Basic social/conversation skills- Please help with making friends!

Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 02:03 pm
Hi. I suck at this ..so I thought to ask people who are better at this than I am for a little help. I am a 16 years old girl .

My social life is pretty much unexisting . I have a best friend and that's it( she is doing the same as I do as this chapter..so no help from there ) .
I do have a lot of acquaintances to put it like that. From my old class (junior high) and new class (high school) . And on Facebook all of their friends and acquaintances of acquaintances of them.

I guess there is a chance to develop a friendship with one of the acquaintances in order to meet his friends and built it from there..?

I need resources and/or advices about making friends and conversation skills in general..
What are the etiquettes/rules of small talk and building and maintaing a friendship (if there is such a thing) .
I have this questions . They refer both to face to face conversation and texting
1.What to do when someone is feeling uncomfortable ? How to tell if they feel like that ?

2..When I approach someone . How should I proceed ?

When I get pass that I noticed that I do great only on the first conversation because I know what to ask them (what music do they like,what they enjoy doing etc ) but after that I am not sure what to talk about so I usually end up saying stupid things.

3. What to do when you have nothing to talk about ?.How to keep the conversation going?

4. How often should I approach a acquaintance/friend?

5.How to avoid getting/sending the wrong message *both in texting and face to face* ..how to tell when someone is mocking you /is sarcastic etc..

Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 02:22 pm
I think it's important that you don't overthink. Doing so tends to make things more complicated.
You're on the right track. Asking questions is a great way to start a conversation. Try asking questions specific to the person you are speaking with. Most people love to talk about themselves. Generally, their answers should lead to more questions and next thing you know, you've found some common interests.
Don't forget that some people are going to be just as nervous as you are, so don't push yourself on anyone, let it happen as naturally as possible. If you see that your attempts are not being received well, then be pleasant and polite, but excuse yourself and move on.
Conversation is a two-way street, so you're not solely responsible for maintaining the flow.
Wherever you might meet others, school, mall, park, etc., there are plenty of things to talk about all around you. Just relax and have fun.
Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 02:38 pm
I do have a life long friend that started out greetings with bunches of questions.

Later, I met her mother. It was like zombies. There was a war going on there, but sort of a war against eventual self. She still asks questions rat a tat tat, much later.

Not that I'm a social plum even now, but I'd say two things - what is interesting with this person, and listen. Stop focussing always about yourself.

I learned all sorts of stuff once I got out of my shy persona into looking around.
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Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 04:05 pm
Definitely work the conversation into things you know that the other person likes, at least to start.

E. g. you meet someone walking their dog (I use this example constantly). Ask - "What kind of dog is that?" "Is he (or she) friendly?" "What is the dog's name?" That sort of thing. Not the third degree. Just a few quick things and then move on. I approach total strangers this way, and it helps with shyness. Plus I pet a lot of dogs this way. Smile

Someone has a baby stroller. You're walking by. You can always say, "Oh, what a cute baby!" Mothers, fathers, nannies, they appreciate that. It's a nice thing to say. Anything more can get creepy. Recognize that asking the baby's name is a very different dynamic from asking a dog's name.

You see someone from class. "Did you get the assignment?" "Are you ready for the test?" "Do you have good notes from yesterday?" "What do you think of our teacher?" These are areas where you know you have something in common with the person.

You see someone from the football team at your school. "I saw the game the other day. You guys were great!" "Whew! It's a hot day for practice."

I realize these sound vapid. And they aren't exactly full-on intellectual or anything. But you can't really go zero to sixty.

I am suggesting talking to strangers because, believe it or not, there's actually less invested in that. If you screw up, what's gonna happen? You're a nice 16 year old girl. They are not going to run screaming from you because you asked their dog's name.

The more you talk to people, the easier it is to talk to people. This is an acquired skill and it takes some practice.
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