Monday, December 12, 2016 / by Shenae Andrus
Christmas time is here. That means a lot of awkward holiday office parties with people that make you nervous and tons of family celebrations with extended relatives that push you to your mental limit. There's long and torturous moments of silence, uncomfortable glances and forced laughter. You see, these social settings can sometimes set us up for nerve-wracking interactions that leave us feeling exhausted afterwards. Somewhere along the line, we've forgotten how to communicate with ease. Can we just send a text or a Facebook message instead?
Now there's no need to dread those holiday parties with strangers and distant acquaintances. We've got 5 tips on how you can keep those Christmas conversations flowing steadily, no matter who get you cornered by! Whether you get caught standing in the buffet line behind your company's CEO or your long-lost Aunt Patty, these convo hacks will help you to make it out alive.
1) Ask lots of questions. Let's face it - everyone has a little narcissism in them. If you ask the right questions, you're sure to get even the most reserved individual chatting. "How are your kids?" or "How's your job going?" Pull from things you've seen on their social media pages, if that helps. For example, "I saw on Instagram that you just got a new puppy! What's that like?" Professionals suggest asking open ended questions versus "yes or no" ones.
2) Find a common interest. Believe it or not, it is possible to find something in common with pretty much anyone. I mean at the end of the day, you at least share the commonality that you're human and breath oxygen, right? Hopefully conversation doesn't come to that. But if you ask enough questions, you may realize that there's one topic you're interested that the other party seems to enjoy. Delve into that topic with all your strength. You can do it!
3) Don't fear the silence. That's where we get into trouble. We put our foot in our mouth or say something that sounds completely ridiculous. It's because we always try to think of something to say when there's that horrific moment of quiet. Take a deep breath and don't feel the need to carry every single conversation. Usually if you let the silence resound for a few seconds, the other party will start to chip in. Let them help you!
4) Be honest. Sometimes we censor what we say for fear of offending the person we're talking to. This enforces a stiff and cold exchange. It's best to just be you. Obviously, we'd suggest not saying anything too offensive or opinionated - but it's not a bad thing to quip or throw in a funny comment here or there. Let the conversation feel a little more authentic by being yourself.
5) Don't be a wall-flower. We get it. It's super easy to morph into a hermit during social settings that push us out of our comfort zone. But that is how a person experiences growth. It takes a lot of practice, but eventually you'll be able to take these awkward conversations head on with ease and agility. No one was born being professional conversationalists. Just take it one day (or party) at a time!
Is there anything you've found that helps ease your conversational anxieties? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear how you keep your conversations going! And if you'd ever like to chat about Delaware real estate, whether you're looking to buy or sell, why not call our team leader, Don Williams, at (302)545-6859? He can connect you with one of our agents that would love to help you set up a personalized home buying or selling plan. Now that's a conversation you wouldn't have to dread!