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Why Is Talking to People So Hard & 57 Secrets to Talk to Anyone & Charm Them

Communication skills are very important in everyday life. So, that’s why you need to know how to talk to anyone regardless of where and when.

how to talk to anyone and how to make conversation with people

There are some people out there who just have the knack when it comes to how to talk to people. They don’t feel uncomfortable, they exude confidence, and they apparently always know what to say. If you’re one of those people, well done, you!

But if you’re here reading this feature, that’s probably not you. Throughout your life, you have probably struggled with understanding how to talk to people without feeling embarrassment wash over you. 

What if you say the wrong thing or freeze and nothing comes out? What if you blush and can’t get your words out? 

The way you feel might be similar to you standing up in front of a room full of people and delivering a speech, not holding a simple conversation with one or two people! 

However, you’re not the only one. Many people admit that they struggle with knowing how to talk to people and that they often feel shy or worried when they have to speak to someone they’ve never met. [Read: How to be classy with 20 classy people traits that command respect]

The good news is that you can learn how to talk to people without going through any drama; all it takes is a little work. 

Why is it important to know how to talk to anyone? 

Knowing how to talk to anyone is an important life skill to have. It is useful not only in social situations but also for your career and relationships.

A person who is confident to approach another person and initiate a conversation will have an edge in establishing a network for their career. It also makes a good impression in friendly or even romantic situations. [Read: How to make people like you: 35 tips to charm absolutely anyone]

Communication is the glue that holds people – and the world – together. When people can’t communicate well, then problems inevitably arise. 

Unfortunately, no one was taught in school how to be a good communicator *unless you were lucky enough to have a college class on the topic*. So, most people are on their own when it comes to being a good communicator and knowing how to talk to anyone.

But the good news is that it is a skill that can be learned! And we have all the tips you need. [Read: How to make a good first impression with anyone you meet]

Why is talking to new people hard? 

For some people, talking to strangers is very easy. But for others, it’s borderline excruciating. So, why is it so difficult for some to talk to new people? Here are some of the top reasons.

1. Unfamiliarity

Let’s face it – most people get stuck in their comfort zones for a reason. And that’s because it feels good and familiar.

Most people don’t like uncertain situations because it makes them feel uncomfortable. As a result, many people might just avoid it as much as possible. [Read: Conversation starters when talking to strangers]

2. Lacking small talk skills

Some people hate small talk. It could be because they find talking about the weather and similar topics to be very boring. 

Or it could be because they would much rather hold a deep intellectual conversation, and therefore, small talk is “painful” for them.

3. Shyness or anxiety

If you are very shy or have social anxiety *or any kind of anxiety, in general* then this could also be at the core of why you find it difficult to talk to new people.

You don’t know how to come out of your shell, and it makes you overly anxious. [Read: 26 social mind tricks to be more outgoing, friendly, and talkative instantly]

4. It drains your energy

Extroverts get a rush of energy by being around other people. They love it! But most introverts get drained by being with a group. 

They prefer to be alone because that’s how they recharge. So, because you feel like other people are like “energy vampires,” you tend to avoid new people, so you don’t have to feel that way.

5. Fear of rejection

No one likes to be rejected. We all want to be liked, loved, accepted, and included in social settings. [Read: Fear of rejection – 56 signs, causes and ways to overcome and get over it]

So, someone who doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence might fear being rejected by other people. Everyone has this fear to some degree, but others feel it to the extreme.

6. It’s a new environment

If someone just moved or started at a new school or job, that can fuel a lot of social anxiety. They don’t know the “rules” or how everything operates.

So, these unknowns in a new environment can make it more difficult for some people to talk to strangers because it makes them uncomfortable. [Read: How to make small talk and talk to anyone without feeling awkward]

7. You don’t like people

Hey, some people just don’t like people! They might find them irritating, selfish, or disgusting. 

And if that’s so, then they just might try to avoid as many social situations as they can. So, when they are thrown into a situation where they have to talk to people, they despise it because they really don’t want to be there.

What makes someone a good communicator?

What makes someone able to talk to people without feeling worried and without misunderstanding? [Read: 16 steps to communicate better in a relationship and how to fix a lack of it]

Basically, it comes down to being a good communicator. A good communicator does the following things:

1. Makes eye contact

Learning how to talk to people is made far easier when you’re able to make eye contact and show the other person that you’re engaged in the conversation. 

If your eyes are darting all over the place, it means you’re uncomfortable, and they’re going to notice it. [Read: Prolonged eye contact when flirting – what it means and how to do it]

2. Listens – like, really listens

You might think that listening is just about hearing the words, but it’s actually about far more than that. 

When learning how to talk to people, you also need to listen. It’s an extremely underrated communication skill! [Read: How to listen and learn to speak clearly and be great at conversations]

3. Doesn’t interrupt and allows the other person to speak

Interrupting is a huge no, no. The other person will become frustrated, and the conversation won’t flow. 

Make sure that you give the other person enough time to say what they need to say, and don’t ‘butt in’ with what you think they want to say. 

4. Picks up on body language and other non-verbal cues

Part of listening is also about watching for body language and reading it accurately. Learning how to talk to people means understanding what their body language is telling you, even if it’s different from what their words are saying. [Read: Subtle body language moves to appear more confident]

Sometimes people tell you one thing but mean another. Reading body language will let you unearth the truth. 

5. Knows when to stop speaking

When you’re feeling nervous, it’s easy to overtalk. 

You’ll just keep going over the same topic and talking too much, causing the other person to become bored and start thinking about how they can end the conversation and make a run for it. Know when to stop! [Read: Are you an attention seeker and just can’t see it?]

6. Disarms the other person with friendliness

A good communicator knows that a friendly attitude always wins out. Smile, make eye contact, nod along when the other person is speaking, and generally be empathetic and open-minded. 

This will help them to open up to you and allow you to communicate better. 

7. Explains their point clearly and concisely

Get to the point. If you go on and on about something but never actually make the point you’re trying to make, you’re going to frustrate the other person, and all of this could lead to misunderstanding. 

Whatever you need to say, say it, then let the conversation flow from there. [Read: How to talk to anyone and master the art of a real conversationalist]

8. Asks questions

Learning how to talk to people is a two-way thing, and it means helping the other person to communicate effectively too. Asking questions is a great way to do that. 

Avoid questions that are closed, e.g., they require ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, and instead opt for questions that require a bit more detail upon answering. 

9. They’re completely themselves

A person who really knows how to talk to people appears so effortless because they’re comfortable within themselves. When you’re not being yourself, communication is ten times harder. [Read: Sense of self – How to raise it and feel like a million bucks!

How to talk to anyone without losing your cool

To acquire good conversation skills, you need to learn how to overcome the fear of making the approach and deal with the anxiety of socializing. It may be a difficult and unnerving process at the start. 

But with the right frame of mind and some practice, anyone can easily learn how to talk to anyone.

Learning how to talk to people takes practice. You’re going to have a few false starts to begin with, but that’s okay! [Read: How to decipher between social anxiety and shyness]

At least you’re trying, and that means you’re also making progress. To help you carry on in your journey, let’s look at a few tips you should try when you’re learning how to talk to people. 

1. Always keep yourself presentable

Keeping yourself presentable at all times eliminates self-consciousness. If made into a habit, this will physically prepare you at all times. It will give you that needed boost of confidence to approach anyone easily.

Being presentable doesn’t mean you have to be dressed to kill most of the time. Even with casual clothes worn in the appropriate manner, you can manage to be presentable for a conversation. [Read: Social anxiety to social butterfly – How to be less awkward]

2. Observe proper grooming

Having a conversation with an unkempt and filthy person makes people uneasy. Always ensure that you practice basic hygiene and have your hair fixed.

3. Mind your posture

People can tell a lot about your personality just by observing your posture. Standing up straight and keeping your head and shoulders upright exudes confidence which will make people more responsive to you if you start a conversation with them.

4. Smile

Needless to say, starting a conversation with a smile breaks social barriers and initial stranger apprehension. Smiling doesn’t only make you friendlier but also increases your physical attractiveness. [Read: 16 easy hacks to loosen up and live life]

5. Practice your conversation starter in front of a mirror

Learning how to talk to anyone can be easily achieved by practice. If you’re uncomfortable to start talking to strangers, practice alone in front of a mirror. 

From there, observe what your approach looks like from the perspective of the person you’re talking to. This gives you the chance to alter and improve your style of approach without any social embarrassment.

Note your facial expressions too. Do you start off with a smile, an expressionless face, or with a frown? Remember that smiling helps. [Read: How to stop being shy – 20 ways to kick your shyness to the curb]

6. Keep yourself at a friendly distance

Approaching too close can be uncomfortable, especially with strangers, while being too far will make it difficult for the other person to hear what you’re saying. 

The suggested “friendly” distance is enough for you to offer a handshake without having to lean further in.

7. Always maintain eye contact

Eye contact is important as it shows respect and that you’re giving them your full attention when they’re speaking.

Plus, the ability to maintain eye contact during a conversation is a sign of confidence and sincerity. [Read: Very subtle body language moves that’ll make you appear way more confident]

8. Use hand or body gestures

Gestures can enhance the quality of your conversation by helping you give emphasis to your piece while also adding that signature flair to your overall appearance. 

With appropriate gestures, others will pay more attention to what you’re saying, and they’ll even convince them to agree with your point.

9. Try relaxation exercises prior to starting a conversation 

Being in a relaxed state prior to talking to another person is important. It allows you to speak clearly and gather your thoughts and confidence. [Read: Easy mantras that can transform your life]

For good measure, try some simple relaxation exercises prior to opening the conversation.

Take deep breaths. Deep breaths stabilize your heart rate and give you time to prepare before you head into the fray.

10. Swallow and clear your throat

Remember the last time when you attempted to speak, and your voice sounded broken and off-pitch? Swallowing and clearing your throat prior to speaking helps avoid that. [Read: How to overcome shyness – 16 quick fixes to transform your life]

12. Use the appropriate opening line

Your opening sentence can make or break the conversation. 

That’s why it is important to know the different ways to start a conversation and the different situations to use each conversation starter.

A great tip is to use the environment to your advantage. [Read: 25 great conversation starters that’ll work no matter where you are]

For example, if you’re talking to someone attending the same concert, start the conversation with a comment on the performance. 

If you find yourself in an exhibit, then use any of the art pieces as the topic of your conversation. Your surroundings can give you an endless number of topics useful in starting a conversation.

13. Ask an open-ended question

Questions are fool-proof conversation starters as the rules of social etiquette dictate that it is polite to respond to a person when asked. Open-ended questions, in particular, keep the conversation going. [Read: 40 open-ended, serious questions to ask a girl to get her to open up]

14. Start with an acceptable compliment

An exaggerated compliment may sound insincere. Opt for an acceptable compliment. 

Keep an eye out for unique features such as tattoos, ornaments, or personal items which will be good topics for a conversation starter.

15. Learn the proper way to keep a conversation going

If you’ve managed to master the art of starting a conversation, the next hurdle is learning how to keep it going. [Read: How to instantly fit in with funny conversation starters]

In their natural course, conversations keep on going if the speakers find the topic engaging and the person they’re speaking to interesting and entertaining.

16. Do not linger on small talk

One of the keys to understanding how to talk to anyone is that small talk is good, but for starters. If you linger too much on inane lines of inquiry, expect the conversation to be cut short.

17. Keep the conversation neutral as much as possible 

Ideal conversations should be something neutral and not about yourself. [Read: 45 happy ways to keep a conversation going and be a lot of fun to talk to]

A person making themselves the topic of conversation can be perceived as arrogant and narcissistic, which put the other person off and cut the conversation short.

18. Change topics when you’re nearing an awkward silence

Maintaining a conversation is just a rinse-and-repeat process. If you feel you’re beginning to exhaust the topic, break out a new topic and ask the other person a question.

19. Note proper etiquette in conversations

Knowing proper etiquette in a conversation allows it to flow smoothly and makes it a more enjoyable experience. Plus, it prevents you from accidentally upsetting the other person. [Read: Proper social etiquette – 12 rules that redefine modern manners]

With proper conversation etiquette, you establish yourself as someone respectful and considerate of the person you’re talking to.

20. Don’t forget to introduce yourself

People tend to forget that it is polite to introduce yourself to the person they’re talking to before making further conversation. You may choose to do this at the beginning of the conversation or right after your opening line. 

However you decide to do it, make it a point that you never end the conversation without exchanging names with the other person. [Read: How to introduce yourself and make a great impression]

21. Listen intently when the person is talking

A conversation is a two-way street. So, you have to listen intently when the other person is speaking. 

Listening intently shows respect and also helps you to get ideas on how to keep the conversation going.

Active listening means letting the other person know that you’re listening and taking in more than just their words. [Read: Golden rules that will help you become a better person]

Nod along to their words, make agreeable noises, such as “uh-huh,” “hmm,” and “ah,” and watch their body language. 

This will tell you everything you need to know and let them know that you’re truly interested in what they have to say. Learning how to talk to people is as much about listening as actually talking. 

22. Avoid interrupting the other person

Interrupting a person in the middle of a sentence is very rude, even more than inattention. Avoid this in a conversation, and it will go on without any issues. [Read: 19 ways to be a much better listener in a relationship and read their mind]

23. Avoid making assumptions and judgments about the other person

Jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, and judging remarks are red flags that must be avoided when talking to anyone. 

A single offhanded comment may offend the person you’re speaking to. In turn, it may cut the conversation short on an unpleasant note.

24. Avoid “one-upping” the other person

Keep the conversation light. Don’t make it a bragging show of who’s better than the other. Even if the person you’re speaking to falls within that category, just listen to them. Don’t attempt to one-up them. [Read: How to stop being selfish – 20 ways to stop hurting and using others]

25. Apologize if necessary

There will be moments where you’ll get carried away and mention something off-putting or even borderline offensive. If that happens, it won’t hurt to apologize. Simply explain that you didn’t mean to make such a statement.

26. Take note of sensitive topics in conversations

Religion, politics, and sexuality are just some of the topics to avoid in polite conversation. 

Since these topics can elicit different opinions from different people, there will be a chance that a conversation on these topics will end up as a heated debate. [Read: How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex without making things awkward]

27. Be aware of the current mood of the conversation

Always make it a point to get a feel of the mood of the conversation. There will be times when conversations may get too serious, depressing, or even distasteful. 

There’s a risk of the conversation becoming uncomfortable. But if you’re sensitive enough to anticipate the conversation souring, you can lighten the mood. Try and divert the topic to a different course.

28. Know how to end the conversation politely

Just as you made a good start, conversations need a proper end. Excusing yourself promptly for some reason is impolite, especially if you started the conversation in the first place. [Read: 25 ways to make anyone like you]

A polite ending is waiting for the right moment and letting the person you’re speaking to initiate the end of the conversation.

29. Thank the person for their time and attention

Always appreciate the time and attention given to you by the person you talked to. Even if the conversation was short or uneventful, thanking the other person gives you an image of courtesy and social adeptness.

30. Keep your body language relaxed

Being able to read body language is one thing, but you should make sure that your own body language is relaxed too. [Read: How to be charming and be liked by everyone you talk to]

Avoid crossing your arms over your body or crossing your legs if you’re sitting. Make eye contact, avoid fidgeting, and keep your posture relaxed without slouching or being too rigid. 

31. Understand non-verbal and verbal cues

If a person is speaking fast, do you know what it means? If they’re mumbling, what does that tell you? What about a lack of eye contact or facial expressions? 

Take the time to understand verbal and non-verbal cues in order to better understand how the other person is feeling. [Read: 15 harmless questions to ask to get to know someone really well]

Learning how to talk to people involves a lot of empathy, and that means appreciating how the other person is feeling.

32. Don’t rush to fill a silence

Conversations rarely bat back and forth without a break. If you have a notable silence in a conversation, don’t panic and rush to fill it. This makes you appear unrelaxed and doesn’t help the conversation to begin flowing again. 

Sometimes, a few seconds or a minute of silence is a good thing! Also, remember that the other person has a responsibility to keep the conversation flowing just as much as you do! [Read: How to make an amazing first impression and impress everyone you meet]

33. If silence becomes awkward, acknowledge it as so! 

However, if a silence goes on for longer than a minute or so and becomes awkward, the single best way to overcome it is to say something like, “so, this is a little awkward,” and laugh about it! 

The other person is probably feeling exactly the same way and will instantly relax when you call it out. 

Awkward silences often happen when there is a lot of tension, and this method will cut through that in an instant. [Read: How to be funny and make people love your company]

34. Look for common ground

Learning how to talk to people also means knowing the go-to topics you can use to create a conversation starter. 

The weather is a good one, but looking for common ground that you both share will allow you to get a flow going. How can you find common ground? By asking questions!

35. Don’t expect to get along with everyone

You can learn how to talk to people all you like, but understand that you’re not going to get along with everyone! [Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]

Don’t feel pressured or as though you’ve somehow failed if a conversation doesn’t quite go as planned. Just see it as practice and move on to the next one.

36. Don’t finish sentences for other people

One of the most annoying things you can do when you’re speaking to another person is to either interrupt or finish sentences for them. 

You might think you’re helping them out, but you’re actually appearing overpowering or bossy. Let them speak! [Read: Have no social life – 15 ways to get yourself the friends you want]

37. Don’t overshare

Usually, a lot of extroverts tend to overshare details about their life. There is nothing wrong with self-disclosure, but it has to be appropriate. 

You might find it easier to talk about yourself because it’s a topic you know better than anyone! But if you just met someone, it’s not the right time to talk about intimate details of your life.

38. Don’t be a “know it all”

No one likes a “know it all.” Sure, it’s interesting to have deep conversations with an intelligent person. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

But if someone is acting arrogant and self-righteous because of how smart they are or how much trivia they know, that is a turn-off for a lot of people.

So, even if you feel like you could win on the TV show Jeopardy, don’t go overboard. Make the knowledge you have relevant to the conversation, and don’t overwhelm people with details.

39. Rephrase what’s been said

Part of being a good active listener isn’t just sitting there with your mouth closed. You also have to let the other person know that you are “present” in the conversation too. [Read: How to be more social – 22 ways to genuinely connect with others]

In other words, you have to let the other person know that you heard what they said. And the best way to do that is to rephrase what they said. That way, they know that they had your full attention.

40. Prepare a mental list of topics

If you know you’re going into a social situation where you don’t know anyone or have a first date, then make a list of interesting topics to talk about. Write some down beforehand, so you have them in mind.

However, don’t bring the list with you. You will look strange if you whip it out in the middle of a conversation with someone. [Read: Drawing a blank? Try these 25 good conversation starters!]

Just familiarize yourself with it so that it will flow naturally when you are talking to someone new.

41. Just be yourself! 

Finally, the single best way to learn how to talk to people with ease is to be comfortable with who you are and accept yourself. 

We can’t stress how much easier conversations are when you’re not trying to impress other people or gain validation. 

[Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to un-fake your life and love being you]

Learning how to talk to anyone is a skill that will give you an edge in every aspect of your life. It may take a few tries, but as long as you remember these key details, you’ll be remembered as a wonderful conversationalist every time you talk to someone.

Here are a few other features that would be great as a follow-up read to improve your social skills and become an even better version of yourself! Check these out:

How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex and make everyone interested in you

Make those sparks fly: How to turn someone on while talking to them

How to have sex appeal and catch everyone’s eye when you talk to them

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...