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Each one of us has different personality and character traits and that can make it a struggle sometimes to connect with others in conversation.  As we move through life our friendships often come and go in different seasons so we need to look out for new people to have in our life even though it is sometimes difficult.  It helps keep life interesting and doesn’t allow us to get stagnant and bored. Whether you are connecting with an old friend or a new friend it’s important to have good listening skills and to know when to speak up or not.  Depending on our personalities we might have some struggles so let’s dig into that a bit.

Building new friendships can be awkward but it’s worth it

It’s important to really listen and hear what people are saying.  Sometimes when you meet a new person and are trying to build a relationship with them it might be a little awkward and conversation may even be tough.  It’s important to push through the awkwardness because you just know this will be a good connection to have. Make sure you aren’t the person that just talks about themselves and is not aware that the other individual also wants to share.  

If you have a bad habit in conversation, recognize it and make some changes

Sometimes people are stuck in the habit of talking only about themselves in situations with new people and often that can be too much especially when the other person doesn’t know you well.  Keep this in mind especially if you are very extroverted and the other individual is more of an introvert and not as outgoing.

If you only talk about yourself, the other person will not feel good about the conversation

It can be easy to just fall into the habit of bulldozing the conversation and afterwards you will undoubtedly feel good about how it went.  Likely it’s because you talked about yourself the whole time and the other person only said a few things. Afterall, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?  Certainly no one that I know but you need to give them a chance!

Work on being self aware enough to catch yourself in a bad habit

This is where you need to develop some self awareness and self control and tone it back a little if you are in the habit of taking a conversation over.  You want to make sure the other individual feels like the conversation was good as well as you and if you want to develop the relationship more you need to let them talk.  Really, it’s just about knowing yourself enough to know when to stop talking and let others run with it.

Listen actively and let them know you are hearing them and care

If you are on the other side and you are often the quiet one listening to them talk then it is important to listen and let them know you care what they are saying.  Sometimes people that are extroverted have a whole lot of words to say and they may not always have someone that will listen to them. So when they are able to say all the words built up inside they feel a lot better and more comfortable.  So listen and then the next conversation will be better and you will hopefully be able to contribute more.

It is important for you to recognize when you are being overly quiet or when you need to jump into a conversation and not just let the other person run the whole thing.  Often people will just continue to talk because there is not another option in their mind and they may just be ok filling the silence. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts or even steer the conversation a little.  That is ok!

We all have some rough edges, look for the gold inside of everyone!

The most important thing to remember is that you are trying to get closer to someone and if that is the goal then push through whatever things come up that might normally make you pull away.  If in your mind the long term benefits of a connection to this person are worth it, then don’t be discouraged. We all have our rough edges but that does not make the effort meaningless. Work on your rough edges and forgive others for theirs or else you might find yourself pretty lonely looking for the perfect friend!  In all my years I have never found someone like that, it’s just lots of rough edges all around with some amazing people underneath. If you can forgive them and look past the roughness you will find yourself in some great life filled friendships!

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