Do you ever look at others and think: “why is it so easy for you to keep a conversation going?” or “why don’t I have those social skills?” Do you feel stressed when you know you are going to meet new people or do you think you lack social skills? Good news: you can develop social skills! 

Imagine, you are at a birthday party but you hardly know anyone. You start talking to someone you don’t know and the conversation feels kind of rough. It is difficult to keep the conversation going. This may be because you are too focused on having ‘a normal’ conversation  or because you put the other on a pedestal which causes you to block. By knowing what kind of questions you can, these barriers that you experience can melt away. 

Tip 1: Start with topics that have your interest

It is important that you start with topics that have your interests. This causes a sincere interest in the answers you are given by the other and it will keep energy in the conversation.

Tip 2: Ask open questions

Is it a good topic? Try to ask open questions. You will gain more depth and you will have more material to talk about. Examples of open questions:

  • How do you do this with your children?
  • How does it work exactly?
  • What is it like for you to combine your hobbies with your family?
  • How do you combine healthy food and exercise?
  • Where exactly does your interest for […] come from?
  • What do you like to do in the spare time you have?
  • What made you make a choice like this?

Tip 3: Ask advice

By asking someone else for advice you will experience less pressure to keep the conversation going. Also, asking advice ensures a new perspective on your own situation. It gives you new ideas. You can use the following topics when it comes to advice: health, sports, nutrition, lifestyle, vacations, sustainability, interior design, relationships etc. Everything is possible!

Tip 4: Make conversations personal 

By for example, telling them about your own ambitions. It doesn’t always have to be about big plans (for example starting a company) but it can also involve something “small” such as taking 10.000 steps a day. If someone else is interested, this other person can even come up with great ideas that will help you. How to start a conversation like this can be like: “Nowadays I am busy with doing this and this…”. Try to explain how you came up with this idea, why it is important for you. Figure out how the other person responses to your story. Talk about his or her ambitions and help each other out!

How are you social skills? Write it down in a diary registration in NiceDay and discover your own progress!

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Sarah Goslinga

My name is Sarah Goslinga, psychologist and coach at NiceDay. It's important to me that you have a real connection with your coach and that you feel you can discuss anything. There are many different things I like to do, such as making music, roller skating or dancing!

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