Conversation Tip: Use their name.
One problem you may encounter as a shy person is that others may perceive you as being unfriendly. One simple way to negate this is to use the person’s name when greeting them and/or in the conversation. This can help present a friendlier image without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.
This works because people like to hear their own name; it makes them feel good to be acknowledged in a pleasant way by another person. So each time you greet someone use their name they will get a little self-confidence boost and this will reflect favourably on you as they will associated you with feeling good.
Consider the following:
Hi, how are you?
Hi Jeff, how are you?
See you later.
Good to see you again.
Good to see you again Jeff. See you later.
The greetings and closing which include Jeff’s name are more personal and acknowledge Jeff in a positive way. The result is Jeff feels good and he associates you with this good feeling.
Of course you need to be careful not to overdo it as saying someone’s name in every sentence can be odd and creepy. A good rule of thumb is to say the person’s name when greeting them and then use the length of the conversation as a guide whether to say it again. A long conversation could end with “See you later Bob, good talking with you” whereas a shorter one “see you later”.
This is something I have generally avoided doing. For some reason I feel strange when using the person’s name in conversation. So it is taking some practice for it to feel natural. I began by just using the person’s name when greeting them, this felt very strange at first, but after some practice it now feels more natural. So now I am trying to use their name as conversation comes to a close. This is a little more tricky as I find myself thinking ‘was that conversation long enough to use their name again or not. Generally if I am unsure I stick with “good to see you again, bye.”
Next time you talk with someone take note if they say your name and how that feels. Using the person’s name in a conversation needs to be natural and relaxed but sometimes these skills aren’t quite as natural as we would like. This is something I have had to practice before it becomes natural so don’t let it put you off trying.
Posted: December 4th, 2008 under Tips and Tricks.