It can be a terrible ordeal for many of us. It seems to particularly strike when you are out on a date. The symptoms include: sweaty palms, forced laughter, awkward pauses, extended periods of uncomfortable silence and occasional desperate glances toward the nearest exit. It respects no person or title and has an incredible track record of ending relationships that otherwise would have blossomed.
I am sure medical people have a term for it (they always do) but for the rest of us it is pretty basic. We are in trouble when it comes to making small talk. Some people can be the life of the party with chit chat skills that rival Oprah. They seem to know what to say, when to say it and how. Is it gift? In a lot of ways the answer is yes but the ability to connect with people is not only for the chosen few. You may not ever get your own daytime talk show but with a little practice and patience you can overcome any small talk obstacles in your dating relationship.
1. Develop Self Confidence Without this one, it is extremely difficult to break thru the small talk barrier. It is not just a matter of speaking without being too self conscious; it also comes down to conveying the right body language. If your date sees that no matter how much you talk, you still look uncomfortable then the chances are pretty strong they will also feel uncomfortable.
Develop self confidence by engaging strangers in small talk. Whether you are in the grocery store checkout line or a crowded elevator, turn to the person next to you and start chatting. What do you talk about? Anything within reason and good taste; remember they are strangers. Talk about the weather, how slow the checkout line is moving, or ask people, "Is it Friday yet"? That one can be a major icebreaker to anyone who holds down a nine to five job. 2. Tone Down Your Self Consciousness You can think about what you will say to your date and have it all worked out.
Worked out that is until the self conscious police take over. How should I say it, what will it sound like, what will my date say,should I even say it? This is only the tip of the iceberg after the self conscious police get thru with you. Part of having confidence and enjoying yourself on a date is the ability to think of someone other than yourself. If you want to do a personal evaluation save it until the date is over. And even then do not trash yourself.
No one is perfect so critique gently and make the adjustments accordingly. 3. Stay Informed This is an incredible dating tool. Keeping on top of news and current events is perfect for overcoming any small talk obstacles. Staying informed allows you to speak intelligently on a broad range of topics. Keep in mind however you are not doing this to show off so do not study current events like it is a college exam.
The whole point is to engage your date so that both of you can feel more comfortable. Mentioning a news story you read may lead to an extended conversation where you can really get to know each other. Again do not go overboard.
Be observant to the words and body language of the other person. If the conversation is starting to drag, get a little too one sided or uncomfortably passionate then end it quickly. Try to have a few lines handy to segue into another subject or exit the current one politely. There is no getting around dating small talk but it is also nothing to fear. Just practice your confidence, leave your self consciousness at the door and stay informed about news and currents events. Good small talk has the capability of putting your date at ease so they feel comfortable enough to share things about their life with you and vice versa.
Daryl Campbell invites you to get more relationship and dating tips, tools, videos, up to the minute information plus your free copy of 101 Romantic Ideas. It's all at The Dating Tip