I’m sure every one of us has experienced those moments of awkward silence when the conversation suddenly stops and there is no chance to continue. For me, these moments are my personal hell. Due to the nature of my character, I’m unable to engage people in a joyful and light conversation, especially unfamiliar people. So if you are so unlucky as I’m, don`t get upset. There are numerous tips on how to avoid these moments of awkward silence which will come to rescue in the time of need.
1. Change the subject
This is a good option to remember about when you happen to get into an awkward silence moment. Moreover, it is a nice way to avoid it as well. After communicating with a person for some time you may imply which topics may be successful and which will lead to awkward silence. So you should use this and appear to be a good interlocutor.
2. Don’t try to outdo their stories
In a big and noisy company among good friends you may often hear one interrupting another and boasting that his experience was even more exciting and worth attention of the public present. But there are some cases when this won’t go and the conversation will inevitably come to the deadlock. It is very important to have respect and patience to listen attentively to the other person. If you are thoughtful and cautious enough you will easily avoid that undesired awkwardness.
3. Ask questions
When you do not know what to say to another person just start asking questions. All people like talking about themselves so you may easily use this little sin in to your advantage. As you ask your first question you will definitely receive an answer. After it you have a good chance to start a conversation by taking turns in asking and answering. It is a nice way to fill awkward gaps in any conversation and it also shows your interest in your interlocutor.
4. Listen attentively
Very often a conversation is interrupted by silence because of the speakers not listening to each other. So my advice to you is that you should listen attentively to what your partner says. Maintain eye contact, watch his\her facial expressions and listen to every word. Then you will surely find at list something to say or ask in case when that awkward silence comes up.
5. Look friendly
Even if you are hastily thinking of what to say next don’t forget about your facial expression. Your unintentional frown may scare away your partner. Don’t forget to smile and maintain eye contact even when you have nothing to say. Have a soft and relaxed look to create positive atmosphere for communication.
6. Be confident
When the conversation goes out of your control, don’t panic. It is important to look and act confident as nobody should notice you being nervous. You may not even notice when you start fiddling with your hair or accessories sending a message to your interlocutor. Show no sign and pretend to be confident and sure. Don’t hunch up, speak audibly and distinctly and everything will go smoothly.
7. Try to retreat
If the situation is extremely difficult to fix then you should use a back-up plan. When you feel that a conversation tends to end you may excuse yourself and leave for the ladies room. This will help you avoid struggling to say something to break the silence. Maybe when you come back you will invent something interesting to start a conversation afresh.
I really hope these tips will help you not only to get out of an awkward silence situation but also to avoid getting into it in future. Keep in mind these advices and don’t be afraid of communicating with new people and making new friends. What are your methods of breaking awkward silence? Please share your experience.