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10 Ways Smart People Start Conversations With Anyone

10 Ways Smart People Start Conversations With Anyone

The heading is not to say that some people are smart while conversing and that others are just plain stupid. That would be a gross generalisation. But perception says that some people who converse in a smart manner are more aware and confident. And we believe that you must have a way of coming across as someone who is smart, creative and sure of themselves. These following sentences are some of the ways of starting or continuing an informed and interesting conversation that is not only a pleasure to others but of great interest to you.

1. “That is such a great pin/ring/pen/etc.”

By starting with a comment on something personal, you can often know more about the other person. This forays into the personal space without being too intrusive but at the same time its a positive note to start conversation with. And who knows you might just stumble upon a great story.

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2. “Do you know which way the bar/room/office/water cooler is?”

By asking a question, you make sure that the other person is compelled to answer. And once you start conversation, it can just flow based on how you approach it. Asking for assistance is the best option if you want someone to help you out and get to know you.

3. “Can I help you with that bag/door/dog?”

By offering to help someone, you will always come across as a friendly and kind person. Obviously, you must be aware that another person might just be wary of you initially and that you shouldn’t force your presence on them. But if someone is having a hard day, a hand is always appreciated.

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4.”What’s your reaction to that act/bill/play?”

You can start conversation by asking about the other’s opinion on things. Of this some will be of importance to them; they will care about certain things and talk more about them. If you also have a view on the topic, then the talking gets easier and easier. This method also requires you to have knowledge and opinions about things around you.

5. “Hey! Don’t you know John/my cousin/that doctor?”

In this age of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Twitter, to start conversation of any kind you only need to check for mutual friends. This will not only give you an opening line, but will give you an idea about the circles the other person hangs out in. After all, often some conversations are not worth pursuing.

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6. Do you by any chance hail from (your school/town/hobby class)?

Not only mutual friends or social networks present you with a cursory glance into a persons surroundings. If you have certain similarities in your school, interests or place of belonging, you will have a wide range of topics to cover and even have the opportunity to reminisce. This can be the best to start conversation about pasts and look into the future.

7. “Your blog/music/art is really interesting.”

Without praising another to the skies, it is a good sign to show interest and communicate your opinion about their profession or hobbies. You must emotionally as well as creatively be invested in another to have a meaningful conversation about their creative bent of mind. You must make sure that your compliments are sincere and say something more than being mere exaltation.

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8. “I have a lucrative opportunity for you.”

By following up on a person’s interests and background, you can start conversation by providing an opportunity to another person. This opportunity can be something as small as asking them to teach your nephew softball or commissioning a painting from them. By feeling useful or important allows another person meet you shoulder to shoulder in the art of conversation.

9. “Something really embarrassing happened to me the other day.”

While not only asking questions, you must also offer more insight about yourself. By telling your story and trying to come across as an honest person, be it plain, exciting or just you, you will let another know that you are open to new people and new experiences.

10. “This is to toast my best friend/ boss/ new couple!”

You must hone your public speaking skills to be able to communicate with a room full of people and one single person alike. By being confident and using humour as an accompaniment, you can win not only one but every heart in the room. And we believe that that is never a bad thing.

Featured photo credit: Samuel Zeller via stocksnap.io

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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