Due to circumstances I had little control over, namely oppressive parents, my capacity for self-expression is incredibly limited. By that I mean that while I can present information and make speeches, I simply can’t converse. I have no idea of what there is to say, how to say it, how to remain interesting as a conversation, or how to come up with things to say. I suspect that it may be a simple lack of practice and education. That being the case, where can one go to learn conversation? I want to know how to be spontaneous within a group of people. Any suggestions?
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You are precisely right. The best way to overcome a lack of social skills is with practice. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone can be the life of the party. Some of us are naturally comfortable conversing with others. Many self-help books suggest starting out small; practice talking to just one person. This way you are sure to get a chance to contribute to the conversation. If the thought of socializing with just one individual makes you uncomfortable, then I suggest practicing conversing online. Chats are very convenient ways to communicate with others. Some individuals have an easier time talking with others when they’re not face-to-face. When you’re comfortable with talking to one person, move on to larger groups. Tag along with a couple friends to a party. Parties are great places for meeting new people and socializing. Perhaps you would feel less awkward talking with individuals that you don’t know… Don’t over-examine what you’re saying. If you monitor every little thing you say, then chances are you will miss your opportunity to say what you wanted to say in the first place. There are tons of self-help methods out there for overcoming shyness. You will find that shyness is often equated with lack of social skills. I suggest you check out ‘s listing of self-esteem and shyness resources. Keep practicing, and don’t get discouraged! It’ll take some time, but I’m sure you will see an improvement. Best of luck, – Anne