As an NLP practitioner, I’d prefer to offer a strategy that you can use over and over in various situations.
If you’re shy, introverted or even a smart-anxious-misfit, you may find relief by committing this simple strategy to memory, keeping your eyes open, and following it.
Before spilling the beans, let’s remember one important thing: average, non-socially anxious people love to talk about themselves.
I don’t mean this in any sort of demeaning way. I love to talk about myself, too. I love to share my ideas, etc…
In social situations, however, many of us prefer to keep attention elsewhere. It’s all good. This little strategy helps you do just that, if you want. Just remember many people do enjoy the attention and you can easily oblige.
So here it is:
1. Notice something you like about the other person. This can be an article of clothing, hairstyle, piece of furniture in her (or his) house, car in the driveway, her profession, or any idea she mentions.
2. Compliment her accordingly. Say something like. “That’s a beautiful car in your driveway.” So simple.
At this point, many people will take it from there and talk about the content you mentioned. You can sit back, listen, ask questions or volunteer information about you.
If they don’t take the hint and begin talking, then you can move onto to step three:
3. Ask an open ended question. “How do you like it (your beautiful car)?
This should be their clue to launch into a monologue of some sort about their experience.
To summarize: Notice something (anything!) you like about someone. Compliment her. Ask a question. 1, 2, 3. Done!
Final tip: Be genuine. Don’t pretend to like something just for the sake of conversation.