How to conversation?
I'm working with some people that need a little help and I've seen that they have a similar problem to some people on here, and I think it could be really helpful to discuss it here.
Conversation - I see a lot of people that struggle to hold a conversation. They can't think of what to say, how to stop a subject turning stagnant before moving on to the next topic.... These are the sorts of issues I'm seeing.
I previously addressed this issue briefly in my post titled "The art of conversation" but in all honesty I think it would be nice to get a conversation going taking a closer look at how someone really can start and hold a conversation.
Some years back I was in a dark place, habitually taking LSD and keeping myself locked inside my squat. At some point I got lonely and decided I needed to meet people - enter the path that led me to learning to become a PUA. The conversation thing was one of the first things I addressed. I got a shrink and talked with him a lot, which helped. Then there was group therapy and that too helped, building confidence comes almost naturally when you're in a room of other social delinquents. But we had something to discuss and I needed to learn to create new topics..
Chat rooms - I visited these a lot as there were always people there that were actually looking for conversation. So this helped me get used to banter and casual light-hearted conversation.
Street fundraisers - I would walk past them knowing they'd stop me. I'd take their bait and talk with them, but I'd try and steer the conversation in different ways as much as I could, completely straying from what they were trying to get me to sign up to. (one of them actually succeeded in getting me to sign up, so be careful..lol)
Go somewhere that there's something to talk about - I went to museums and galleries and approached people looking at a specific exhibit. I then started making off-the-cuff remarks about whatever we were looking at. When I got used to it I sometimes even managed to get conversation going well enough to just walk around the gallery with that person. Nice way to make new friends, too.
Get a social job - Bar work, fund raising... I got a job in a shop, and I still work there. I started working there because it's the sort of environment where you need to be able to talk with people conversationally. If you can't when you start, give it a few months and you'll be conversationally adequate in no time. Now I literally can't help myself but start long discussions with the customers, and have even taken a few of the more attractive ones out on dates.
So there's just a few of the things I did myself to improve my conversational abilities. And they really do help. Other things I can think of are take a class and make friends there, submerge yourself in social environments as much as you can. Go to night clubs and spend your night in the smoking area making friendly chit chat. Go for meals and see how much you can lure the waiter/waitress into a conversation that has nothing to do with the restaurant. Get in a lift and ride it until you have a decent conversation with at least one other person.
Does anyone else have any other techniques they've used to build up this imperative social skill? I have found that the ability to hold a fluid and encapsulating conversation really does arm you with most of the tools you need to be a successful PUA. Having been in their position, I really do feel for people that aren't quite so capable of conversation.
Why become someone else when you can become a natural?