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Some people have no trouble getting to know others. You might even have a friend like that. But not everyone has such an easy time connecting with new people. When trying to find out more about a new acquaintance, you might be tempted to run through a long list of questions. Not much of a film person? Instead of asking random questions, let the conversation guide you, and look for cues from the other person.
Are those your dogs? People naturally reveal information about themselves over time. Say you just met someone who seems really great. You can definitely see yourself becoming friends, maybe even something more. Once you feel that initial spark of interest, you want to know more about them ASAP. But rattling off a lot of questions may not be the best move.
But one thoughtful question might give you even more information. People often default to rapid, superficial questioning when they sense a lull in the conversation. But this initial awkwardness is totally normal. A study found it usually takes about a month for conversation patterns to settle into a comfortable rhythm.
In the meantime, try not to be too put off by any moments of silence or awkwardness that might come up. If you have a hard time getting through those initial awkward moments, Katherine ParkerLMFT, suggests practicing with a trusted friend. Did you de it? You also have to pay attention to their answers. You can use active listening skills to show someone you have a sincere interest in what they have to say. You can learn a lot from how someone physically responds to a question.
Do they lean in to reply? Gesture or seem otherwise animated as they answer? If they turn their body or head away, shrug off the question, or give a brief answer, they may not have much interest. We all feel distracted and unfocused at times. If you feel your attention wandering, resist the urge to reach for your phone or otherwise check out of the conversation.
As minor as these exaggerations might seem, developing trust is an important step in getting to know a person. Let areas of similarity come naturally. Along with asking questions, try to share things about yourself. You can offer personal details naturally over the course of a conversation, often by replying to what someone says.
According to Parker, people who find it hard to connect with others often have trouble connecting with themselves. She advises developing your own hobbies and interests so you can expand your experiences. This can be off-putting, since it often seems insincere. Also, it can often make people uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is to make compliments meaningful and sincere. A heartfelt compliment can help start a conversation that provides an opportunity to get to know someone better. Use care when complimenting appearance. If you need anything, let me know.
Maybe you want to show the other person you value their thoughts and input. Texting might feel like a good way to avoid the initial awkwardness that sometimes comes with getting to know someone. But try not to rely too heavily on this kind of communication, especially in the early stages. If distance is an issue, consider video chatting. If you both enjoy texting, go for it.
Just take care to maintain balance. Save more intense conversations for in-person communication to help you avoid miscommunication. Avoid sending a lot of texts before you receive a reply. People get busy, and coming back to 12 messages after 1 day can feel overwhelming. When making plans with someone new, using things from your conversation or cues in their environment can help.
That can help someone feel more comfortable around you. For example, if you both have dogs, you might suggest going to a dog park. Using conversation cues can also help you know what to avoid suggesting. There may come a time when you arrive late or have to cancel your plans, but try not to let this happen often. Some people love talking about politics, religion, past relationships, current relationship sor any of other potentially delicate topics. Save that one for the cozier late-night chat you might have a few weeks or months down the road.
But pay attention to how they respond. If they give short answers, move to another topic. You usually have to offer some level of vulnerability before someone begins feeling comfortable around you. But over time, you might naturally begin sharing more information about the things that matter in your life. But if you want your new acquaintanceship to develop into a close friendship or even a romance, you may not be able to get there without becoming vulnerable. It can take more than hours over a period of 3 months for a friendship to develop.
Just focus on spending time with the person you want to get to know, and use the tips above to help make that time count. Also keep in mind that friendships may not always work out. Let them reach out to you next, if they still want to pursue a friendship. We can only handle friendships at a time. It's not just about having someone to get coffee with. Read why the social support you get from having strong, female friendships can be one of a kind.
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Here are 15 expert tips for talking it out, moving out, and moving on. How to Really Get to Know Someone. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. Ask genuine questions. Focus on questions that further a conversation. Avoid rapid-fire questions. Accept the awkwardness. Actively listen to their answers. Pay attention to how they respond.Anyone up and just want to chat
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How to have better conversations with people you've just met, according to science