Have you ever wondered why you get stuck, thinking “I don’t know what to say!” All the while you see many people who always seem to know what say and have the right words?
This is so annoying, you might think that “I don’t know what to say” is a syndrome. It actually isn’t at all, it’s something entirely normal if your conversation skills aren’t that sharp.
This article will open up 6 new possibilities for you to know what to say. And we’ll do that in key situations where you’re most likely to run out of things to say.
1. When You Don’t Know What To Say To Someone You Just Met
When you meet someone for the first time, you don’t know much about them. You don’t have enough information about who they are, what they do, and what kind of things they like. In the same way, they don’t know very much about you.
This is what makes both of you wonder what you could talk about.
Each time you think of something, you wonder whether or not it’ll be interesting to them. You don’t know what to say to make good conversation.
The solution to this is to do small talk. You start talking about the context you’re in and the occasion or event that made you come together. After that, you talk about other things each of you do in your lives. You start with work, then working out, and any other leisure activities.
The key here is to lower your expectations. Don’t expect the first conversation you have to be spectacularly interesting. It’s just a casual conversation.
You go over a series of topics, one by one, jumping from subject to subject. As you do that, you’ll find that you have things in common, and have some topics both of you love to talk about.
Once you find those special things you both like, you’ll be able to converse freely and as long as you want.
2. When You Don’t Know What To Say To Keep The Conversation Going
As you talk to friends, old or new, you sometimes worry that the topic will run its course soon. You get anxious about not being able to keep the conversation flowing beyond a couple of minutes.
This happens usually when you are having a logical exchange of information. And you start to feel that it’s not a fun or exciting conversation, especially in a social setting where people come to have fun.
A quick solution here is to get in touch with your emotions, instead of your logic. Try and feel the energy in the room, and the sort of emotion you’d like to have as you’re socializing.
You make yourself feel great, first. You smile, you feel the rhythm of the music, and then you can talk.
This unlocks your emotional brain. The part of your brain that can connect with others. When you’re in that emotional state, you can talk about anything. Even the silliest things are okay because the priority is not to exchange information, but rather connect and build friendships.
3. What To Say When Your Mind Goes Blank
If you find yourself in situations where you feel like your mind can’t function enough to make conversation, then understand this: it’s a state of mind and an emotional state.
You get into that state by the way you think, and the way that makes you feel. You should strive not to get into that state in the first place.
The way you can prevent getting there is not to second-guess, criticize, or constantly wonder what others are thinking of you. When you’re socializing, that constant self-doubt is just a waste of energy. It brings you down emotionally and makes you lose your ability to mingle.
What you can do, is whenever those self-doubts and anxiety come up, do something to interrupt them. Move around physically, do something or go somewhere and come back.
Don’t argue with self-doubt, you’ll lose. Instead, interrupt it and distract yourself from it.
In your mind, tell yourself that you’ll worry about it later when you get home. Never analyze yourself as you’re socializing, leave it for after you go back home. This is like procrastinating on feeling anxious.
The good news here is that you don’t have to stop self-doubt all at once. If you can reduce it each time you’re having conversations or socializing, then that’s good enough. Just focus on reducing the self-doubt every time.
That way, you’re conversation skills will grow over time and your mind no longer goes blank, not knowing what to say.
4. What To Say When You Have Nothing To Talk About
If you think you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of things to talk about, then you can definitely change your situation.
One way to start is to notice how every topic is related to many other topics. Take one of your favorite topics. Notice how you can divide it into a set of subtopics. They are like subcategories. Notice how you can take each one, and divide again it into mini categories.
You probably know exactly what to say and what to talk about when it comes to all those subtopics.
They’re all different, and yet, they’re related at the same time. Well, it’s that way with everything else. Every subject has many parts and facets to it that are related to other subjects.
Another way to look at it is to notice how every movie you’ve ever seen reminds you of another that similar in some way.
When you can always go from one topic to another, and find the relationship, then you’ve mastered this skill.
If you’ve never used this principle in conversation, try and practice at home. Think of one topic, then how it relates to another, then how that relates to the next one. Keep practicing until you feel like you can start with any topic and come up with other related things to talk about.
After a little practice at home, try and use that skill in conversation. Try going from one topic to the next as you socialize with people. The amazing thing about this is that you only have to learn it once.
You automatically get better at it as you use it and you start to feel like you’ll always have things to say.
5. What To Say To Make The Conversation More Interesting
There are things you can say to turn a somewhat dull conversation into an interesting one. There are topics you can get into and conversational turns that you can use.
To make the conversation instantly more interesting, you can go into more personal topics. If you’re with a friend you’re not so close to, maybe it’s time to get to the next level of what you are used to discussing.
Another way to make things interesting is to share a vulnerability, a quirk, or anything about you that is a tiny bit embarrassing. This is something you do half-jokingly, and it shows that you have confidence. It also makes you relatable, because everyone else has little quirks too.
Another quick tip to bring the conversation to an interesting turn is to use the time perspective. What you do is take the topic you’re talking about, and project it either into the past or into the future. Think “How people used to do (…) back in the day?” or “In a few decades, how would we do (…).”
For any topic or activity, the way we used to do it is way different from now, and will probably be very different in the future. Whenever you think about what to say next, consider the future and the past of the topic you were talking about. It might be just what you need to revive the conversation.
6. What To Say To Move Past The Small Talk
As you work on your conversation skills and start to do good small talk, you’ll have a new need. It’s the need to know just what to say to move past the small talk.
At some point, you want to transition to deeper and more meaningful conversations. To do that, you discuss a topic more in detail. You spend more time on it instead of moving on quickly to another one.
You ask more questions, share more of what you know about it, and recall any stories you’ve heard or experienced in that area.
What’s great about small talk is that it’s exactly what reveals to you what you can discuss in detail with the other person. Once you find those very special topics, you can discuss them for several minutes and with passion.
When this happens, you know exactly what to say. Once the other person starts to share more and get deeper into that the conversation is much more enjoyable and meaningful.
For your friendship, this becomes something you can relate on. You both start to realize that you can be closer as friends and spend more time enjoying each other’s company.
With some practice, you can always know what to say. The key is to never let yourself get stuck in an emotional state of self-doubt. Try and shake it off and do whatever you can to feel good. Your feelings influence how you socialize a great deal. This is why it’s a great place to focus on when you don’t know what to say.