How To Talk To People Even When You Aren’t Sure What To Say

We’ve all been there. We all hate it. We all know the feeling when you want to or need to have a conversation with someone, but you’re running out of what to say. You begin to seem hopeless and almost want to completely eliminate yourself from situations like that all together. However, there are ways to get better with it.

Here are ways on how to talk to people even when you aren’t sure what to say:

1. Keep it Simple

Simple subjects tend to be the easiest place to find common ground. Don’t make it your goal to impress the person you’re talking to with obscure knowledge on random topics. Instead, start a conversation you both can contribute to using your experiences. Ask the other person how their day is going, what projects/things they’ve been doing lately or if they have anything special planned for the weekend. You may find that the conversation evolves and goes somewhere unexpected. However, it may be helpful to first build up the comfort level with simple subjects.

2. Let Them Talk About Themselves by Asking Good Questions

People generally like to talk about themselves. Not because they’re egotistical but because it’s a safe topic and one they obviously know very well. Therefore, if you’re struggling to think of what to say, simply ask good questions. Being a good listener is a great way to engage in conversations with others.

Asking questions shows a level of interest and causes the other person to feel cared for. You do this by paying attention and observing the person to find clues. For example, if they look particularly tired, ask them what they did yesterday. If they have a certain item of clothing, mention you’ve been looking for a similar item and ask them where they got it from.

The key is to ask open-ended questions and get them talking rather than questions that elicit yes or no answers. This allows the person to elaborate more, keep the conversation going and enables you to find more clues to their personality. Are you getting gaslighted?

3. Don’t Assume People Will Agree With You

Research on social psychology shows that many of us engage in the “assumed similarity bias.” It’s not safe to conclude that because you are opposed to one or another political party that the person you’re talking to is as well. Debates can make for enjoyable conversation. If you assume everyone feels as you do, it’s likely you’ll get started on the wrong foot and end up with it in your mouth.

4. Let Conversation Flow 

In a way, conversations are a little like a word association game. Someone says something that reminds you of a story, so you decide to tell it. Then your story sparks a memory that the other person decides to share and it continues on like that. Don’t be afraid of steering the conversation in a new direction, as long as you offer a quick explanation to explain the change in subjects.

5. Know When Not To Talk 

Some people prefer no conversation at all, especially in confined situations such as public transportation. There may be other situations where someone just doesn’t seem interested in engaging in a conversation and that is a signal to keep in mind. If someone doesn’t want to converse back with you, respect their wishes.

6. Simply Rephrase What They Say

Sometimes conversations can wane if you can’t really relate to the topic they’re talking about. If you have little knowledge on the subject, it can be hard to add your opinions and awkward silences can ensue. A good technique in situations such as this is to rephrase what the other person has said. Not only does this show you’re interested and listening to what they’re saying, but it gives them a chance to point out discrepancies or be eager to tell you more because of your interest.

7. Have a Conversation About Food

The point of this is to find a universal topic. Not everyone knows about the latest technological advances or fashions, but you know everyone has a passion for or at least an opinion on food. If you’re eating together it’s an easy way to start a conversation by simply commenting on the food. You can even expand on that by talking about different cuisines or other foods you’ve tried. If you’re eating a meal later, asking or suggesting what you should eat will always be a successful topic.


The more comfortable you get with a person, the easier conversation usually becomes. When you find someone that has the potential to become a friend, it’s worth making the effort to get to know them. In this post, I shared with you ways on how to talk to people even when you aren’t sure what to say. Helpful to also see

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