You know the type… always personable yet never obnoxious. They know just what to say and when to say it, yet never monopolize a conversation. They’re the people everyone wants on their guest list and nobody minds sitting next to… the life of the party. Well, as the holiday season takes hold, with events rapidly filling your social calendar, we’ve got great news — you, too, can become one of them!
Here are 3 pointers for perfecting your social graces, straight from the psychics!
Believe it or not, charm does not begin with what you say, but how well you listen! Why? Because actively listening makes the people you’re talking to feel important and illustrates that you care what they have to say! No matter what the conversation is, if you can find a way to be engaged, you may find yourself fascinated when you least expect it. The result? You offer an equally engaging response, even if it’s simple acknowledgment of your interest in what someone else had to say.
Rather than trying to dominate the conversation (or waiting with bated breath to add your two cents), make it a point to really hear what the people around you are contributing and respond accordingly. If you need help, keep in mind that it’s often talking with those to whom we can’t relate that teaches us the most!
Asking questions that put those around you at ease and bring out their best is a surefire way to spark up a social situation. Choose topics that involve those within earshot — you should know a little something about them after all, since you’ve been listening! Naturally with strangers you may be genuinely limited to the basics like where are you from?, how do you know so-and-so?, where did you get that beautiful necklace? But if you pay attention and pick up on the details, the answers to these questions will give you clues into more personal, engaging ones.
And remember, listening cues you into the conversational climate. If you sense that the person you are speaking to is skirting the question, change the subject.
Maybe you’re caught in a conversation you’d like to get escape. Perhaps you just want to make sure you mingle with as many people as you can. Whatever the case, when it comes to exiting an interaction, it’s important that you don’t leave people feeling rejected. Doing so is sure to make your conversation attempts look disingenuous. Politely excuse yourself with another destination: “I heard the view from the balcony is amazing. I’m going to go check it out.” Or, “I’m headed to the kitchen. Does anyone want a drink?” It’s much easier to stop by with a beverage and leave gracefully later. Of course, if you still can’t shake unwanted company (a persistent suitor perhaps) phone calls and restroom breaks make for excellent solitary exits that don’t offend.
What’s your approach to holiday festivities? Share your tricks for dealing with difficult people or places and tricky topics in social situations!