Have you ever been in the awkward position of watching people chat away right in front of you, and you couldn’t muster the courage to join?
Of course, you have, and we can tell from experience that that is one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world.
We’re going to cover the most fool-proof steps that will help you learn how to join a conversation without feeling like you’re barging in. In fact, we can guarantee that your taking part in the discussion will feel like the most natural thing in the world.
If that sounds good, keep reading!
Tip #1 – Be an Avid Listener
Although this sounds pretty obvious, keeping your ears alert as the conversation starts and progresses is the key to helping you join it. If you’re fully aware of every aspect of the conversation, you can come up with better things to say and add to it.
The biggest mistake most people who struggle with communication make is focusing on themselves. How can you expect to contribute anything valuable to the conversation if you are not even paying attention?
Bits and pieces of the conversation might not necessarily help you get the complete gist of it, so instead of thinking about how to join the conversation, start by tuning in and listening.
Active listening will help you stay in the moment rather than in your head by strategizing and obsessing over joining the conversation.
You’ve probably heard that it is wise to make sure you know the depth of a water body before dipping your feet in it. Take listening as a good opportunity to check the weather and then make plans accordingly! Be sure to know what you’re getting into.
Tip #2 – Show Interest
As the conversation goes on, you do not need to say something to make your presence know immediately. Rather, showing interest is a great way to set the ground for making an entry.
The best thing about showing interest is that you don’t have to do it through words. Gestures such as nodding, smiling, laughing when appropriate are all excellent ways to draw attention to yourself without intruding.
Showing interest in the conversation also subconsciously prepares the speakers to expect that you will eventually be saying something.
In a way, displaying interest is a useful method of announcing that you are about to join the conversation without actually putting it out there. Remember, your body language is key in exuding interest regarding the conversation, so before saying anything, focus on that.
Tip #3 – Escape Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes, the only thing that stops you from entering a conversation is the fear that you’ll be stepping out of your comfort zone.
Staying in a shell might benefit us in certain ways, but it holds us back even more. Often, we have the perfect opportunity to join a conversation and even contribute, but confine ourselves on account of being excessively fearful of judgment.
The truth is that no one spends as much time thinking about what we say and do more than ourselves.
When need to understand that people won’t judge everything we say. Most of the time, they are just as worried about the same thing as we are.
Once we realize that, we will be able to move outside of our self-created comfort zone. We will be able to engage in the things that appeal to us and be unafraid of snatching opportunities, even if they are as small as joining a conversation.
Tip #4 – Be Diverse In Your Knowledge
The best way to guarantee that you can sneak into any conversation, regardless of its topic, is to make sure you know a lot about a lot.
While it is hardly possible to know everything about everything, finding relevant pieces of knowledge in the most diverse of subjects is an easy task.
All you have to do is put in a little bit of effort every day, and you will see yourself become an informed, educated person in no time. Here are some great ways to start learning about different things:
- Subscribe to an interesting, well-written magazine or newsletter that covers various topics.
- Start listening to great podcasts. If you are a fan of captivating stories, check out our list of best storytelling podcasts and make your pick.
- Ask. When you don’t know how something works or are completely clueless about a topic, ask people to explain it to you. You would be surprised how much you can learn if you develop this simple habit.
- Pick a few online courses on Udemy and start learning about topics that always interested you, but you never had the time for them.
- Read a lot – novels, poetry collections, self-help books, any high-quality book that you can get your hands on.
- Pick up hobbies. Besides opening your views towards new things, hobbies can help you meet interesting people.
If you start doing this, in whichever direction the conversation topic goes, you can always pop in with a little something and then build on it.
Tip #5 – Transition Smoothly
To join a conversation effortlessly means becoming one of the speakers without attracting any negative attention.
You want to make it look like you were listening and talking all along, and such a transition requires a good build-up and an efficient strategy. Using the technique of showing interest and then making the leap at the first opening is as good a strategy as any.
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated to work. Quite the opposite is true. The less you think about it – the more natural it will look.
What you want to avoid is building up the wait for too long. Fish for the exact perfect moment and you might find yourself being the silent, nodding member of the group and with no way to exit that circumstance.
Not crossing the mark of being too quiet for too long is a thing to keep in mind. So, don’t overthink it and take the dive.
In short, joining a conversation does require a little bit of effort, mixed with a little bit of confidence. But it is truly a skill that we might be needing every day, considering that missing out on fun conversations isn’t going to benefit us.
Do you have an embarrassing story about unsuccessfully trying to join a conversation?
Please share it with us in the comments below! We won’t laugh. (Okay, maybe we will – a little.)