3 Cocktail Party Conversation Tips for Introverts

Even the most committed introvert will occasionally have to make nice at a professional function. Too bad, then, that so many of us are so out of practice talking to actual people.


(Photo Credit: BillLongstaff/Flickr)

Lifehacker recently ran a column with solutions to the most awkward conversation mistakes. Here are a few that will appeal to folks who only socialize when forced:

1. Accept compliments by saying thank you.

That's it! That's all you have to do. If it makes you feel more comfortable, practice smiling as you do so. It might sound like there's a lot of dead air sitting around those two words, but we promise you, no one ever gives a compliment hoping to hear a long explanation about the unworthiness of the recipient.

2. Practice active listening.

Most of us don't listen nearly as well as we should, even if we're not big talkers ourselves. Active listening takes care of this problem by treating it as an activity, not a passive response to another person's statements.

"Essentially, you want to pay attention and respond to everything, from the words coming out a person's mouth to their nonverbal cues," Thorin Klosowski writes. "Then respond by paraphrasing and reflecting the conversation back to keep it moving forward productively."

3. Fake it til you make it.

"Being yourself" isn't a great idea if you would rather be at home playing video games. Don't be afraid to act a little bit, if it helps you feel more comfortable.

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