We all have to use our words on a daily basis, whether it’s orally or in writing. Sometimes it’s easy to know what to say. You might be talking about a subject you have a passion for or writing a quick email to a colleague. But sometimes there are occasions when you feel at a loss for words. It could be because there’s a sensitive issue, such as someone you know losing a loved one. Or perhaps you end up talking to someone you don’t know well, and you can’t find an appropriate topic to share with them. When these moments happen, they can make you panic. You don’t want to put your foot in your mouth or stand around in awkward silence. Try to deal with those situations with the tips below.
Ask for Advice
It’s not always possible to ask for advice on what to say to someone. If you’re in the moment, there’s no chance to sneak away and google “what to say on a first date“. However, there are many occasions when you have the time to figure out how you want to express yourself. For example, you might be unsure about how to respond to a friend’s personal crisis. Maybe you want to ask someone on a date, or you don’t know how to approach a sensitive topic with your child. Try to gather opinions from family, friends, your therapist, or even the internet.
Turn to the Internet
The internet is another great resource when you’re stuck for something to say. You might even be able to sneak into a bathroom for some quick tips if you’re stuck in a conversation with someone. However, the best way to use it is to help you prepare for awkward situations. Check out this excellent source for questions to ask in conversation and responses to different events. You can find suggestions for how to wish someone well when they’re ill, or even out of office emails to write. These resources are perfect for those times when you never know what to write, like when a card goes around the office for a leaving colleague.
Have Some Prepared Questions
Do you think that you’re socially awkward, and always find yourself in odd silences? Having a conversation is a skill, and some people need to work on it more than others. You need to keep reminding yourself of how to keep the conversation going. One way to do it is to have questions you can ask. They should be open-ended, so the answer isn’t short and over in seconds. When you’re asked a question, remember to ask for the other person’s answer too.
Sometimes people don’t want to hear much from others. All they need is a listening ear, which is why being an active listener is so important. Listening can often be a more important skill than talking. Letting the other person know that you’re listening and understand what they’re saying is all that you need to do in some situations. So don’t feel pressured to come up with an appropriate response.
Everyone can feel at a loss for words sometimes. If you find it happens often, you can prepare yourself to handle it better.