Is there anything worse than the fear of how to keep a conversation going? There you are, amid a conversation, nodding along while the other person is talking, thinking, “oh my goodness, what will I say next?”. You wanna make sure you keep the other person interested, but you also don’t want to seem like you’re trying too hard.
It can feel tough to keep a conversation going, especially if you don’t know the person that well. But I promise you, with a few simple tips, you can make small talk feel easy as pie *mmm pie* without any awkward silences. Awkward silences are for losers, am I rite?
From the cute coffee shop person to your co-worker in the tearoom, the below 8 tips will help make small talk fun and natural. Let’s dive into how to keep a conversation going.
How to keep a conversation going
- Find some common ground (AKA “Oh, you have a dog too?”)
Common ground is the holy grail of how to keep a conversation going. Once you’ve established common ground, look out because you’ll probably end up chatting for hours! The tricky part can be figuring out the common ground.
If you’re struggling to uncover anything, try the obvious ones, like what they’re currently watching on Netflix or whether they have a pet? People will talk about their dogs till the cows come home (hehe)! Once you’ve established your “OMG, me too” moment, you naturally feel closer to that person, and conversation will come much easier.
- Ask open-ended questions (AKA “tell me everything you’ve ever done, ever”)
Asking questions that require more than a one-word answer is almost the cheater’s version of how to keep a conversation going! Like, seriously, how long do you want to keep it going? Because asking these questions will mean the chat can go on for as long as you like!
Open-ended questions give the other person room to answer and allow you to learn more about them. Questions like “What do you do for a living?” can be a bit of a snore-fest. Try something like “What motivates you the most about your job?”. Depending on the answer, you can ask, “That sounds interesting. Can you tell me a bit more about that?”. BOOM.
- Be interested, not interesting (AKA don’t hog the space)
On your quest on how to keep a conversation going, here’s the next tip, be super interested and invested in the other person. Who doesn’t like it when someone makes you feel heard and seen? Show that you’re curious by asking questions and listening attentively.
This will make the other person feel very comfortable talking, and they may even open up and share some pretty cool stuff with you! They will then leave the conversation feeling like it was a great chat and that you are a totally awesome person! #highfive
- Compliment them (AKA “nice hat dude, where did you get it?”)
You know the old saying, “when in doubt, compliment!” Okay, that’s not really a saying. But complimenting someone is an excellent way to start a conversation AND how to keep a conversation going. Just make sure you do it in a way that feels genuine and sincere, not over the top and fake. That would be very bad! You can complement anything, from their outfit to their bag to their sense of humor. It breaks the ice, and the other person will feel flattered and good about themselves.
- Be positive (AKA don’t worry, be happy, do do do do do do)
You’ll already be aware of how nice it is to talk to someone who is super bubbly, full of energy, and optimistic about life. So always try and be this person for others. When in conversation, give out positive vibes and big smiles. This will help keep the conversation going and make it more enjoyable and relaxed.
No one wants to stay chatting to a complainer! The exception to this rule is if you are trying to make friends with a complainer (maybe you are a big complainer too). In this case, listen to their complaints with great interest and understanding. They will appreciate this.
- Tell stories (AKA “did I ever tell you about the time…”)
Sharing a funny or exciting story is conversation gold! This can be anything from something ridiculous your dog has done to a story about how strange your family can be. By sharing something personal, you’ll make the other person feel comfortable and likely to share a story they have with you.
Don’t overthink this one. You don’t have to be a great storyteller. Keep it simple and, if possible, recent. Although some of the best stories are old. Oldies are goodies!
- Don’t get distracted (AKA be aware of your surroundings)
It’s essential to be aware of your surroundings when in conversation as you don’t want to get distracted and look away from the person. This might make them feel that you are not really listening or bored, and they might get disheartened.
Be sure to stay engaged and present, so they feel like you want to be in the conversation too. Also, avoid looking at your phone while chatting; this is a conversation killer!
- Conversation starters (AKA when all else fails)
When all else fails, use conversation starters. Familiarise yourself with some conversation starters on the big wide web, and you’ll always have something up your sleeve when the conversation is drying up.
For example, find out what they do for work and ask them, “What made you pick *insert their job*?” (If this is positive, great. Ask them more questions about their job. If this is a negative answer, meaning they don’t really like their job, ask them, “If you could have any other career, what would it be?” If they don’t fully answer the question, you can also ask, “what is it about that career that interests you the most?”
For a massive array of conversation starters, check out this site (Conversation Starters World) You’ll be spoilt for choice! We’ve also written a blog called 25 Conversation Starters for Couples which you can read here.
How to keep a conversation going over text?
The how to keep a conversation going tips above are aimed at in-person conversations, but what about how to keep a conversation going over text? Texting is great, but it can also be a bit dry. To keep a text conversation going, you can use the tips above that apply. Make sure you ask open-ended questions and find common ground. This will keep a text conversation going for as long as you want it to.
Now you’ve got the tools to keep a conversation going
Now you no longer fear how to keep a conversation going, and you have all this conversation power up your sleeve (mwahaha). What will you do with it? Go forth and have some of the best convos of your life. Using the above tips will certainly change how you interact and make it fun for the other person and for you. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
If you like good conversation and good dates, you may also like these date night ideas, check out our Date Night Ideas page here for epic dates and epic conversations!
And you might also enjoy these related blogs:
Check them out!
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