Guide - Social Interaction and Conversation Skills ¶
By: FreeGamer00 on Oct. 17, 2020, 3:02 p.m.
Social Skills/Conversation Guide
- Be your best self. Confident!
- Be sincere. No one likes a fake.
- Know when/where you’re not welcome.
- Be a good listener.
- Mirror the behavior of your audience. Fit in.
- Treat a mixed crowd as the most cultured among them.
- Avoid conflict.
- Overstay your welcome when someone gives you their attention.
- Be rude or tactless.
- Start fights.
- Condescend to people.
- Grovel or beg.
- Waste your time or energy. If people are uninterested, leave them be.
AAA = Accurately Assess your Audience
Every social situation is different. Recognizing those differences is the key to effective social interaction. People you encounter can be organized into a few major categories based on the characteristics (attitude, relationship) of the audience and the setting of the interaction. Use the following tips wherever they apply.
This crowd wants to like you! Don’t jeopardize that with hot takes or controversy. They are your best bet for new membership, so always give them a flyer.
- Focus on Common interests - Stick to bread and butter ideological subjects and avoid potential landmines
- Be warm - Friendly people expect and deserve to be treated kindly.
- Speak plainly - Avoid confusing political speak, esoterica and/or complex metaphors. Respect that people have their guard down.
While few people are truly neutral this is a good baseline for how to interact until having properly assessed an audience’s attitude. These people are reasonably good candidates for the cause. Offer them a flyer.
- Be agreeable - Don’t quibble over details.
- Be circumspect - Stick to small talk and current events to feel people out.
- Play things safe - Even after you’ve sussed out someone’s general opinion, don’t be the first to bring up a controversial subject unless directly asked for your opinion.
- Be nonpartisan - You represent the cause of freedom and liberty for all.
These people are the enemy or, at the very least, extremely ignorant. Don’t even think about recruiting here.
- Be quiet! - Anything you say can and will be used against you.
- Be suspicious - Our enemies are no strangers to trickery and deception.
- Protect yourself at all times - Don’t let anyone sneak behind you and keep everyone at greater than arms length. If someone seems especially confident or aggressive they are likely to harm you.
People you’re meeting for the first (or first few) time(s) and/or people who know nothing about you.
- You only get one chance for a first impression. Make it count!
- Bring an icebreaker - Have a reason for approaching someone so they don’t put their guard up.
- Make introductions and learn their name/face.
- Be polite but not too friendly - Taking liberties will put people off.
- Keep your guard up - You don’t truly know who you’re dealing with yet.
- Have a prepared question or statement - You must make the most of this encounter because it may be your only opportunity.
- Be somewhat aloof/mysterious - Don’t share your personal feelings.
- Keep it brief - Leave them wanting more.
People you both know fairly well and who feel comfortable in your presence
- Be warm - Err on the side of friendliness.
- Stay focused - Your goal is to determine if they are open to the message.
- Try to listen more than speak - You never want to come across as a salesman.
- Stay on message - Steer the conversation towards community subjects.
- Avoid direct questions - If someone is comfortable with being questioned directly they are more a friend than an acquaintance.
- Be open - Honesty about the issues is important at this stage, but still hold back just a bit.
Family or Close Friend
Someone who’s seen you at your worst and is still there for you.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion - It’s ok to show some vulnerability. These people need to know if something is very important to you.
- Tell them your true feelings and ask them to do the same. - Beating around the bush will only prolong an uncomfortable situation.
- Don’t beat a dead horse - If someone already knows your feelings on an issue there’s no need to rehash unless you think their opinion or perspective has changed.
Formal - ex. Fundraiser, Dinner Party, Convention
- No bad language or slang.
- Keep things brief - Don’t allow conversation to become stale. People are there to network and their time is valuable so do not waste it.
- Be a bit cold - These are settings where people conduct business so maintain a professional tone.
- Never appear needy. - You are likely dealing with people used to being solicited. They will instantly turn off if they feel like you want something out of them
- Avoid controversial subjects - Even if someone is sympathetic they may not want to show it here.
Informal - ex. Pub, Rally, Pedestrian Encounter
- Make jokes, banter - Humor is a great way to demonstrate intelligence in an environment where other displays of intellect could appear condescending.
- Mirror speech - If people are using slang or other colloquialisms don’t be afraid to do the same.
- Allow others to rant/let off steam - Focusing on serious or controversial topics can be bothersome if someone wants to relax.
Crowd - Treat like a formal situation.
1 on 1 - See relationship tips.
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