We all get anxious from time to time, especially when we are forced to have conversations with people we don’t really know. One of the most awkward situations involves running out of things to say to someone. Who doesn’t dread that long, awkward pause? What if I told you that learning one technique can ensure you never run out of things to say? Would you want to know how to master “conversation threading”?
Conversation threading is the ability to make a free-flowing conversation using multiple topics. If someone makes a statement like “I went to Paris last summer to study at the university,” you have many, many directions you could thread the conversation. You could ask if they liked Paris, which school they went to, what they study, or you could shift the focus of the conversation with something like “Really? I went to Paris last year,” or “I like to travel, as well” [Which is a great way to build rapport through shared experiences!
Even if she’s giving you tiny bits of information, you can still thread the conversation. “I’m going to class,” obviously you can ask her about, you could shift the focus again [Me too, I’m taking (subject), isn’t it *fascinating* how…], you could drop a cold-read, you could pace her hypnotically [Have you ever noticed how we’re both here, outside this coffee shop, having this conversation and blah blah blah] you could go into any direction. BE CREATIVE and don’t be afraid to be different. Mix the expected with the unexpected.
You can combine this technique with other techniques. In particular, you can go from cold conversation [logical factoids, I’m a lawyer, gas is too expensive] to warm conversation [Feelings, emotions. Things “from us” rather than about us].
What if she tells you she is an emergency room nurse? Well, you could continue logically probing about it, or you could discuss emotions. What emotions are involved in nursing? “You must feel amazing knowing that what you’re doing is helping people,” is an example that comes to mind, I’m trusting you to come up with your own.
It is my personal preference to avoid “negative” emotions, including stress, panic, and tragedy. Sometimes I see men mention things like “Wow that must be so busy,” or “You must feel really stressed,” and the person they’re talking to sighs, slouches and begins to talk about all the hardships of their work. These are not emotions I want associated with our initial conversations.
So now you’re having an interesting conversation that’s enticing the emotions. Here’s some advice: Talk about a wide range of topics. At first glance, one might think it’s better to talk about one subject, and be in total agreement for an hour, than to talk about a wide range of topics, but actually a “wide rapport” will help you. Thread into multiple directions, talk about multiple topics, and you both will feel like you’ve connected on multiple levels.
How to Master Conversation Threading
Here’s some homework, it involves making “mind maps” (also called spider diagrams, trees, or whatever the fuck you want). Pick something girls say that you hear often, if you meet a lot of girls that are Psychologists, write “Psychologist” in the center of a paper, and circle it.
Then branch it out. Draw a line to smaller circle, label it emotions. What emotions do Psychologists have in their work? “Isn’t it amazing how sometimes, you feel such an amazing connection with the people you see?” What emotional qualities must a psychologist have?
From the center circle labled Psychologist, branch out into other directions. Make a bubble that says “Values,” what character traits must Pscyhologists have? What values do they have? [You must consider yourself a very caring person, correct?]
Of course, you can draw branches for the other aspects of their job. You can write a bubble that says “College Education” and branch off from there. You can draw a bubble that says “Job description” and branch off from there.
This will help you in your sarges, instead of a tepid “I’m a psychologist,” “Oh do you like your work?” you could make it more interesting, and branch it out into many different directions.
Remember: there is no wrong response. If you say something like “You’re a psychologist? They say to be a psychologist *you must deeply care for people.*” and she says “Oh, yeah but I don’t really interact with the patients I just do the record keeping,” work with whatever response she gives you. Everything she says is something you can thread with!
– Your Big Bro