How To Keep a Conversation Going?


How To Keep a Conversation Going

We’ve all been there, we’re talking to someone and we don’t know where to take it, wondering how to keep it going and ran into awkward silence thereafter. Do you always end up with small talks? And then regret ‘I wish I could keep the conversation going’?

“I don’t know what to say.”
“I don’t have anything to add to the conversation.” 

“I’m probably bothering them.”
“My mind just goes blank.”
“Nobody asked my opinion.”

I hear these statements a lot from my clients. 

So I thought I’d share a tip for keeping a conversation going (which is arguably harder than starting a conversation–it’s so easy to let it trail off, like a car on empty rolling to a stop.)


Raise your hand if this has happened to you: 

Your colleague: Good morning. How was your weekend?
You: It was great. 
Both of you: [awkward silence]

I know you can’t see me, but my hand is up. Therefore, try this instead:

When you’re on the listening side of the conversation, listen for a “hook.” A hook is anything that piques your interest, reminds you of something else, elicits a question, or that you can relate to. You get the point. It can be any part of what’s being said–the bar is low.

Read The Art of Conversation: 25 Great Conversation Starters

Here’s an example of listening for a hook:

You to your colleague: Good morning. How was your weekend?
Your colleague: Great. My husband and I did some work on my dad’s place.

Okay, perfect! You now have a bunch of hooks at your disposal. Maybe you heard husbandworkdad, or place as the hook.

Read 48 Deep Conversation Starters To Know Someone Better

Whatever part of that sentence your brain grabbed onto, you can toss it back with a related response:

  • Nice–are you the DIY-er or is your husband? 
  • That’s cool–what did you work on?
  • Oh, nice–I’m thinking of doing some remodeling on my place but knowing where to start is always a challenge.
  • That’s excellent–do you see your dad often?
  • My dad’s place could use some work–he’s lived there for 40 years so you can imagine how full the basement is.
  • Great. Does your dad live locally or did you have to travel?
  • That’s awesome that you do it yourself–I put caulk around my tub several rental apartments ago, but that’s the end of my skills. 

Whatever you toss back, offer a “hook.” Ask them a question or offer up something about you–what you think, do, feel, remember, or relate to. 

Big asterisk: If you tend to be a question-asker, push yourself to talk about yourself a bit more. It’s common for those of us who are on the quiet or shy side to hold our lives close to the vest. We think we’ll annoy people by talking about ourselves, that we have to deliver a 100% relevant comment, or we just don’t know what to say. 

Read 50 Red Hot Conversation Starters To Spice Up Your Date

But what ends up happening is we’re hard to get to know. We make people work for any information they get from us. And not everyone is willing to do that. In addition, we inadvertently send the message that we’re cold, distant, aloof, or simply don’t want to talk, when really it’s anxiety getting in the way.

Therefore, try out talking more about yourself. Telling your conversation partner about yourself fills in their picture of you with brighter colors, making you more familiar, more likable, and more trusted.

For example, here’s how you might offer a hook when you’re speaking:

Your colleague: How was your weekend?
You: It was great. I… 

(choose one:)

  • Took the kids fishing.
  • Made my annual pumpkin bread.
  • Finally finished this book I’ve been reading.
  • Took my dog to get groomed.
  • Went to the farmer’s market on Sunday and got some amazing apples.
  • Saw a parade of tuba players wearing tutus march by as I got my morning coffee on Saturday.

There. No matter what you picked, you gave them something to work with. They can expand on what you said, such as…

  • Oh really? Where do you go fishing around here?
  • My mother used to make the best pumpkin bread, but then she went paleo, to my chagrin.
  • What book?
  • I didn’t know you had a dog. What kind do you have?
  • There is a great farmer’s market just a couple blocks from my house–last time I was there they had Rubinette apples, which I had never heard of before.
  • Well, that’s a new one. I’ll have to try your coffee shop.

Then, listen for a hook in whatever they offered. It’s like tossing a ball back and forth. And just like tossing a ball back and forth, it gets easier the more you do it.

Now, if you offer a hook, is your conversation partner guaranteed to pick it up? No, they may just leave it there: “Oh.” Or, “Cool.” But that’s okay. As we toss the ball back and forth, sometimes it gets dropped. It’s not a big deal. We just pick it up and try again later, or, if you’re willing, try again right away.

Read How to Connect Deeply With Almost Anyone In 10 Seconds Flat

Listening for and offering hooks might feel clunky and unnatural at first. It might feel like it moves too fast. But you don’t have to do it perfectly. And at some point you won’t have to think consciously about it–it’ll be second nature to riff on everything from dogs to apples to tutus.

Apply this conversation hack and let me know how it works for you.

Do you want to conquer social anxiety and want to be your true self? Then, How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, would be the best book to read.

Written by: Ellen Hendriksen
Originally appeared on: Ellen Hendriksen

Keep a Conversation Going Pin
How To Keep a Conversation Going pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Brunch Quiz: Build A Brunch Order And We Will Reveal What Your Personality Is Like

Fun Brunch Quiz: What Your Ideal Brunch Order Says About You

Are you tired of those serious personality quizzes that always claim that they know you better than you know yourself? Well, I have a got a fresh twist for you that’s as delicious as a stack of fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup! I have got a Brunch Quiz for you today!

This Brunch Quiz is the ultimate way for you to uncover your true personality, and also while you are scrolling through delicious foods and choosing your favorites. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Imagine you are sitting in your favorite cafe and looking at the menu and thinking about what to get. Little do you know that your brunch order holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of your inner self.


Up Next

Find Out What Your Favorite ‘Family Guy’ Character Says About You!

Favorite Family Guy Character Quiz: Reveal Your True Self

Do you relate to Peter, Stewie, Meg, or Brian? Take this fun quiz to find out what your favorite Family Guy character says about your personality.

Family Guy has kept audiences laughing for over 20 years with its irreverent humor and colorful cast. From Peter’s ridiculous exploits to Stewie’s brilliant plans, each of these characters brings something different to the table.

Therefore, let us get right into it and find out what your favorite Family Guy character reveals about you!

8 Favorite Family Guy Character Quiz: Reveal Your True Self


Up Next

Dream Of Being Pregnant? 13 Hidden Things Your Subconscious Is Trying to Tell You!

Dream Of Being Pregnant? Hidden Pregnancy Dreams Meanings

Most people experience dreams about falling, flying or teeth falling out at some point. But have you ever had a dream of being pregnant? This kind of dream is special; it has a lot to say about what’s going on in your life. So, let’s explore more about this.

Dreaming has its own language that speaks to us and often unveils hidden thoughts, desires, and anxieties deep within our minds.

According to Lauri Loewenberg, a dream analyst, “Pregnancy dreams could mean there’s something in your life that is currently in the works.”

These dreams may mean something even if you are a parent or never conceived before. We will be scrutinizing your subconsciousness for 13 different

Up Next

Can You Find The 3 Hidden Words In This Vision Challenge Within 9 Seconds? Fun IQ Test

Fun Vision Challenge: Find The Hidden Words In Seconds

Attention puzzle enthusiasts and avid word hunters! We are back with another fun optical illusion with answers. This time it’s a vision challenge where you have to find the three words hidden in the picture.

But there’s a catch – you have to spot the hidden words in 9 seconds only! If you are able to do that, then congratulations, you have a powerful IQ, I must say. So, are you ready to take this vision IQ test? Let’s go then! But first, let’s talk a bit about optical illusions.

Related: Center Optical Illusion Test: The Color You See Reveals What Kind Of Genius You Are

Up Next

15+ Quotes From “Bridgerton” That Depict Obsessive Yearning

Best Bridgerton Quotes About Love And Romance

If you like romances and things from the Regency era, these Bridgerton quotes show how obsession can be a form of longing. This Netflix series features several love stories in which the characters experience intense desire and emotions.

Through eloquent dialogues and passionate interactions, “Bridgerton” powerfully reveals the aspirations that motivate its characters.

The series effectively frames the relationship between Daphne and Simon as an embodiment of smouldering attraction while at the same time conveying other major figures’ secretly yearning for each other.

Here are some Bridgerton quotes about love that perfectly sum up obsessive yearning.<

Up Next

Are You Seeing Pink Flags In A Relationship? 9 Signs You Shouldn’t Overlook It

What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship? Warning Signs

In relationships, we usually look out for red flags – those big signs that something is seriously wrong. But what about the less obvious ones? Let’s talk about what are pink flags in a relationship.

These signs don’t scream “danger” but still make you stop and think!

So, What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship?

Consider pink flags in relat

Up Next

4 Mutable Signs In Astrology: The Philosophers Of Duality

The Great Mutable Signs In Astrology: Are You One Of Them?

Did you know that Zodiac signs are classified by modalities or qualities, which describe their character and the stage they represent in a season? Mutable signs of the Zodiac signs are in a group which include Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

These signs signify the death of a season or the end of a cycle. For example, Gemini begins as spring is coming to an end; Virgo starts when summer has finished up its business; Sagittarius kicks off just as fall is wrapping itself off — finally! — around everything it can find; and Pisces starts when winter has almost said “uncle” but not quite.

Related: The 12 Zodiac Signs: