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How to appear less dull

(10 Posts)
VeryMerryBerry Sat 09-Aug-14 22:47:20

I'm not a particularly outgoing person, but in some situations like with friends and family and even with OD dates I can be quite chatty, friendly and confident.

However when I meet someone, like a neighbour I don't know well or a parent of my DCs friend for example, I find it really difficult to just chat and I know I come across as really awkward and dull.

Can those of you who are good at this sort of thing give me some tips?

ashtrayheart Sat 09-Aug-14 22:50:01

You sound like me! I'm quite confident when I know people well or there is a specific subject matter - but I'm hopeless at doing small talk with people I don't know.

Minion100 Sat 09-Aug-14 22:54:11

Try asking people questions about themselves. People love that and it puts them at ease? I usually do that when I panic during small talk situations!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 10-Aug-14 09:46:23

Definitely ask questions. Go into hairdresser mode. 'Been anywhere on your holidays?' 'How are the kids/granny/the dog?' 'Doing anything nice this weekend?' smile

Holidayfun Sun 10-Aug-14 09:55:30

Remember most people you meet, even the ones that seem confident, will be worrying about themselves and how they come across. There is nothing wrong with being quiet to begin with, many people are. This may sound a little 'dull', but always greeting people with a smile, making eye contact and saying hello is important. Unfortunately shyness can sometimes come across as rude, so if you seem friendly being a little quiet won't matter.

Most people you see chatting at school and with neighbours won't be having sparkling conversations, it will be more along the lines of, 'how they are, what they are doing at the weekend etc'. Then if you can remember a little info on them, next time you bump into them you can ask how the weekend went etc.

VeryMerryBerry Sun 10-Aug-14 18:25:12


Thenapoleonofcrime Sun 10-Aug-14 18:35:35

Very it sounds like you can be yourself when it matters, in interactions with friends, family and potential partners. That's pretty good to be honest. I don't think most interactions with mums at the school gate or my neighbours are sparkling or witty, they are usually just comments on the weather, are they going anywhere this weekend, how are they getting on with anything I can remember.

If you listen to others in these situations you will see they are just ordinary and friendly, it doesn't need to be more than that nor do you need to impress them in any way. If you want to improve these interactions my tips are smiling and saying hello to everyone (horrible if someone you know even a little bit just marches past you) and ask them a couple of neutral questions. But no sparkle required really.

campingfilth Sun 10-Aug-14 18:40:22

Well when people meet me, and I'm not flattened with exhaustion, I'm quite witty and come across as quite interesting/done a lot etc and people think I'm fun. Unfortunately I'm dull as dish washer and struggle after the initial chatting about yourself/theirself stage. I have a shite memory and am useless at on-going small talk because of it.

I'm the opposite of you but I'd much rather be in your situation than men grin

MadeMan Sun 10-Aug-14 18:52:21

Talk about the weather; especially if it's raining. Rain makes people huddle together and chit chat in doorways, or under bus shelters; sunshine spreads people apart.

It's clichéd, cheesy and obvious, but talking about the weather is my favourite conversation opener with strangers or people I don't know very well. smile

Thenapoleonofcrime Sun 10-Aug-14 19:03:56

I have just checked my list of neighbours and parents I say hi to at the school gate and I don't think any of them are dull. I don't expect much from the conversation and if they are friendly and smile, that's all that is required. The lady next door tells me about her ailments and her trips to Weightwatchers. Not riveting stuff, but she's a sweet person and I always like to say hi and have a chat. Stop being so hard on yourself.

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