How to fill an embarrassing silence (with pictures)

How to fill an embarrassing silence (with pictures)
How to fill an embarrassing silence (with pictures)

We have all experienced this embarrassing situation, when a conversation ends and everyone starts to fidget with boredom and embarrassment. You don't have to be a human relations whiz to rekindle the conversation: just practice and use a few prepared sentences. The main tips are asking questions that need a detailed answer, being interested in the other's tastes, and keeping some back-up conversation topics in the back of your mind. When you master the art of conversation better, you will feel less anxious (e) if a gap occurs and you will be able to take the opportunity to leave the conversation with grace.


Part 1 of 4: fuel the conversation

Fill Awkward Silences Step 1

Step 1. Learn how to break the ice

It is not necessary to have a thorough mastery of the art of language to simply discuss adequately. Just remember a few questions to ask to break the silence.

  • From a casual acquaintance, you can ask where she came from, how she met your mutual friend, or what she does for a hobby.
  • To a friend, you can ask how his family is doing, how is it at work, or what he did last weekend.
Fill Awkward Silences Step 2

Step 2. Think ahead about topics for conversation

Before heading to a social event, think about a few easy-to-talk topics to rekindle a dying conversation. This will help you bridge any possible silence without having to rack your brains for what to say.

  • The people with whom you share a passion, such as a sport or a hobby, are certainly the ones with whom it is easiest to chat. Then all you have to do is talk about whatever interests you, whether it's the game from the day before or a crochet pattern.
  • If you're talking to coworkers, find a topic that doesn't make you feel like you're working, but still relates to your work environment. Test a light topic, for example the canteen.
  • Local events, news, TV shows, and bestselling books are all great conversation starters. Avoid politics, however, if you don't find yourself in a situation where people want to argue.

Step 3. Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions can get different answers and allow the person answering to keep the conversation going, which is not the case when the answer is short. To keep the conversation going, ask open-ended questions.

  • For example, you can ask "How did you meet your girlfriend?" Instead of saying "Where did you meet your girlfriend?" The first question allows the person to expand on the circumstances while with the second, he will answer by mentioning the place, which is very short.
  • An open-ended question “forces” the person to give details, they cannot answer with a simple word like yes or no. Instead of saying “Did you enjoy college? Instead say "What did you like when you were in college?" "
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Step 4. Avoid flat answers

Responding with a simple “yes” or “no” is the best way to create awkward silence. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with yes or no. If someone asks you one, then be sure to prolong your response so as not to interrupt the conversation. If, for example, you are asked if you like sports, rather than just answering yes or no, explain your answer and give some personal information. For example, you can say “Yes, I love skiing. I have been going skiing since I was little, it is one of my best family memories. And you, what kind of sport do you like?"

Also, avoid letting the conversation die. If you make a joke and are told it was funny, don't end with "Haha yeah. Instead, add: "Sure, but not as much as last time." Do you remember when we were disguised as aliens? "

Fill Awkward Silences Step 4

Step 5. Don't pressure yourself

If you put the pressure on yourself to keep the conversation going, you won't be focused enough on the conversation itself. Instead, try to be present and actually listen to what the other person is saying to you. Let the conversation take its natural course. If in doubt, take a deep breath and try to relax. The conversation topics you have prepared are only there to start the conversation. If you've moved on to a new topic, you've done it!

Sometimes everyone has to deal with awkward silences. Try not to make a big deal out of it. It would only amplify the problem instead of solving it

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Step 6. Share information only bit by bit

If you unpack everything all at once, the conversation may not last very long. Instead, try to disseminate information about yourself in the conversation and let the other person speak as well. This will allow you to prolong the conversation and limit embarrassing silences as much as possible.

If you find that you've been talking about your job for a while, take a break and ask the other person what they're doing right now. This will allow him to participate in the conversation equally

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Step 7. Be friendly

This will put the other person at ease and make the conversation easier. Make sure you smile and respect what the other person is telling you. If you accept your interlocutor, they will feel more comfortable confiding in you and in turn fueling the conversation. It is not only your responsibility to create a good conversation, the person you are talking to has a role to play as well.

Validate what the other has just said by repeating part of it. If someone tells you about their daughter's illness, you might say, for example, that you're sorry that she feels bad. Add that the flu is really terrible and you remember when your son caught it. Not only does it show that you have listened to what the other is saying and that it touches you, but it also allows the conversation to bounce back

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Step 8. End the conversation

A conversation can't go on forever, so there's no reason to be ashamed to end it. If you feel like you're stuck in an uninteresting conversation and feel embarrassed to take the leave, think of a few ways to politely get out of it and practice using them.

  • To a cross acquaintance in a public place, you can say “Hi! You are looking good. I'm in a bit of a rush, but we'll see you soon, okay? "
  • During an SMS or email exchange: “OK, I'm glad we saw this together (the subject of the conversation). Goodbye ! "
  • After a long conversation at a social event, you can say, “I really enjoyed getting to know you (or seeing you again). I'll try to see (such and such a person). "

Part 2 of 4: project yourself

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Step 1. Talk about your passions

If you are enthusiastic and proud of what you do for a living, your passion will make people react. Talk about what makes you unique and what defines you, what you have accomplished, your goals. If, for example, you are in the middle of a group of outdoor sports enthusiasts, mention that you went rock climbing last weekend and did a 5C on sight without assistance. Either they'll ask you what “doing a 5C on sight” means, or they'll be interested in what you say!

  • Avoid bragging, comparing yourself, and competing with others. Focus on your personal goals and the satisfaction you get from them.
  • Be tactful with your interlocutor. Don't tell someone who can't afford it or your successful diet to someone who has a lot of weight to lose about your dream vacation.
  • If you don't know how to share your accomplishments, seek advice from a loved one who is proud of you.
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Step 2. Tell a story

When the conversation takes a break, take the opportunity to tell a funny story about you. Share something memorable that happened to you recently, like finding yourself locked out and forced to break into your home. A well-told story can engage the other in the conversation and keep them going.

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Step 3. Have confidence in yourself

You have some interesting things to say in any conversation. Your point of view is unique and may be of interest to others. Be aware of your importance in any conversation and allow yourself to participate. A good conversation allows everyone to express themselves and share their experience with others. Be yourself in order to create a real relationship without causing an awkward situation.

Dare to share something close to your heart. For example, you can talk about a personal goal that is important to you, such as the desire to run a marathon. Even if the other person doesn't share your interest, it will help them get to know you better. Your interlocutor could also in turn give you a goal that is close to his heart

Fill Awkward Silences Step 11

Step 4. Give a compliment

As long as it's appropriate, a compliment is a safe bet. For example, you can tell the other person that you like their shirt and ask them where it came from. This helps redirect the conversation while still making the other person feel good.

In everyday conversation, praise the personality or personal success of the other person instead. Only compliment each other on their looks if you want to flirt

Fill Awkward Silences Step 12

Step 5. Change the subject

Sometimes the conversation gets exhausted, but it's not that you don't have anything more to say, just that you've covered the topic. Take the conversation to a different level by tackling a new topic, whether it's yesterday's news, the weather, or your favorite book. The goal is simply to change the subject. If this has nothing to do with the previous topic, make your own transition.

  • "I know it has nothing to do with it, but I think I remember you know Joel." From where do you know each other ? "
  • "I think back to what you told me earlier: you have a dog, right? What race is he? "
  • If you don't mind sounding eccentric, talk about something unrelated to the conversation, like, "What's the strangest place you've been in?" This mostly works in a relaxed setting, where everyone is having a good time.
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Step 6. Make a comment

Find something you can comment on without making a mistake. For example, you can observe an object: “Oh, look at this painting! I would like to be able to do the same! Do you like art?"

  • If you are having lunch with someone, you can comment on the food: “This salad is delicious, isn't it? »Not only does this break the silence, but it also gives the other person an opportunity to speak in turn.
  • You can also make a funny or intriguing comment about an object, for example: “I heard that the boards on this floor were once part of a castle. The owner of this building is pretty eccentric, you know. "

Part 3 of 4: listen and respond

Fill Awkward Silences Step 14

Step 1. Find the right tone

Sometimes an embarrassing silence follows an inappropriate comment. If you don't know how the other person is going to react to your unbridled sense of humor, save your jokes for a while until you can be sure they will be heard.

To find the right tone, try to place a few comments so as to test the waters. If you feel like talking about politics, you can just say something like “We can say that these elections were interesting” and wait and see how the other person reacts. Perhaps this will give you an idea of ​​his political views. This will make it easier to determine if your joke about a candidate is more likely to make them laugh or offend them

Fill Awkward Silences Step 15

Step 2. Listen carefully to the other person

Listen carefully to what the other person is telling you and respond accordingly. As with any good conversation, the key is to listen carefully. If the other person answers your questions with a simple “Yes” or “No,” without bouncing back, it may be a sign that they are uncomfortable with the topic of the conversation. In this case, try to find a topic that interests him more. For example, you can tell him about the soccer game he just won and ask him for details.

  • Pay attention to the body language of the other person. If he's got his arms crossed, staring at the floor, or shaking nervously, the topic you are discussing may be making him uncomfortable. These clues should prompt you to change the subject.
  • If the other person doesn't talk too much about them, they may be shy. Try to dig a bit and see what it tells you. If he answers you a simple "no" when you ask him if he liked a particular film, you can for example ask him what he did not like. The scenario ? Staging ? This will give you the opportunity to restart the conversation and get to know your interlocutor better.
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Step 3. Make the link with the topics discussed previously

If you find yourself running out of ideas after a good conversation, think back to the topics discussed earlier and ask, for example, how you got to talking about cats when talking about neighborhood restaurants. Perhaps the connection between the two conversation topics is a mutual friend. From there you can for example bounce the conversation on literature or cinema.

Fill Awkward Silences Step 17

Step 4. Use what you said earlier

It's a natural way to break the silence. If you mentioned the pouring rain and then the person you're talking to was worried about her dog getting cold, this is a good way to get the conversation going. You can now ask him questions about his dog, which will undoubtedly lead to another topic. If you find common points and take the opportunity to provide new information on this topic, the conversation will not end.

In the case of a long enough break, reflect on something you previously discussed and resume the conversation. For example, you can say: “Earlier you mentioned a new project you are working on, can you tell me more? "

Fill Awkward Silences Step 18

Step 5. Ask questions

Find out what interests the other person. Everyone loves to talk about what they love! It's a great way to get to know someone and to redirect the conversation in a positive way after a break. It will also make future conversations less embarrassing, since you and your conversation partner will know more about each other's interests.

  • For example, you can check in on her children, for example asking, "How's Lola doing these days?" "
  • You can also ask about a recent trip: “I heard you were in Italy last month. Did you like it? I've always wanted to go! "

Part 4 of 4: dealing with embarrassment

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Step 1. Accept the silence

Silence in a conversation need not be something embarrassing. Maybe the person you're talking to is just thinking about what to answer, or maybe it's just a natural break. Take this opportunity to create another bond with that person, by meeting their gaze or simply enjoying their presence. Silence can be filled with things other than words.

  • If, for example, the person you are talking to has just told you about a difficult ordeal in their life, such as the illness of a loved one, you can give them a hug rather than trying to find the right words. This will show her that you are sensitive to her emotions without having to figure out what to say.
  • Sometimes a correct emotional response is to share silence with the other person when they have nothing to say.
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Step 2. Identify the source

Silence is usually caused by something. If you can identify the cause of a silence, it will be easier to break it. Maybe you or the other person said something that made the other person uncomfortable. Perhaps your views on one subject or another are very different and you are trying to avoid conflict. You can take action based on the situation to move on.

  • If you made the other person uncomfortable, you can just apologize by saying, “I'm sorry, that was inappropriate,” and then jump-start the conversation to another topic.
  • If you don't have much in common with the other person, and you've exhausted all the topics that could interest you both, a silence may indicate it's time to leave the conversation. Politely leave the conversation by invoking a date or an obligation.
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Step 3. Acknowledge the embarrassing situation

This is especially useful if the conversation was interrupted by an inappropriate, rude, or embarrassing comment. If, for example, you've spent the last five minutes explaining how much you hate chess and the other person tells you it's their favorite game and they're competing in championships, say something like, “Hey. well i guess we'll never play chess together! Then ask him what other games he enjoys to get the conversation going.

If you chat with a friend about your date the night before and she tells you about her date that night, only to find that you are dating the same man, the silence that follows is at risk. to be lead. In this case, it is better to recognize that it is very embarrassing in the tone of the joke, to relax the atmosphere

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Step 4. Find an activity

If you like the person you're talking to, but the conversation paused for some reason, suggest an activity you can do together. If you are at a party, you can offer to host the newcomers together or to hold the bar together for a while. You can even create a new cocktail together and give it your two names!

If you're one-on-one with someone, you can suggest a walk, a snowball fight, or any other activity that both of you engage

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Step 5. Avoid embarrassing behavior

If you are focused on something other than the other person, you may make them uncomfortable and add to the embarrassment of the situation. Do not take out your phone to check your messages. Not only would your interlocutor feel neglected, they might even leave! Instead, find a productive way to fill in the silences by including your interlocutor. If you really want to check your phone, why not share a song or music video with it? This can be a way to get the conversation going.

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Step 6. Know when to let go

If for some reason the conversation fails to start and you find yourself in a situation where it is possible, smile and apologize, then walk away. Find a friend to talk to or just get outside.

If this is your first time dating someone and you can't seem to bond with that person, don't push. Just say you have to get home early because you have a lot to do and thank her for dinner before you go

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