Are you socially awkward? Terrible with names? A motor mouth when you’re nervous?
Use these easy-to-follow tips to start and sustain interesting (two-sided) conversations with new and old acquaintances alike.
By: Gretchen Rubin
Small talk is a big problem for many adults with ADHD, who tend to fall into one of two camps: we’re chatterboxes who don’t let other people get in a word, or we struggle to maintain attention and conversational banter – leading to a lot of awkward silences.
Whatever the challenge, use these strategies to keep the conversation flowing, balanced, and fun.
Talking about the weather is a cliché for a reason, folks. Some good questions include: “How do you know the host?” or “How long have you lived locally?”
Do a quick scan of a newspaper before a big event to give yourself some ideas. (If it’s the first time you’re meeting someone, try to steer clear of politics or religion.)
One good question is: “What’s keeping you busy these days?” It allows people to choose their focus (work, volunteering, family, hobbies), instead of restricting them to one subject.
Instead of jumping in and talking about your own work, ask for more info. Some good questions include: “How long have you been working there? or “What got you interested in the field?”
“Which magazines do you subscribe to?” or “What do you do for fun?” may reveal a hidden passion, which makes a great conversation.
If he makes a good-matured joke, laugh — even if it’s not very funny.
If someone obviously drops a reference to a subject, pick up that thread, even if you’re not particularly interested. You may be surprised!
You’ll likely be tempted to talk too much and dominate the conversation.
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