Never Run Out of Things to Say
So never run out of things to say. I get asked a lot of questions on a daily or weekly basis, most of them are some variation of this. How do I never run out of things to say? How can I prevent my mind from blanking? How can I always have something to say, how can I talk to anyone? These are the general variations of this question. Well it happens, everyone. We've talked about a few ways to address that problem, no matter how conversationally fluent we might be, what are the reasons, these are very relatable things, right, the foreign topic. We're tired, other person's tired, we get distracted. The other person's distracted, our minds just spontaneously blank sometimes. That does happen. But, in this question, never run out of things to say, we need to think about it. What is conversation broken down? Question slash statement, beget the question slash statement begets a question slash statement, that's really all it is, someone directs a question slash statement to you, you do the exac...
t same thing to them either on that topic or on another topic that's related. What does that mean? To never run out of things to say, you just need diversity of ways to question or make statements, so if your only mode of responding to other people and it really mostly is, is a question or a statement, how many different ways can you ask questions and how many ways can you make statements to other people? So as I said, this is a very full, full lesson. So there's three acronyms there, so there's basically three systems, nine different types of responses, responses being questions or statements that you can utilize to diversify your conversations, make them great again. What this does is it trains you to think outside the box, because what you're doing, what we all do, we all have conversational habits, we all respond to things in the same ways or ways that we're comfortable with or ways that we don't realize, but here are nine different ways to respond to people and so it'll make more sense I think as we get into it, but nine different ways to respond to people that you may not have thought about that are easy, that are good to have in your toolbox. Okay so the first one, okay I'm sorry. So there's three acronyms and they essentially embody three systems, HPM, SBR, EDR. And we're gonna go through all these in turn. The first one is HPM, it stands for history, philosophy, metaphor, and these work because everyone has these. It's more internal and it's more personal, but what they are, history stands for a personal story, a personal connection that you have with something, an experience, philosophy, it stands for your opinion, your stance, how you feel about something. Metaphor is what something reminds you of, how the topic, what the topic reminds you of, so these are things that everyone has. People have stories about themselves, people have opinions and people can always say, "That makes me think of this." It's just something you have to get used to. The reason that I say it's more internal and personal is it is more internal and personal than the other two acronyms because these are about yourself, this is where you have to reach into your brain and say, this is what it makes me think of, this is an experience or opinion that I hold. So we'll just, we'll try to zoom through these. So history, your personal experience, memories, exposure to the topic at hand. "I went skiing." "I remember the last time I went skiing." So you have the key phrases there, I remember when, last time I, first time I, one time, that reminds me of. Philosophy. Your opinion, stance or overall evaluation of the topic at hand. "I went skiing." "Oh my gosh, I hate skiing, especially when." So as you can see, the key phrases are all based on emotion. I like, I hate, I love, I'm not sure how I feel about that, I'm jealous because, I would never be able to. Metaphor, break this down. What does the topic make you think of? "I went skiing." "Hmm, that reminds me of my childhood." And then you relate something about yourself. That makes me think of, what about, hmm, that's kinda similar to this, isn't it? So those things are HPM and we have six more, so there's a lot of different ways, a lot of different modalities that you can respond to people, we just haven't thought about it really ever. We've been stuck in our conversational habits that it's hard to see what diversity is available for us. EDR, this is the next one. So now maybe you'll understand when I say this is more external and easier because these are all about the person right in front of you. You don't have to think for yourself, you don't have to relay anything about yourself, everything in EDR is just about the person right in front of you, you can comment, you can observe. Emotion for E. You're stating what you think or assume the other person's emotional state is. Someone tells you they went skiing. "You seem pretty psyched about that." You seem like, you must be, I bet you're. And here's the thing, if you're right, yeah, that's great. If you're incorrect, they'll elaborate, it's not gonna be a judgment on what you say. They're gonna explain exactly what they feel, so that might even get you a better answer if you're not correct about it. Detail. You're just asking for more detail on the topic, you're just asking a question. "I went skiing." "How did you like it?" ED, we go to R. Restatement. It's where you restate their exact words, or you can rephrase and summarize. And you emphasize different words to create a question. "I went skiing." "You went skiing? "You went skiing?" See how they're two different questions, just in that one phrase because you put an emphasis on a different word. If you're thinking about what's easiest and kind of lowest burden for you, it might be this one because all you're doing is restating what they're saying. Key phrases, their exact words. We have the last of the trio. SBR, specific, broad, related. And this is also easy because everything again is right in front of you, and this keeps the spotlight on there other person. SBR stands for, specific, a specific question. Where you're gonna ask about the smaller, finer details about the topic at hand. You wanna know the nitty gritty. You wanna know how everything was done. "I went skiing." "How was the snow this season? "Was it powdery, was it packed, was it painful? "Soft, cushiony, falls?" Broad. This is basically the complete opposite, you ask about the broad, contextual details and you get the lay of the land. You say, "I went skiing." "Wait, back up. "When did you go, where did you go? "Who, what, where, when, why?" So the five W's also word very well on this one. It's a good contrast, a specific one. So it's also nice to mix them up together. Finally related, this might seem similar to the other one, but what is a topic that is related to the topic at hand? I went skiing. That's okay, I went snowboarding though. I prefer snowboarding, have you done that as well? So we're gonna get into these, do an exercise here in just a second, but you see how there's basically nine different ways here that we've gone through that are interesting ways to engage with other people, to ask questions or to make a statement that we might not have thought about, that we might not have articulated, but they're there and that means that you don't have to be stuck in your pattern of, "Great, how about you?" They seem hard to remember, they're similar. Some of them make no sense to me. People relate to other people differently. Introducing these new things at the very least is gonna increase your conversational diversity. Basically, oh, you can also think of it as your conversational vocabulary, right, it's I can do this, this, this, this, times nine and ensure that you never run out of things to say. What I like to say is that it's kinda like having cue cards, right, it's like now you say P, now you say B, now you say S. And you can actually use that kind of script in a conversation and it will feel normal, it'll feel natural. The only way it won't feel normal or natural is if you don't, you talk about yourself way too much or you talk about yourself way too little. And in that case, you know that something has to change, because the more uncomfortable and unnatural it feels, the further away from, I guess the middle of the bell curve you are. We're just gonna do an exercise in a second, but broad, broad, specific history, specific philosophy. Sounds like a mouthful. Broad question, broad questions, specific question, history, specific question, philosophy. All right let's get into this. Exercise time. Anyone wanna come up with this plug and play exercise? Not the new guy, but, perhaps your turn. Yeah. How you doing?
How was lunch?
What did you have?
Oh I had an assortment of things, and veggies, and meat. A little bit of noodles.
That's funny, when I go to things like this, I feel like my normal diet is very, has one percent variation and no green. So it's nice to go to things like this for the food. All right, so, what we're doing, oh, here we go, that's for you, maybe for your reference. What we're doing here is we're just gonna put you through the script, so what I mean by script is that whatever I say, that's what you're gonna do, that's what you're gonna follow it up with, and you'll see that it's not as easy or not as hard as you think it might be, but also, well that's exactly the same thing. We'll see how we feel about it, let's just say that.
Okay. So what I want you to do here is I want you to make sure that you acknowledge me first, and then you do that.
Okay, great. All right. I didn't eat too much for lunch, it was just, 15 of those dumplings.
You like dumplings?
I do, they're one of my favorite foods.
I don't eat them much.
Number two question.
Oh, what else do you like?
Yeah, of course. (chuckling)
Well cucumbers are pretty good too, so I had a pretty good lunch.
Well there, you got some veggies in. Did you eat any other veggies with that?
No, were there any? I don't think so. I try to maintain like a 95% meat diet.
Oh how long have you been on that meat diet?
Number four, no.
History. Yeah, how long have you been on that?
History's about you.
Oh it's about me?
Yeah. Something in your past, yeah.
Didn't read the whole thing.
That's okay, yeah, so I said something ridiculous like, yeah I like to maintain a 95% meat diet.
I've kinda gone that route a little bit but it didn't really work out for me.
Oh okay. And you go to specific.
Okay. Have you ever tried any other kind of diet?
You know, sometimes I fast. Do this thing called intermittent fasting, but otherwise I try to keep it pretty normal.
I don't believe in fasting. (chuckles)
That was perfect, that would count as philosophy, so that was actually a great job. Did that feel weird and unnatural to you?
I don't know. I guess just to be a little directed like that was.
Did it sound weird though? Sound like a normal conversation?
If it wasn't directed, it would be natural, yeah.
Agreed, agreed. So that's kinda what we're talking about is that these things, no matter how foreign or odd or it seems like you're reading a script, they do work to introduce something where you have conversational diversity and flow. Let's try that one more time. Now that we have been what we're doing. Yeah. All right, what was the last thing we said?
I don't believe in fasting.
You don't believe in fasting, you're just like, shut down. Okay, what kind of. Okay, fine, what leads you to not believe in fasting?
Oh I just, I need food, I need energy.
For when I exercise, okay. Do you get a lot of exercise?
I try to, I just started swimming, so I try to.
What else do you like to do for exercise?
I started boxing as well, so I joined a boxing gym so I'm just trying to do all these cardiovascular exercises lately.
Oh do you like that, is that fun?
Yes. (chuckling) Yes, it's very fun, I enjoy it. It's much more fun than being in the gym.
I've never done boxing or anything like that, it's just something I've never tried in a regular setting.
Where's your gym?
The gym is on, I think it might be on Filmore Street, I don't 100% remember. Filmore Street in San Francisco, yeah, not too far from where I live.
Well that's great that it's convenient for you.
Okay let's try your opinion on something.
My opinion on?
Anything that we talked about. The gym, working out, fitness.
Okay, oh okay, I get ya. Yeah I try to get in exercise at least a couple days a week. How about you?
Good. Did that feel better than the first time?
But it generally sounded fine, right?
Okay. Thanks, we're gonna have someone else--
No, you did perfect. We're gonna have someone else up and you can see how they struggle too.
Yeah. (chuckling) It'll be great. Thank you, thank you. (audience clapping) Someone else, wanna volunteer? No, okay, okay, yeah, please, thank you.
So there's these three systems, I noticed that, there are blocks that are more like statements and there are blocks that are more like questions. Or is that not the case?
Yeah, they kind of are, it's more blocks that are statements, it's more blocks that are about yourself where you say something, where you share, versus, well I guess you're right. I never thought about it that way.
Yeah one is like you're kind of disclosing and the other one's like receiving.
Yeah, yeah. Good observation, I never even thought about that. All right, so, we had it here right?
Cool. Just hit the mark.
Just start with whatever?
Start with whatever, yeah.
Oh man, okay. What was the highlight of your week last week?
Last week, went to House of Prime Rib.
Prime rib, so you eat a lot of meat? (chuckling)
How did you know?
Talking about meat last time.
How did you know, yeah, I try to. Everyone loves a good steak now and then, yeah.
What's the way you like your steak cooked?
Medium rare and I think anyone that has it well-done is odd. (chuckles)
I did go to House of Prime Rib one other time before, and I remember it was for work afterwards, and it was very, in work situations I never know if I should engage on a personal level or a work level with people, so it made it more fun, at least I was eating really good steak while I was doing it, so that was good. Specific question. So, what was the low light of your week? (chuckles)
Oh, low light. Stubbed my toe really badly.
It's black. You wanna see it?
Oh no, not so much.
So, yeah, I don't think you should ever show people your feet when it's black like that, no, don't ever do that with me, thank you.
But generally it's fine right. How did that feel for you?
It's all right, I had to think a little bit. It was okay, yeah.
So these are some of the easier scripts to use that don't require as much thinking, but when you get into stuff like stating the emotion or restating, it takes more practice, so I just wanted to do this for demonstration's sake, that you can literally just, if you feel like you need it, live your conversations through this script, and it sounds normal, it feels normal, and it also regulates how much is being shared, you're sharing versus how much the other person is sharing. Well good job, thanks.