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Communication Strategies: How To Make New Friends






     There are some who struggle with using communication strategies to make new friends whilst other take their natural ability lightly. Effective communication techniques are abilities that many take in their stride. Most of us can walk into an interview, meeting, a party and even a date and be confident that we can hold our own with an armoury of conversation starters. Unfortunately, there are those who are not so self-confident. Knowing how to make friends using conversational skill is at the heart of being human. It is this reason that those of us who are shy are so low in confidence or, from another angle, why those who lack self-confidence are so shy.

Even though some people have a natural knack for communication strategies and seem to employ them without even realizing it, there are many people who are unable to do the same. If you are one such person then you should stop worrying because it is fairly easy to learn about the art of conversation. Consider the following communication strategies designed to help you start and maintain a conversation in order to make new friends.

1. How to think of topics to talk about:

The initial hiccup that most people face is that they do not know how to use conversation starters. The trick is to find something neutral and in common. Usually, your surroundings will afford you lots of things that you can use to strike up a conversation. Everything from the event you are attending together to the beauty of the surroundings is fair game. You can even talk about the host who has invited the two of you, or a mutual friend; even the traffic outside can be used.

2. Open vs. closed questions:

Communication strategies teach us that it is always best to start with a good-natured and open-ended question to initiate conversation. An open-ended question is when the other person would have to describe or explain something as opposed to a closed question where the answer is usually a "yes" or a "no". Therefore, instead of saying "that's a pretty bag", you could say "that's a pretty bag; where did you get it?" This would result in the person telling you where they got the bag from or how they got it.

3. Descriptive cues:

There is a certain way to ask something that can result in the other person launching into a long story or explanation. Words such as 'sense', 'feel' and 'think' describe intangible things such as feelings or ideas which need a detailed description. If you ask someone "what do they think about the current economic condition?" you would get a detailed description which you can take in any direction you want. Similarly, asking "what do you feel about xyz?" can be a good conversation starter.

4. The art of listening:

There are many people who know how to start a conversation but only because they like to talk. The result is that these people end up talking on and on and the other person loses interest after only so long. This is where the art of conversation extends to listening which becomes a key component of your communication strategies. If you want to start and maintain a proper conversation so you will make new friends, then you need to listen to what the other person is saying. Properly timed and appropriate responses can help in doing this.

5. Practice empathy:

Empathy is in short supply these days because most people are absorbed in their own lives and fail notice the importance of the art of conversation and how to utilise communication strategies. However, empathy is a sure shot way to make new friends. Notice the other person's body language and energy levels and match yours to their's. Asking questions and actually being interested in the other person's answers is one of the best ways to make new friends. If they feel that you understand them, which means empathy, they will feel like talking to you more and thus you are on the way!




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For more information about practical ways to make new friends and to access personalised communication skills training visit www.conversationstarters.biz


Posted on 2012-09-14, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,


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