Umm. Hi. So. You come here often? Oh, you do? That’s cool… Hmm. Really cold outside today. Weather. Am I right?
Starting a conversation with someone can be awkward, especially if you’re an online high school student making the connection via Skype, Zoom, or Facebook. Fortunately, Martin Sosa from @PeakYourMind gives us three quick tips on how to talk to people without being awkward.
Tip #1: Be genuinely interested in the person. If you’re multi-tasking or texting with someone else, it will be obvious you’re not really invested in the conversation. Sosa affirms, “people can tell that you’re there. That you’re present with them; that you care, that you see them, like, Avatar-style… If you’re not genuinely interested, you’re not going to know intuitively what to ask.”
Which brings us to Tip #2: Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions evoke emotion and give the opportunity to tell a story. “Do you like pizza” or “do you come here often” usually only allows for a one-word response, while “what are you up to these days” or “what are you passionate about right now” gives the person an opportunity to share more and dig deeper.
And finally, Tip #3: Be willing and open to share. Sosa says, “If you’re expecting someone to be open with you, then you have to be willing to be open also.” After all, nobody likes feeling like they’re answering twenty questions or on a job interview. So while asking questions is a great way to show genuine interest, be sure to share about yourself as well, or else it can feel like you’re shining a flashlight in their eyes instead of having a conversation.
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