by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com FREE Online Dating
Few factors matter more to the success or failure of a date than how the small talk goes. The chatter and discussion about a variety of big and little issues that encompasses the entire date from beginning to end. Good small talk will promote attraction, closeness, connection, understanding, and overall bonding. Poor small talk repels, discourages, and may even doom the relationship right then and there. So how your small talk goes on a date is critical. Much more important than where you are going, what you are doing, where you are eating, etc. Because if you can’t talk to each other well, you really don’t have much of a relationship together at all. But if you can…if you do…everything is possible.
Strengthening Your Small Talk Skills and Abilities:
1) Regularly read, watch, or listen to quality self-help materials to help improve your conversational abilities. Invest in yourself this way. Work at it. Learn from experts what works and goes well and what does not. Incorporate these ideas into your life and practice these ideas in your real-life conversations. Here are a few resources to consider:
*How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
*People Skills by Robert Bolton
*Conversation Skills by Keith Coleman
*How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
*The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
*Effortless Small Talk by Andy Arnott
2) When you are out and about in public, initiate simple conversations with those around you and continue them as long as it is going well. Strangers are often the best people to practice conversations with because if the conversation happens to go badly, you will never see them again anyway! Say hi, ask what time it is, ask a question or make a comment on a nearby happening, give a compliment, etc. Find any excuse and take the opportunity to talk to people wherever you are, wherever you go. It definitely gets easier and more comfortable with practice.
3) Practice video chat/Facetime/Skype with long distance friends or family. Rather than just text, email, or even phone call, engage regularly in some form of video chat. This will stretch your conversational skills more than the other remote forms of communication.
4) Practice being the conversation initiator with friends, family new acquaintances: Look to give a compliment, ask a question, comment on obvious/shared experiences. Look and act interested and energetic in the dialog that follow. Take an active listener role. See if you can get them talking over half of the time. If you seem nervous, bored, or awkward, it won’t go well. If they are talking more than you, chances are they are interested and invested in the conversation.
5) Practice Solo Discussions: Go in front of the mirror or a video camera on your phone and practice self-role play conversations. Practice bringing up a topic to start a conversation. Look and sound interested and interesting in your tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. Develop a mode and a character to practice going into that will be your default conversation mode. The more practiced and habitual it becomes, the more natural, comfortable, and skillful you will come across during the conversation. Set the tone of comfort, interest, and positive energy. Work to be the kind of person you would want to interact with in a conversation. If you aren’t, the chances are that others won’t be either.
6) Engage in Positive Self-Talk: Give yourself a positive pep talk and affirmations inside of yourself before, after, even during conversations. Remind yourself of the positive things you bring to the table in conversations. Develop social confidence, security, even a bit of conversation swagger. Know that you bring conversation skill to an encounter and will demonstrate accordingly. You will be as good of a conversationalist as you choose to be. This relates to both your conversational skills learning, your practice, and the positive self-talk you will engage in.
You can decide to become good at small talk and conversations. It takes some learning, practice, and a positive attitude but you can do it. Decide now that conversations will now be a strength of yours. It is time to do away with “I can’t” or “that’s just not me” attitudes. Small talk and conversation skills are just that—skills to learn, practice, and refine. Strengthen your dating stock tremendously by being better at small talk. It is all worth it because when you connect in your conversations, commitment and a life together are much more likely to follow. It has always meant to be this way. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
|2019-02-17||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Communication|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).