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/adv/ - Advice

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Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)05:53 UTC+1 No.14652155 Report

how do I talk to people?

I have a hard time in social situations, and it's mainly due to the fact that I can never think of things to start or carry on conversations

I don't have any problems if it's talking about things I like, I can talk to people about mutual interests for hours

whenever I'm in a casual conversation I only say things if I need to or want to, I always feel like there's no point in talking about inane garbage just for the sake of exchanging more words
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)05:58 UTC+1 No.14652178 Report

Talk about inane garbage just for the sake of exchanging words.
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)05:58 UTC+1 No.14652182 Report

>there's no point in talking about inane garbage just for the sake of exchanging more words

Well, if you're thinking like that, look at it this way: That inane garbage that people talk to you about can actually tell you a lot about the person as a whole. If you really listen to the stuff they tend to talk about, you'll find their own interests and the way they perceive things. I dunno, I personally think social situations are exciting because you get to learn a lot about a person just by talking with them. When it comes to those things to start or carry on conversations, look back on the past things they've talked about, maybe even that, "inane garbage," you may be surprised to find that it's actually valuable information.
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)06:06 UTC+1 No.14652224 Report

>I can never think of things to start or carry on conversations
A simple hey would suffice. If you're meeting a person at work on a Monday, ask him how was their weekend. Then ask if they did anything fun.

If it's on a thursday or Friday, ask if they have any fun plans for the weekend. Then ask them if they have seen "X" movie / heard "X" show / work out / etc.

There's honestly a lot of things to talk about, you're just afraid to say them.
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)06:19 UTC+1 No.14652279 Report

I'm no expert in human interaction, but I can have a conversation with anyone in the English speaking.world. When i'm about to chat with someone i've never met, I assume that we are already friends. Except for the initial 'hello' and introduction, I speak to them like i would any friend or acquaintance. Your tendency to speak only if you need or want to, is great if you're a sheltered celebrity. If not, you'll need to be more empathetic to the other persons' interests as well.
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)11:00 UTC+1 No.14652854 Report


I never managed to pick up these low-level social skills, but I do manage to attack the problem through statistics. With that in mind, I can tell you that you are not likely to find an answer to your question.

If you're looking for a conversation which has some value in and of itself, then we're looking for the same thing, and you're probably just as likely to find it as I am. I've managed to determine that the maximum probability that any particular person is even capable of generating that sort of conversation is strictly less than 0.0025%.

You can talk about anything you like, but unless I've really overlooked something really huge, this isn't a problem with you. I'm pretty sure it's more of a problem with the social pressures that produce the average behavior of a person. Somehow, it manages to suppress even the slightest hint of the capacity to share information in general, beyond just the standard small-talk.

I don't recommend that you try to force it out of them, either. I spent a couple years trying to... mutate... a neighbor I had at one point into the right sort of person. Technically, I can't say it was a complete waste of time because he is now a relatively good friend of mine, but he's not very close to being able to really dig into a topic. I worry that it's the same with everyone- you can spend a lifetime trying to break the socially imposed conditioning that governs their behavior, but even if you crack it, you won't really be able to rebuild them into an interesting person.

If you manage to crack it, though, you should really let me know. I'm getting pretty good at just talking to myself, but even so, I usually realize at least once a year that I don't really get anything useful from interacting with other people, and the realization tends to shut me down for a few days each time.
Anonymous 08/21/14(Thu)11:19 UTC+1 No.14652879 Report

OP I know exactly how you feel and I've felt like it for a while. What I've been trying out lately is putting the ball in the other person's court and I've reasonably improved my conversation quality and quantity.

Basically try to get the other person to talk about something that they want to talk about, such as their interests and the like. Not only do you get less inane garbage, but you can also end up learning stuff. Also when things seem to start slowing down on their side, ask logical questions about what they've been talking about to keep it going. Feel like a subject has been eaten up? Ask simple questions and then move in to the details.

So I was at a college party where you had to be hand cuffed to a girl until the end of the night. Usually people get dates for it, but I wasnt expecting to go so I didnt have one and ended up with a friend of a friend. Needless to say I was extremely worried because Im kind of bad at keeping conversations flowing. I started by asking where she was staying and learned she was on scholarship for being a golf caddy. I had no knowledge of caddies so I jsut went from there and asked about it and before I knew it 5 hours had already passed and I hardly had to talk in comparison to the amount I just politely listened.

tl;dr get them to talk about themselves
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