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What conversation tips can help me make new friends?

In order to get to know someone or to get to know someone better, it is helpful to be able to start conversations. Starting and maintaining enjoyable conversations involves a combination of skills. These skills include choosing someone who might be receptive to a conversation, having something interesting to say, and showing interest in the other person.

Some specific tips for conversation are provided below:
  • Find someone who isn't occupied. Choose someone who isn't obviously occupied. If the person is in the middle of doing something, they may not want to stop what they are doing in order to talk to you.
  • Choose an interesting topic. The topic you choose could be related to something that you are doing when you are starting the conversation. For example, if you are in an art gallery, you could start a conversation about the paintings you are looking at. You could also choose another topic, such as the weather, recent events, or sports. If you don't know the person, you can start by introducing yourself. But as you do so, you should also be thinking of a topic to follow the introduction.
  • Look at the person. Eye contact is important when you are talking to people because it shows them that you are interested in what they have to say. If you feel uncomfortable looking into someone's eyes, you can look somewhere close to their eyes, such as their forehead or nose.
  • Smile and nod your head to show you are listening. It can be helpful to let the person know that you are listening and are interested in what he or she has to say. Showing an interest in the other person indicates that you don't want to dominate the conversation by doing all the talking and that you are receptive to their ideas and point-of-view.
  • Tune in to what the other person is saying. Asking questions about what the other person says and responding to their comments lets them know that you are interested in their perspective. If the person seems uninterested, consider changing topics or politely ending the conversation.
  • Avoid telling very personal things about yourself. When you are just getting to know someone, avoid telling the person very private information about yourself. Such information too early in a conversation sometimes makes the person feel uncomfortable and can make it harder to make a connection with him or her. When you get to know the person better, he or she will feel more comfortable with conversations about more personal topics.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.