How to Get Past Small Talk (Video of Conversations Between Strangers)

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How do you turn someone you have a chat with every now and then into an actual friend?

How do you go from just being acquaintances – to being able to hang out one on one?

We need to first get past the small talk and actually connect.

Today I’m gonna show you what I do to avoid running out of things to say and how to get an interesting conversation going. You know – a conversation that actually helps you bond.

This is like pressing fast forward on your interaction until you start connecting.

Some people have a hard time becoming close friends with people they like. In the video below, I show some of the principles that have helped my participants the most.

Often the hardest part isn’t meeting new people. It’s to create a connection and build a relation with them – without having to put on a mask.

Here’s how I do it:


Here’s what you will learn in the video:

00:22 – How a team of Canadian researchers turned total strangers into close friends in 45 minutes
01:33 – The factor that decides if we become closer or not
01:50 – How to get past the small talk by turning any conversation into PERSONAL MODE
02:34 – The questions I use to get past the small talk
03:58 – Why we rigged an apartment “Big Brother”- style
04:23 – Actual conversation between me and someone I’ve never met before to show how I get past the small talk

You’ll have to open up a bit to make a deep connection with someone, but it can be hard to know to what degree you should do it. What if you get too personal and they back off? In the video, I show how to keep the right balance.

One of our readers, Lasse, after trying this method when he was visiting his dad.


Notice in the video that this is not about being a shallow person, faking it, or becoming like everyone else. (Quite the opposite, actually.)

Listen to the kind of questions I ask in the video and see how they transform the entire conversation. It becomes genuinely interesting.

“But David, I’m not interested in what others are doing”
“I’m not even that curious about people!”

You know what? I also don’t care about how Joe has an annoying work colleague and I don’t want to hear about how Joanne’s boyfriend never calls.

A lot of people I come across don’t interest me that much. It’s about asking the right questions, so you can figure out if you DO have something in common. You have to ask the right questions to find out.

You can see how we cut through the meaningless stuff in the video, getting into what’s actually personal and interesting. This is where the bonding happens and the conversation gets interesting.

“But David, it feels weird learning this stuff. It should come naturally.”

For years I thought, if I start practicing this, I will become just like one of those shallow partygoers and lose who I am.

Do you hear how irrational that sounds? Just because I become a better conversationalist, how would that make me shallow or fake?

This is a common mistake: Looking at people who are good at something and thinking we will automatically get their bad sides with the good.

Becoming a conversationalist won’t automatically turn you into someone else. It just means that you’ve improved.

Ironically, the side effect of improving socially is that I can be myself more than ever. I can be the nerd that I’ve always been and people still like me, because I’m socially skilled. I’m fun to talk to. I’m confident in who I am.

This is what I will talk more about the coming days. How to have fun and truly enjoy being around people – while still being yourself.

P.S What would you like to be better at when it comes to making conversation?

Let me know in the comments!

By writing down what you want to improve you drastically increase your chances of reaching your goals.

I’m excited to read about what you want to improve! I’ll make sure to read every comment.

8 years ago, I committed to build my social confidence and become great at connecting with people.Hundreds of books and thousands of interactions later, I'm ready to share with the world what I’ve learned.The interest in my findings has been beyond my dreams. We now have 30 000 members taking our courses. Perhaps you’ve seen my writing in magazines like Business Insider and Lifehacker.Follow me on Twitter or Read more.

133 thoughts on “How to Get Past Small Talk (Video of Conversations Between Strangers)”

  1. I want to thank you for your emails David. I have found that random strangers will talk to me on the bus or train and tell me their life story. But I in my everyday life I have trouble making small talk and asking the right questions. My questions are either too awkward or strong, or too shallow. I would like to improve on this because if I can get someone to open up and start talking they will open up to me.

  2. Hi David,

    I moved to new country to join my partner two years ago and I haven’t met many friends.
    I know I did many things wrong but I was also struggling with mental health so it wasn’t easy journey for me.

    My therapist suggested I should step out of my shell and open up a little more.

    My problem is that I am a good listener. I know how to get closer to people, make them comfortable and ask personal questions. What happen next is that same people like me and want me around but often I don’t get the same attention from them. It’s like the other side gets addicted on attention I give them and they don’t even give me time and space to express myself.
    Everyone wants to feel valued and get some attention and I don’t get that. That’s why I loose interest.
    Is there any method to deal with this kind of relationships?

    Thank you 🙂

    • I greatly appreciate all the videos you put out, and I am trying to put them to use. I really would like to learn more about getting around awkward silence I don’t have many interests to fall back on.

  3. Great advice for making conversation more personal , but I first need to get the conversation going at all. I’m a very nice person, I think I look okay like My clothes are in style enough and I present myself well appearance-wise, but so socially awkward that people steer clear of me. (I may be imagining this sometimes).
    Two things that I need to work on so that they don’t avoid me :
    1) Voice modulation. I am so excited to talk , that I talk really loud. Especially at a loud event. But I talk unnecessarily loud. I also have trouble focusing because I’m nervous so I don’t know what they said.
    2) Dignity. If I act so excited that they are talking to me , they might think I’m nuts. I need to calma down.
    Any advice to remember to relax / get myself to relax and focus ?

  4. I want to learn to be more open about myself and not be afraid of what the other person thinks about it and not be afraid of making mistakes.
    I also want to learn to be more interested in what the other person has to say. usually when someone tells me something, I only respond with ‘ok’, because I don’t really care.
    I am also extremely shy, I say almost nothing. I am sometimes too scared to say hello. It gets very busy in my head and I can’t think logically anymore.
    I’m not shy with my family, I’m just myself there

  5. Anyone know how to stop your brain from disliking someone instantly because of their face nothing to do with how good looking or ugly they are just a vibe about them and features of their face that sends to say ass hole , I seem to have people think that about me as well or is it people pick up I don’t like them it’s A horrible situation I’ve had for years , probably goes back to been bullied in school , help !! Ps the only thing that seems to stop this feeling is booze but then I drink to oblivion and that’s terrible in itself isn’t being human shit at times !

  6. hello guys, as for me im not that good at socializing to such an extent that many people especially at my school really take me to be antisocial person and some are even afraid to approach me because they say im always quiet and serious. It really sucks guys coz i m interested in talking but the problem is im choosy of the people i would like to talk to.
    i really want to improve on being antisocial into being social and less serious coz its giving a hard time at school

  7. hello guys, as for me im not that good at socializing to such an extent that many people especially at my school really take me to be antisocial person and some are even afraid to approach me because they say im always quiet and serious. It really sucks guys coz i m interested in talking but the problem is im choosy of the people i would like to talk to.
    i really want to improve on being antisocial into being social and less serious coz its giving a hard time at school

  8. I would like to not over think during a conversation. Saying what is on my mind without saying something embarrassing or that will cause me to replay what I said over and over after the encounter is over. I would like to be more in the moment and be able to really hear what the others are saying. I have a way of either not saying anything or going overboard saying too much.

  9. Great video. I like the point about sharing too much too fast can repel. I think a lot of people can be on guard. However, this video is for when you want to be friends with a person, not just an acquaintance. That takes vulnerability. I like how you gave the person the opening to share about his personal feelings, too. I agree that the more you share together, the closer you can become.

  10. Going to explain the one problem I ga e that holds me back and that is the result of being around nefative people! One thing I’ve learned is not all of us are blesssed with being in the best situation to really make friends
    True friends are Nd we easy to come bygof most people and if your sutusfion has you in a less than nidgjbothood a less than Job you have to be very cautious sspecislly in the workday today,I’ve seen how the web has brought out the worst in people with ban economy that I’d strsnglingv most into servivsk mode,if yiu show ins ounce of weakness there going to pounce on you and befriend yiu for thier faint so beditd yiu look to make someonr you’ve just spoken to on occasion your best friend proceed with caution these are no longer the 59s a time of innocence is gone! And as you proceed with this email you probable like me seen just pop up in your email. Claiming to be your friend with your best intentions in mind,Slow down do your research about them cause if you gone blkndly yiur weaknesses they can eat you alive before you know it they got u in a situation yiur gibes f then to much trust they can lead you blindly into getting g about anything they wanted from you before you know it they’ve conned yiu out of hundreds and even thousands into financial investments that rob you blind!! Beware! This is today’s internet a world of scandoilous human brings all of which do nor have your best intrest in mind be cautious like I say what everything you do and say ,do your research in then find out exactly whose sponsee I f then they should have a third party group you font see Bejing then and restesch as well cshanves are thier leadings g you in a con that will be a very expensive lesson in life one that if yiur to trustworthy yiu won’t even see the con coming as most here may not be seeing now cause yiur spilling your weaknesss they are looking for to take you for much the con mans best friend and they did not even have to work you long to get it! So slow down do some research and you may find yiu saved yourself from a major financial disaster some more so than others ot you did find a great friend and u come out better for it,but odds are this is just another con and a very good one, have a good day and remenber open eyes every where and proceed with caution!

  11. Dear David,
    I would just like to cut straight to the chase. I wanna cut all the pointless bullshit in a conversation and get to talk to someone about deeper, more interesting stuff.
    How does one achieve that quickly? What’s the best way?

  12. Is it bad to say what I truly need to improve when it comes to a conversation with others is moving the conversation itself

    I dont’ want to get repelled all the time and get ignored,it makes me lower in the already low confidence I have.people keep ignoring me when I ask something as though I said something totally unrelated(at times I do ask something totally no related!).

  13. When it comes to conversations i just want to be more like myself. When im more like myself socailly with other people it make me more confident when im talking to people.

  14. Sometimes I fade away during a conversation, I’d like to improve on asking the right questions which I believe will help me with becoming a better listener. I’d also like to know how to show others that I’m interested in what they’re saying and that I am an interesting person. I need to improve on finding the things that I’m interested in to help the conversation move along more smoothly. Also, I usually respond with ‘okay’ or just ‘yep’ and I nod alot, I want to know how to respond better and how to focus more instead of being stuck in my own head. Thanks 🙂

  15. I’d like to be better at reading the other person before I start the conversation, knowing which type of questions he will respond to better. Also I would love to be better at asking the right questions. I understand conversational threading but sometimes it feels like I can’t think about all the relevant questions when I’m right in front of the person.

  16. I want to get rid of the awkwardness in a conversation with a stranger or the person I’m seeing for the very first time.I want this to come naturally.But the thing is most of the time when I try to innitiate a convo. eventually I get nervous after a while and couldn’t get anything to say next.

  17. Thanks David for sharing the video with me. I can always have a bit of small talk with someone but it never really goes any further, like a dead-end conversation because I never knew what to say next. I really want to try more personal questions. Thanks x

  18. I want to improve by focusing on others, being where my community is (I frequently isolate myself because of social anxiety), and learning more about what is going on in our world so I can be better engaged in conversation.

  19. Thank you, for your loving kindness in sharing your wisdom ang truth towards building a better understanding worldview towards humanity. Kind Regards Harriett Freedom

  20. Thank you for your words of wisdom and support to all of us. My biggest issue is not so much the small talk but opening up to people. When people ask me what do like to do or like to eat, I am so caught up in what if I say something that makes me seem boring that I forget who I really am. My confidence isn’t there. I am working on it but any advice?

  21. Hi David,

    This is a good start! Thankyou for your advice so far. My issue is that I have a problem keeping a conversation going; my confidence can hold up to progress the conversation but what I really lack is the ability to stimulate the cobnversation with Wit and Humour. Im not sure how to change this. Sometimes my mind goes blank during conversations and my mouth will keep saying words, half of which are odd things to say which makes me feel stupid. I really want to feel secure in what I’m saying and make prople laugh. At the moment I do not trust what I say, and so end up not saying much or engaging with my friends. I need some help on this

  22. What is that those popular guys have ?
    Charm? Looks ? I mean is their mind wired differently.Why is it that i have to learn all this by reading and they already have it plus i read about these techniques and tips but it’s different like the people i meet everyday i can’t be from shy to a chilled out person because if you fo that people find you weired. So how do i recreate my image in front of them ?

  23. aqidah

    I would like to get more confident at starting and holding conversations with new people, at the moment I am too shy and scared to talk as I don’t know how to have a conversation properly. I think I am boring and I find it hard to be interested in other people and usually just stay quiet and not talk

  24. I would like to be more confident in my life. I’ve always been that kid who awkwardly sit in class alone when none of my few friends (not close friend, just loners who hangout together) aren’t in class. I won’t really say that my other classmates are strangers, but at most they are just acquaintances. One day, I just suddenly thought that I couldn’t stay like this and I would like to have more connection with people. Its not like I was bothered being a loner. In fact, I enjoyed it but there are sometimes like once or twice a month that I just suddenly felt a crushing loneliness for no reason whatsoever. That’s why, Iwould like to change myself into someone who can form a strong social bonding with strangers that I met. So that I can get more new friends and probably meet that special someone.

  25. I would like to get more confident at starting and holding conversations with new people, at the moment I am too shy and scared to talk as I don’t know how to have a conversation properly. I think I am boring and I find it hard to be interested in other people and usually just stay quiet and not talk

  26. I would like to hold a conversation longer without sticking to one boring topic and be able to deduce if who I am talking to is interested or not and i want to know what are the things interesting for the person I talks to especially if a girl

  27. I would like to hold conversations longer and be comfortable in sharing myself with new people to get them to like me. Also I want to stop worrying about having bad conversation topics

  28. I would like to hold conversations longer and be comfortable in sharing myself with new people to get them to like me. Also I want to stop worrying about having bad conversation topics

  29. Hey David, I really enjoy your emails and I want to talk about some things i’m struggling with socially. So when i’m talking to someone I always run out of things to say, especially with girls. I’ve watched your video on how to get to personal mode with questions asked and that helped, but I feel like I dont know when to ask these kinds of questions. I also dont know what other “good questions” to get someone to like me as a person. I’m naturally very quiet, but I also want to make new friends and be the guy that always knows what to say. I hope you can help me out.
    Thanks for everything!

  30. From watching this I realise that I know many of these conversational tips already. The difficulty for me is having the confidence to use them: my main difficulties lie more in starting conversations or directing my speech towards people and suchlike. It’s difficult to get people to engage with you if you can’t get their attention enough so they’ll realise you want to talk to them.

    With my small group of friends I can sometimes be loud and such, but often in lessons in school I can be quite quiet; although I am sometimes confident enough to speak, I find it challenging.

  31. Hello. I need to figure out how to engage with people, in general. Last week, I was at a meeting and the participants were going to a restaurant afterwards(they always do). Theres another lady who goes to the group and Ive, peripherally, connected with her a bit. So, I thought that, if I decided to go to the restaurant that time, she could be kind of an ally, kind of my “in” with the group. However, when I went up to ask if she was going, she was talking with someone else, and because I didnt know how to break into their conversation to ask her, I just kinda ended up standing there like an idiot, changing my mind about asking, and leaving. How do you break into, or even join, other peoples conversations? Too, how do you just walk up to a stranger and just start talking?

    The other thing that happened at that meeting was that someone just came up and started talking to me, conversating. I was sooo taken aback(because not many do) that my “spidey-senses” went off and I felt highly uncomfortable, like I had to get out of there(like, a real panic attack). I stayed through the entire meeting, and, afterwards, asked a facilitator if she thought he was being overly friendly and she said, “No.” What do I do with that???!!!!

  32. For me, I’m not very good at starting conversations with my school mates which I don’t really know of and never know how to go up to people and talk, even if I do, the conversation would be very short as my mind goes blank and my tongue gets twisted and I only know how to ask general question. I am not an outgoing person probably because I’m lack in self-confidence and scared of people judgements and how they will perceived me. Even though most of my classmates called me the “quiet” one but deep down I am one of the noisiest whether ever I am at home. Sometimes I really want to fit in and setting unrealistic goals for myself like “I will get to know everyone in my class and try to be friends with them” which usually goes down the drain. It will be a huge step for me to get out of my comfort zone to met new people as I feel like I am socially awkward. But what I want to improve the most is I want to be more of myself and stop being a picture perfect person as I fear of people judgements. I also want to be more confident in myself,know how to go up to people and starting a conversation with them and also know how to end conversation without any awkwardness. The biggest problem is that I am in a new class next year and probably all of of them have their own “friend” groups and most of the time I won’t get noticed. Most of the time I have difficulties adjusting in new environment and everytime there is groupwork, I am the only one that doesn’t have a group. How should I go about dealing with that?

  33. I really like this video. It helps me.
    It was always hard for me to connect with people in that kind of way. I always find myself drowned with fear when I just try to do it. I always think that I don’t worth as much as other people, and I think that is the biggest reason why I back off when I start getting closer to others. I have friends, but I always find myself not able to make new friends with people I like. I ussualy hang out with friends that are treating me like s*it. They always make fun of me and my insecurities. They lough about how quiet I am, how I am bad at socializing and they often comment to other people questions about me like…someone asks me do I have a romantical interest, and my friend replies to them loughing and saying that there is not one girl in this world that would want to be with me. I think I attract that kind of people because I am quiet and unsecure and they see it. When I leave them, others same as them come into my life and want to hang out with me all the time. I feel like they love to have me as a friend so they can feel superior to me. I tried and tried to tell them that is bothering me and to stop with mean jokes, but they won’t listen. They say I am just insecure and sensitive. I have some friends that treat me well and I like to hang out with them. Nearly everyone who has comed into my life for the past 5 years turned up to be someone that treats me bad. I feel like I attract only people who want to use me and make fun of me, because they are the only ones that show interest in becoming friends with me,and I feel that I must become a stronger person and stop being an easy target for this kind of friends…. I’m just sick of it, only hanging out with people that don’t treat me well and making me feel bad.

  34. I would like to work on opening up and feeling more comfortable to being myself in conversation I have a lot of walls built up in fear of people thinking I’m weird, sometimes I get so nervous and forget the words for everyday things and i go silent, I have a very social job and I find that very draining so I want to find a balance where socializing doesn’t take so much out of me and it’s more fun

  35. I really want to try and get to know more people, but I’m just really shy and never know how to go up to the people a really want to meet. I always feel like they’re going to think im weird, since I’m usually so quiet

  36. I really want to improve on not being superficial, even though I hate it I still feel the pressure to try to “fit in” and please people.
    But since they’ve already labeled me as a “quiet” or “boring” person, I have a hard time opening up and actually getting to know them because they’ve already lost interest in me. I just don’t know the “right” questions to ask, or the “right” things to say to actually get to know someone. I’m trying to just “be myself”, but I don’t really know who I am…

    I’m going to try to stop chasing after people, because I can’t force people to like me, and it’s such a waste of time and energy!
    I’m going to focus on improving my self-confidence and being the person I want to be, and hopefully friends will eventually come along naturally.

    The thing is, I’m sure there are people out there who I would really get along with, I just don’t know where and how to find them! It’s so frustrating ;(

  37. This was a fabulous video. Thanks so much! I’d really love it if you gave more examples of how to ask about the person’s relationship to the subject. Like a list of question starters, I mean. Hope this makes sense. Thanks!

  38. Thanks for those vids, I my new class all the kids are sitting in groups and talking about their things without noticing me. what should I do? i’m like a ghost when i’m trying to get closer to one of the groups…

  39. I would like to improve on initiating a conversation with someone to start and then to become less nervous so I can actually open up and connect to that person.

  40. Hi, so glad i stumbled across this. I have a type of social anxiety and feel limited and a little self conscious about striking conversations due to the fear of awkward silence and just not being able to keep up conversations. I look forward to learning and trying these techniques!! Just want to say thank you and hope this will help me open up and be comfortable in certain situations!

  41. Hi,

    I have been dating a lot lately but I only seem to have one date. I think I need to be a better listener and ask better questions. I think I learned something here today. Asking people how they feel about, or, relate to a topic allows a response that is much more revealing about them than just asking a factual question.

  42. I love these videos so much! I’ve always had a hard time talking to people and I never thought that it was possible to learn how to improve. Thank you so much for helping me!

  43. I am emigrated to a country very far from my homecountry.(but it is similar in US or western Europe) in Many foreingers live here though but when I ask a personal question like ‘why did you move to this country?’they close up immediately and walk away or really change the subject completely. Most people avoid personal questions no way to get an answer it turns people of. I tried many of the tricks in my life even wen also reveiling something about myself on te matter first they still not reply. Most people dislike personal talk.
    Actually many things in the mails I tried already in my long life and they are exactly the things which turn of people.
    It all sounds so easy but reality is something totally different.
    Also gender plays a big part. And origin I guess.
    There is a big difference starting a conversation with an Italian woman(I am a woman) or starting it with a German or US woman. I experienced a lot of these examples. The Italian is much more approachable then the German one.
    And there is much more which you should research well before making people thing it is all so easy. It is absolutely not and it is even more difficult since social media. People not start a conversation easy anymore.

  44. My goal is to be with others without being tired or worn-out. Often I notice when I have fun this is easier:) I think it is about me having a comfortable distance so I do not lose myself into listening….as I am psychotherapeut….

    When I have fun I feel free, enjoy and can have a better connection with me and others. So I need to learn how to stay free, joyful with others to make close relationships effortless:)

  45. Dear David,
    I am unable to join in to existing conversations easily. As a Doctor, I am not the super intellectual type, but I work very hard and crave making friends outside of my work. So, when a gathering does come up, I am usually late and must “join in”.

    I usually have to invite myself to a table, and am not good at “breaking in”.

    It is easier with other Drs, but there I am back with my own kind. Any ideas?


  46. What I want to improve in is just starting a good conversation. A few days ago I wanted to talk to a boy i really looked up too. But every attempt lead me to an anxiety attack.

    I kept thinking, “What if i mess up?” “What if I seem to obsessed?” “What if I make a blunder of myself?”

    That day actually brought me here, so I can try to improve myself from:
    1. Never having another social anxiety attack.
    2. Being able to talk to the people I want too, properly.

  47. sorry I missed the reply

    I know this is a little off topic by I’m an introvert who has difficulty fitting in with a group of really extroverted people in school. I’ve been trying to fit in with them for almost 3yrs now and nothing seems to be working. HELP !!!

    • I kind of want to improve at what all these people have said in the comments. Because of that I also want to improve on how to always bring my self esteem up, and to not always bring it down. By the way thank you David and Viktor for all the help you are giving!

  48. I just want to be relaxed when talking to people, and not feel like there is a voice shoving me down in my head as I do so. I want to be comfortable.

  49. I’m from the other side of the spectrum and I have no problems talking to people or opening up conversations. Yet here in Scandinavia I struggle quite a bit because most people are reserved. I do my best to open conversations also get people to open up and share their experiences. Yet in Scandinavia it takes more than a year to become close friends, if not more.

    A note to shy and RESERVED people is to at least take a few steps forward once the extrovert has asked 3 questions to you in an attempt to open the conversation. If you think the extrovert needs to ask you 10 questions before you become curious, then I’m sorry that’s a tough ask.

    I hope David’s videos help RESERVED people realize they need to unreserve a bit so that there is opportunity for both sides to converse.

    • Thank you for your wonderful and supportive comments to everyone on the blog Biju. Your perspective is very interesting.

    • My bank account is empty. How am I supposed to do anything? Nobody listens to what I have to say… Everyone want to lie and be lied to. So if lies are what they want… I suppose.

      It’ll be great fun to watch the confusion go on forever.

  50. This is something in particular that I struggle with as most of the time conversations I have are quite superficial and don’t get that deep or meaningful. Not to say that this occurs every time though.

  51. David!

    When it comes to start making conversation, I almost don’t have any issues when avoiding small talk by asking about the person’s relationship to the subject. Although it is difficult sometimes for me to ask the “right” questions when I don’t know if we have anything in common or which interesting questions I should ask to let the conversation continue.

    • Give a random answer. Duh. Hehe JK. Respond however you feel. If you feel silent. Be silent. If you wish to do something, do it. You are free to do as you wish, whenever you like.

  52. Hello David! Thank you for your very wise lessons so far! I would like to be better at contacting girls I do not know, at a bar or via the internet. How to start a smooth conversation?

    • Girls are a Pandora’s box to me. I’ll crack the case eventually. If I do it on my own I’ll take everything for myself. I’ve earned it.

  53. Hi, this helped me a lot. Something I would like to get better at is when it comes to conversation ,how I can stop over-thinking stuff and how to stop being too shy to go up to people. Everyday, there is always someone I really want to talk to but I don’t have the guts to because something is holding me back. I guess I’m just terrified of the outcome and how they will view me after. When I talk to people I usually stutter either from not knowing what to say or just being really scared at that moment.

  54. Hi!

    That was a good question. I have never thought about what I would like to improve specifically when it comes to having a conversation. I do have some problems with conversations dying out because I do not know what to say. I have watched your video about that problem and I think you have helped med a lot! Thanks for that! I would like to be able to make the person I’m talking to feel comfortable. I want him or her to feel good around me and that he or she can trust me. Basically, I want to avoid awkardness.

    David, what do you think about filtering out stuff to say in your mind that you think may sound stupid or inappropriate. Is that a good or bad thing to do?

  55. Hi David,

    Thank you for your information and your video. These sound like great tips. I hope to give them a try – and become successful in even making a friend or two, or at least have people enjoy talking with me.


  56. I want to improve avoiding overthinking too much in the conversation, which often leads to a more nervous and more tense me. When the muscles are tense, Your voice and how you respond automatically gets worse and people “smell” it and just vanish…..I also want to have better reponses. Sometimes I feel, the people I speak to just turns quiet because I might try to sound too “smart” or it’s too obvious. It awkwards people out:(

  57. Your videos are being a great help. Thank u. Now I wanted to tell that there are some people who are naturally great conversationalist. My problem is that I feel a little discomfort while talking to such people,because as they start to listen and pay attention to what I’m talking… I start going blank. I feel weak. I feel a sudden confidence loss. So I need your help to improve this. Thank you again for help.

  58. this was a great blog and video. I will definitely use this to be a better conversationalist and be more open and comfortable talking to people.

  59. I just want to have deep, non-awkward conversations with people I meet without the nerves. This has been a life-long struggle for me and I want to change that.

  60. I want to be able to keep a conversation going and to stop just asking what’s the next class or what did your get in question 2 and start talking about funny things

    I want also to be able to enter and be accepted in groups of people that already know themselves for long time and to stop being treated as child/inferior by the other because of my social skills..

  61. Hey David!
    I really like the way you explain everything.
    I am introvert person. And i have the same problems like I don’t know how to keep the conversation going and even if i like that person, I Have difficulty in making deep connnections with them. I want to work on my self.
    Some times i go blank while talking to a person, like i don’t understand what to say next. I feel empty at that time which leads to awkward silence.
    I don’t have self confidence, i feel everything i say is either dumb or funny. I feel shy speaking about my thing.
    So, people consider me boring because i dont speak and i have nothing exciting to share.
    Sorry, i have so many problems. 😀
    I am a very funny person from inside. But these small problems affect a lot to be honest.
    I want to be like others. “Extrovert and fun loving”.

  62. This is eye opening. Thanks David. It’s interesting that asking about someone’s relationships to ideas helps one to build actual relationship with the person you’re talking to. Something I’d definitely practice! Thanks a million!

  63. I want to be heard when I speak in a group conversation. I feel like I’m invisible! I don’t know if I’m not loud enough (many of my friends are REALLY loud!), or just plain boring and they dismiss whatever I have to say, or just so self-absorbed that they don’t care what I have to say and just want to keep talking about themselves endlessly. Any ideas??? Thanks!

    • Loud and chaotic group conversations can be really hard to get into. Normal social rules like letting everyone speak their mind and not interrupting does not always apply, it’s more about enjoying the energy and feel of the conversation. We sometimes have to accept that a group conversation can never be as deep and intellectually stimulating as a one on one. So try taking it more for what it is and just have fun with your friends, don’t be afraid to interrupt from time to time if you have something fun to say.

      To relax more and actually find something to say, try focusing more on the conversation and what the other people are saying, instead of trying to come up with something to say. Ironically, that usually helps in coming up with what to say.

  64. I rlly need new friends but I really don’t know how to approach strangers specially when i’m in a room with groups of friends talking together , I feel so lonely. 🙁

    • That’s a tough one, I feel with you Tia.

      What kind of situation is it you’re thinking about? Is it like a new class where you don’t know anyone or more of a party where you got some acquaintances?

    • If they are standing alone or looking lost, they too are looking for friends. You should listen to the OFC podcast and apply that to them. Think of it like you are helping them make friends, this will also add a goal to your life – Helping people like you, by helping yourself.

  65. I want to improve my cordial intercourse. I have not spent time with someone after school for over two years. I really need your help!

  66. I feel like Andrei, I don’t want to talk about my personal life because every inch of it makes me sad. And I don’t want to make other people depressed while talking to me. So I pretend to be happy and superficial. Maybe ask strangers for personal advice? Talk about dreams and hopes for the future?

    • Be curious don’t be superficial. If you approach a stranger start with “are you from around here?” Now be prepared with a second and third question as a follow up. Like if they say I just moved here, you can ask where they lived before and why they moved. Be curious about people and ask slightly personal questions. You can even precede the questions by saying “hope you don’t mind me asking”

  67. I am afraid about revealing facs about myself that I am not proud of. What I am saying is that I am not comfortable with where I am in my life right now, therefore I have trouble being personal with people. Yet I do desire closeness.

    • Be curious don’t be superficial. If you approach a stranger start with “are you from around here?” Now be prepared with a second and third question as a follow up. Like if they say I just moved here, you can ask where they lived before and why they moved. Be curious about people and ask slightly personal questions. You can even precede the questions by saying “hope you don’t mind me asking”

  68. Hi
    I’m 47 and for a long time now I’ve got really really panicky when it comes to even meeting friends, and even ones I’ve known a long time . Going for an interview , basically I panic and worry about what to say, and would love to be able to find chat Easy and not worry or panic . And to stop being Soo nervous about it .. I have to push myself sooo hard to do things .. It’s making my life hard

  69. I want to improve my social skills, I feel I can meet new people but I cannot connect with them, so finally it end up in a superficial relationship and even when I meet people I feel lonely.

  70. I feel I can be awkward to talk to in new situations and I wanted to see how to do it in a way that makes me and them comfortable.

  71. At first i thought SUPERFICIALLY that this video and lesson is the same as the one You sent on Jan 6,
    then i carefully compared the two and saw the new lesson
    Yes people i converse with do not like me if i act like a nerd
    i need this course to make them like me at such times
    Also i have found that when people around me feel blue they JUST CLAM UP and don’t talk to me
    But WHEN i felt blue i longed for someone to talk to to get out of it
    i FEEL the problem is to get talking with them in the right way
    i need lessons for this

  72. Hi david thankyou for what you do :)Well an issue I have is sometimes I want to say experiences I have had and people lose interest and I tend to forget where I was at and stumble and say and then or well .Please help me be confident in saying my stories without feeling inferior and getting nervous if they do

    • Hi Vivian, that’s something many others have struggled with as well and then made great progress. Check out the coming emails, I think you’re going to find them helpful 🙂

  73. Thanks alot David, that was a nice video and I learned alot. I have this issue of going blank while conversating with my friends and it sucks because I feel there’s more to say but I find it difficult to speak or say something funny. Would be grateful if u could be of help.

    • In my next email I’ll talk about a method you can use when conversations hit a wall. It works very well when you head goes blank. Glad to have you on board 🙂

  74. I’d like to learn how to be less serious and more open when having conversations… more “energetic” when talking to people.

  75. I’d like to get better at asking certain types of questions at the appropriate time in a conversation. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say; my mind literally goes blank, and I get nervous. I want to learn how to move past this nervousness and be completely comfortable when talking with anyone, and in any setting.

  76. Hi David, I really enjoyed the small talk video that you posted! I have a similar comment to what Mathis said. I want to be more at ease and relaxed, I feel as if my mind races automatically and there is very little space for the current moment, and that usually produces anxiety. The strange thing is, I am beginning to feel that with my close friends. Intellectually I know what I am doing wrong, but often I can’t help but feel like I am hitting a wall for one reason or the other. Anyway, that’s my two cents. Thank you for all your good advice!

  77. Hey David,

    Cool video! Aside from what you covered in this video, I would like to
    get better at sharing myself more. I have a hard time being vulnerable
    and sharing what’s personal to me.

    • Hi Stephen!
      That’s a great insight, a lot of people struggle with that but don’t realize that they need to open up more. I’m planning on doing a coming Q&A email about that soon.

  78. Hi, your video was quite helpful and well structured with good real life examples.
    My main problems (which possibly aren’t the exact topics you’re addressing) are that I can never feel like myself around people, even though I try to be honest and open in conversations. I generally always feel like I want to run away and hide, and I can’t wait until I can be on my own again and not having to deal with people.

    • Hi Pan!
      People often describe this to me like they have to “put on a mask” when they’re around others, so I can tell you that you’re not alone feeling like this! If you’re on our email list I’ll be talking more about that feeling in a few weeks time.

  79. I’m not having a problem knowing what to say really, and I think my conversations flow pretty well. But I’m uncertain when I’m at the point where I’m talking too much. I’d like to be able to know when people have had enough of me 🙂

  80. my goal is to just get at least 1 new friend. im tired of being lonely. it just feels like nobody has any time to meet up anymore 🙁

  81. The thing I’d like to improve is to findd a natural way to get a conversation going. Conversations just fizzle out and I don’t know what to say.

  82. I just want to be more at ease and to be able to enjoy meeting new people. I think Im pretty relaxed with my old friends, but I just seem to blank out with anyone I dont know.

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