away
- we all want to live happy lives
This means that you can jump from any subject to another; you can always generalize to the upper-level of the category of that subject to find other subjects to talk about. For example, you choose to talk about your work and how it’s going these days:
- your work is part of your weekly typical schedule
- what else is part of your weekly schedule? Working out? Great! Talk about that!
- what else is part of your weekly schedule? Visiting family? Great! That’s another topic of discussion.
Let’s generalize again…
→ your weekly schedule is part of the 3-month season or quarter of the year
→ what else is part of your year? Christmas at the end of Autumn! Good, you can talk about that.
→ What else is part of the year? A break in the weekly routine? A time where your weekly schedule stops and you travel? Nice! Where are you going? You can talk about that!
Whatever you’re talking about, it’s part of something. You can go up a level (generalize), down (specific), or sideways (sibling topics).
Switch On Your Social Mode
To be successful, Focus, to be talkative, DeFocus
Successful people are focused; to be successful at anything you need to be focused on it, focused on what you’re doing, focused on the result you’re trying to produce, etc. the more focused you are, the more likely you’ll be productive and successful.
If you are focused on your work throughout the day, then it can be hard to “snap out” of that focused mood. Most successful people are like you in that regard. But when it comes to socializing and being talkative, you need to de-focus. I meet many successful people and watch them struggle to “shift gears” from work-mode to social-mode.
Bring awareness to the fact that you need to de-focus; when you want to be talkative, forget goals, forget that you have something to accomplish, forget any agendas you have, and explore how the conversation will unfold.
Be eager to discover where the social interaction will go … as if you’re exploring a new world; you don’t know where it’s going, and you don’t really care that much, you’re just glad you’re in this social “realm” and enjoying your time while you’re in it.
That way, your mind is in the right place
Once you practice de-focusing and talking – without goals, then you’re ready for the next level. But I would recommend that you don’t try and skip this crucial step of de-focusing when aiming to be more talkative.
- Focused Mind / Logical Mind / Goal-Oriented → can’t be talkative
- De-Focused / No Goals / Just Enjoying your time → can be talkative
- Enjoying your time but slightly focused on your socializing goals* →
can be talkative AND effective in reaching your social goals*
- * an example of a social goal: “ I want to meet these specific friends of friends who are very successful and well-traveled because I want to be like them. ”
Get Physically Comfortable
When you do socialize, channel the “ This is my house! ” feeling: how would you feel if this is your house. You need to channel that level of physical comfort – emotional comfort – mental comfort – and with this unclogged mind you can talk.
If necessary, you can sometimes go to the social gathering early; spend time getting physically comfortable in the space before you start talking and socializing with people. Shake off any tension you have in your body; roll your shoulders back; take deep breaths and get physically comfortable.
Make a plan to become more talkative
Sometimes, if you want to accelerate this process and become a more talkative person, then set it as a goal and make a plan.
Here is an example of a plan…
- Goal: “ Become 20% more talkative “
- Time frame: 90 days
- Strategy: ” Practice in my daily life; practice with people I know and like; go to social events and social gatherings to practice and improve.”
- Tactics and Action plans: “ Find meetup groups, check their calendar; go to Eventbrite, check the calendar for upcoming events in the next three months; write the events that interest me in my calendar: aim to put 2 social events per month in my calendar. “
Being talkative is not something that comes naturally to all of us. It is perfectly acceptable to choose to be quiet and enjoy your own company. However, there are times when we must be talkative and there are other moments when being chatty will bring us opportunities. If we want to be skilled when chatting we need to practice, which means talking sometimes when we just don’t feel like it.