How to be amazing at new conversations

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I find people interesting, and there’s a lot we can learn from each other. Friends are important, and every friendship has to go through the preliminary test first – it has to start.

Knowing the art of conversation can make life much more exciting. It means you can make a lot of friends everywhere you go. Imagine you are so confident you can just start a conversation with anyone you like.

As a monk, I go out and distribute spiritual books. It’s something we Hare Krishna monks have been doing for decades. In fact, the entire tradition of charity workers we now see on the high street almost everyday, kicked off when big marketing companies saw that in the 70s the Hare Krishna people were having great success on the street selling books. So after being on the street for over 5 years, I have learnt a few things.

Let me tell you one thing – techniques won’t work. Even if they do, the interaction won’t be fulfilling to anyone engaged in the conversation.

It’s all about your intention. If you are genuine and pure, you will make friends with anyone. If you even smell mildly of selfish intent, their internal sniffy dog will sense it.

So here are some techniques from a monk. And although I can elaborate, I will keep it as simple as I can. Here are the four tricks:

Before a conversation – Wonder, not hope: Ever seen little children talk? They wonder. They don’t hope that a conversation goes in a certain way as adults do. As children have no future hope, their conversation is fun and authentic. Hope brings fear and anxiety (what if the conversation doesn’t go how I intend it to?) and stops expression.

During a conversation – expression, not impression: Don’t try to impress someone when you talk. Just express yourself. You will be more authentic, and people will appreciate you being natural. If you try to impress someone, you will smell of in-authenticity. People will understand you have an agenda, and move away.

After a conversation – it was what it was: Don’t try to label a conversation as good or bad. It’s over. If you didn’t follow the first rule and still hoped it would go in a certain way, and it didn’t; don’t worry. There’s not much you will gain analyzing it now. Let it go. Don’t let it affect your future conversations.

Your analysis of the conversation – It was either really good, or it was really funny: You get better at conversations if you are confident. And you are confident if you have a backlog of good conversations. And you only have a backlog of good conversations if you don’t label them ‘bad’. So see the humour in things and always label your conversations as either ‘really really good’, or ‘really really funny’. You will build up a good backlog soon!

So that’s it. There’s a lot more I can say, but this is it for now.

Remember, this is only for starting new conversations. If you are having a conversation with someone you have a relationship with (and want to keep that relationship), you might want to worry a bit more about what you say and what you do about it afterwards 🙂

Happy friend making! Your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Radha Govinda has been living as a monk at Bhaktivedanta Manor for over 8 years now, and is a musician, motivational speaker and a writer. He likes sharing inspirational stories and wisdom from the ancient East and has a passion to encourage people to take up spritual practices.

He holds a Master’s degree in Mechatronics and worked in Control Systems engineering for Fluor before deciding to take up spiritual life full time as a monk in 2009. He now travels around the country sharing his experiences with people interested in yoga and spirituality.

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