New Year, New Conversation
What’s up with New Years resolutions?
I never understood the New Years hype, but I’m a staunch supporter of all nonviolent festivities, so I pop some champagne and join the crowd. A lot of people like to create new years resolutions, and while they might have the noblest of intentions, they often fall short on the follow through. There’s always a slew of new faces at the gym in January with their audacious health goals; attempting to make headway on their waist-line after several years of stagnation, but they’re quickly deterred by the heavy weights and the treadmill, which seems to move much faster than before. So, “why did they set the goal in the first place?” And why did they fall short? Was it weak will, lack of motivation, or was the goal not worth the effort from the outset? Regardless of which excuse they choose, the resolution wasn’t upheld, so what’s the remedy?
For one, respect the process and take small strides (e.g., start workout routines slowly to avoid injury, or, jog a quarter mile at a comfortable pace before attempting a mile). By setting reasonable goals, like starting one new conversation per month, we can gradually become better at meeting new people (for platonic or intimate relationships). If you can’t find anyone in your current social settings, join a Meetup group, or find a group through Facebook. Then, once you meet someone who you want to build a lasting bond with, it’s time to adopt a relationship mindset and prepare for the resulting fatigue (the post-workout pains).
Does this person want to talk to me?
It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of life and to forget about the people around us. Cities are packed to the brim, so the thought of talking to someone can seem useless or overwhelming; we tell ourselves, “that person doesn’t want to talk to me, they don’t care,” so we avoid eye contact with them, and focus on our phones. The truth is, people do care, but we rarely give them the opportunity to tell us who they are. When was the last time you started a conversation with someone new?
Small acts have profound consequences.
1. Say Hello!
You go to your favorite coffee shop.
Someone opens the door for you (thank them/say nothing).
Get in line to order (say hello/say nothing).
You smile and say, “Hello!”
You place your order (thank them/say nothing).
While waiting for your order (ask how their day is going/say nothing).
You receive your order (thank them/say nothing).
The previous example is simplistic, but it’s reminiscent of our daily interactions.
There were at least 5 instances where you could’ve said something.
How many of those opportunities do you take?
Some people say they dislike “small talk” because it lacks substance, but I encourage these people to take the place of the person serving their coffee.
How many people does the cashier see on a daily basis? Hundreds.
How many of the customers take the time to get to know them? Few (generally the regulars).
There’s no excuse for ignoring a person who is helping you out.
Look them in the eyes, smile, and say hello.
They might not respond in kind, but that’s alright, don’t let their disinterest influence you.
2. What’s your name?
At this point, you’re a regular at the coffee shop.
You walk up to the cashier and say, “Hey, how’s your day so far?”
The cashier responds, ” … “
“I see you here all the time. How do you like it here?
” … “
“That’s good/bad. My name is Tyler by the way.”
If they’re friendly, they will tell you their name (use word association to remember!). And do not be afraid to ask again if you forget.
“Nice to meet you …”
Our names are attached to who we are.
Calling someone by their name is the first step towards showing interest.
Building social confidence is a process, saying “hello” and knowing a person’s name is just the beginning.
That’s all I have for this article. Please check out my other posts if you are interested in reading more about the nuances of conversation, or, the fundamentals of building lasting-relationships. If you appreciate my content or patently disagree, please send me an email or leave a comment. Thanks for reading! 🙂