August 5th, 2014
When was the last time your foot was firmly planted in your mouth? You know those painful moments when you’ve said something SO excruciating, at the wrong time or maybe to the wrong person, that you want the ground to swallow you whole.
I’m sure your stomach turns just thinking about it now. However it’s more common than you realise, and even the most experienced conversationalists mess up from time to time.
So this episode is going to prove how simple it is to save yourself from that black hole of awkward silences, and help you to resuscitate a dying conversation.
Saying Something Dumb
You might feel like killing conversations comes naturally to you – and maybe it does! However many people slip up more frequently than they’d like to admit. So why is this problematic? Well you’d be surprised at the answer. It’s mainly a problem because – believe it or not – people are generally good at conversing. So a faux pas is usually so unfamiliar that we nose-dive straight into stuttering, fumbling or going silent.
In order to prevent this, we must be well-prepared for saying something dumb. And here’s how.
Step 1: Break the Ice
Everyone worries about breaking the ice. But keeping statements upbeat, cheerful or relaxed is a great way to invite people into conversation. Stay positive until the other person joins in.
Step 2: If You Screw Up
When you say something weird, inappropriate or mess up, respond to the gaffe playfully. Laugh at yourself. Nothing defuses a tense situation better than laughter. When someone sees that you are taking things in good humour, they usually follow suit.
Change the topic with a question directed at them. Once they answer, allow them to carry the conversation and before you know it they will have forgotten about the mistake.
Step 3: Preparing Ahead
Once you’ve bypassed one gaffe, you will find yourself better equipped for rescuing dying conversations for yourself or a friend effortlessly. Better still, smaller mistakes which used to strike fear into you will be a breeze.
People make mistakes all the time but it is always possible to recover and turn the situation around.
The secret is to persist gently, enjoy yourself and allow the other person to follow your lead. By taking responsibility for the conversation, you are showing that you can be happy and relaxed despite a few mistakes here and there.
And you never know where this relaxed attitude could lead to…new friends, new adventures or new partners!
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