How to have better conversations with people you've just met, according to science
A question can either kick off a conversation or keep it going, Sandstrom says. There might be an uncomfortable silence. They might get bored. Research actually suggests that people who ask more questions are better liked by their conversation partners than people who ask fewer questions. Research shows the opposite, however, that people nearly always are willing to engage in a conversation when prompted by someone else.
We might get bored.
In one study, researchers recruited individuals at random as they entered a crowded coffee shop downtown Vancouver, directing some to try to have a conversation with the barista and others to be as efficient as possible in their coffee fetching. The showed that both prior to and after having the conversation, people thought they would find their partners interesting, explains study author Gillian Sandstrom, PhDsenior lecturer in the department of psychology at University of Essex. IE 11 is not supported. The individuals who attended, elected to attend the event, so the sample was a somewhat unique group in that they were motivated to get better at conversations from the get-go, Sandstrom notes.
But those differences go away when people report the benefits they get out of a conversation according to what she and colleagues found in the aforementioned "Psychological Science" paper published last year.
Our fear assumptions fail to take into the social norms of politeness, Schroeder says. There are unwritten social norms in every context, which we tend to want to follow, but we may not always be sure of. People want to get the real you so they can express the real them. The researchers led a workshop for individuals in the community to learn how to get better at talking to strangers, and asked participants about those conversations — both before and after they happened.
The other person might talk too much.
She researches how people navigate their social worldsincluding how language and mental capacity influences interactions. The study was published in in the journal "Social Psychological and Personality Science". Sandstrom adds that people who are more introverted tend to be more worried about how conversations will go ahead of time compared with extroverts. Did certain moments feel awkward?
We might talk too much. You get better at asking better questions, and answering with more interesting responses.
How to be someone people love to talk to
Studies show that even minimal social interactions say, chatting with that stranger on the train boosts mood, for example. When fear is holding you back, here's how to press forward April 12, In another study from Dunn and Sandstroma group of students were asked to carry around counters and keep count all social interactions over the course of their day.
Having more social interactions led the students to report greater levels of happiness and wellbeing. Compared with talking to your partner, your best friend, or your mom, the unknowns make it challenging and potentially intimidating, Sandstrom says. Research from a group of social psychologists would suggest the answer to all of those questions would be yes.
Focusing the attention on the other person in those moments can help us get past those awkward spots, she says. Follow better. Skip the stock questions what do you do, where do you live, etc.
How small talk makes you smarter and happier March 1, Social Studies Can you make yourself more likable? For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Did the other person find you interesting? It shifts the focus to the other person and should make them feel good, Sandstrom explains. Absolutely, experts say. Ask questions. Georgie Nightingall, conversation coach and founder of Trigger Conversations.
That research also looked at other personality differences besides introversion. Share this —. They might shut down. Will being too bold impress or turn someone off?
They might be trying to hit on me. Will revealing a certain fact about ourselves make us appear more credible or likable? The were published in the journal "Psychological Science " in the fall and presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention in February.
Were you glad you had the conversation?
The former group reported leaving the coffee shop in a better mood and having a better sense of belonging in their community compared with the efficient group. Did you find the other person interesting? Want more tips like these?