I really enjoy reading about just about anything and everything, especially if it helps me to become a better person or if it helps me to help others in some way. So, I downloaded the free book on my kindle Always Know What to Say by Peter W. Murphy. It’s an easy read that is meant for people who have challenges starting and maintaining conversations with others in most any setting.
Personally, this is not a challenge I have. I even asked my 15 year old daughter if she thinks I have issues talking to new people. She laughed (really hard) and responded, “Within seconds of seeing a complete stranger you can, and almost always, end up in an hour long conversation with them.” It’s true. I’ve never had issues with talking with anyone….about anything. With that said, I do know people who do have these challenges and even though I don’t have these issues, I did learn a few things from this book.
Murphy explores and explains limiting beliefs of those unable to start and maintain conversations with strangers, how to begin and maintain interesting conversations, and simple daily practices a person can do to increase confidence and decrease negative thoughts.
He describes specific situations individuals may find themselves in socially, and even how to consciously put yourself into these situations to build your group of friends and acquaintances. I’m sure we can all agree that having friends is a good thing, so finding friends is the first step. Murphy describes common situations and how to prepare for them in advance, and how to get out of awkward situations. Some of the ideas and suggestions may sound a bit silly, or maybe they don’t sound realistic, I can see how these ideas can work. Some of the suggestions include conversations with family members or friends (I would choose someone close to you that is willing to really help you out), and things you can do in front of a mirror. I actually did some of the suggestions in the mirror and I was surprised at how it really helped me out.
He gives examples of conversation starters and topics, and tips on how to find more topics, to help someone who may have issues with this overcome this challenge. He also discusses how to feel comfortable in your social group and how to become more involved over time as confidence and comfort levels increase. Building confidence slowly is key here. Someone who is not confident with their social skills won’t be able to jump right in, so going slowly helps develop the right skills and your own pace.
Murphy does have a follow-up book about how to start conversations that is available for purchase through the app store. I have not read it, though.
Overall, for a free book, it was interesting. It gave me insight into why some people act the way they do and how I can help them feel more comfortable around me.
To read more written by Murphy, visit goodreads to find a list.