Social Skills

Social Skills
There are all kinds of skills which we develop as we grow up, one critical social skill is how to relate verbally to others in different social situations all the way from dating, to getting along with your boss or co-worker to being a contributing partner in a family setting.  One of the most important skills is one’s ability to interact with others in informal conversations.  
Some obviously are better than others in mastering this necessary ability but there are ways to improve any shortcomings.
First of all, some people seemingly are just ‘naturals’ when it comes to being able to converse with anyone, even strangers.   You have heard the expression, “He never met a stranger.”  meaning there is no obvious noticeable  awkwardness in the flow of the gifted one’s verbal exchanges.  And the discussed topic, while allowing one an advantage should he be thusly well informed, this does not mean that the conversation has to be uber one-sided.  
An important part of being a good conversationalist is also being a good listener.  That too takes ability since for some their impatience to express a thought does not allow the conversation to be balanced.
But what about those moments when conversational silence becomes overpoweringly deafening.  
What happens when there is ‘obviously ‘nothing left to talk about or so one might mistakenly think?  
Well, if this is an absolute fact, do what is expedient: call it a day, but if this is not socially appropriate, consider some topical alternatives.
First of all, like in dancing, someone has to lead.  This person’s first duty by being the occasion’s spokesperson must realize the importance of the other involved person’s views.  Knowing facts about this person, his likes, interests, favorites, family, goals, makes it much easier to develop mutual interests thereby allowing for a normal, natural outline for conversational dialogs.  Too often, the topic can unfortunately become more about me,me,me – always a dangerous trend.
Then there are some universal ‘fail safe’ topics that are nearly always available when other strategies do not work.  The most obvious one is to talk about the weather, something that affects everyone to some degree.  
If the current weather is not newsworthy, then there are recall moments when weather has been the topic of the moment such as storms, hurricanes and yes, even ‘perfect’ weather days stored in one’s memory.
And if the relationship is really important socially, having a third party present is the perfect ice breaker catalyst.
If these fail, consider taking up vows of silence.
Bill Lee
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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