You’re on a date and you like the person, but they’re just not much of talker. You have already talked about your hobbies, your families, your jobs, but nothing else seems to come into your mind and the other person isn’t really helping (that’s what you believe).
One of the best ways of filling in conversation gaps with your significant other is to utilize small talk. Small talk will give you a general picture about your partner’s likes and dislikes, as well as what they would like to discuss or leave alone. Once the small talk gives you a general idea, you can go ahead and discuss your common likes and dislikes.
But what is really freaking you are those moment of silence. The key to avoid or get over these horrible moments are:
Compliments are a great way to break the ice and build rapport with people. We all like to hear how great our outfit is or that we have great tastes in music, and your date is no exception. While many of us fear that we’re not good enough or that people will reject us, giving compliments is a great way to reduce those anxieties and help the other person feel as though you accept them for who they are. By doing so, you will make them feel more confident in themselves which will make them more open to sharing information with you.
2. Asking open-ended questions
They way you ask questions is very important in establishing effective communication. Effective questions open the door to knowledge and understanding by leaving room for the other person to share as much information as they feel comfortable with. Open-ended questions are the best way to help your partner do this.
The best open-ended questions start with “why” or “how.” Asking “how did you come across that band?” after asking them who their favorite band is allows them to share an intimate story that can help you learn more about the other person. You can use these frequently without being annoying. The other person will feel like you are interested in what they are telling you and will be more open to sharing details about themselves to you.
3. Listen, listen, and listen some more.
Many people have a tendency to talk about themselves. I mean let’s face it, most of us like ourselves and we love telling people about us because we’re so awesome, aren’t we? It’s fine to tell stories and share opinions with others but it’s equally important to let the other person do some talking too.
Rather than trying to make the other person think you’re the best thing that’s ever walked into their life, try opening your ears more and allowing the other person to speak so that you can understand them on a deeper level. Doing so will make them feel as if you’re really interested in them and in turn will make them more interested in you.
The open-ended questions you ask will be a great set up for you to really listen to what they are saying instead of waiting for your turn to speak. Make good eye contact with them, lean in a little bit, and try to understand the deeper implications of what they are telling you. When you do this you will establish a greater connection with the person you’re with and make them want to spend more time with you.
While we all fear those awkward silences, you now have some new tools to break those silences and have a wonderful time getting to know your date. Remember, the key is to ask more questions, listen to what they are telling you, and establish a connection that will make them want to spend more time with you.