How To Start Conversations

You’re About To Discover The Simple Secrets To Starting Outstanding Conversations…

There you are, at a networking event, party, or supermarket, and you see someone you want to talk to. Maybe it’s a chance to grow your network, to meet a woman you find attractive, or to just connect.

But what do you say??

If you’ve ever struggled to start conversations, then get ready to transform this area of your life.

Join Dr. Aziz as he breaks down the mechanics of conversations in a way that makes it so simple, you’ll be shocked that you had a hard time in the past!

Click below to hear this episode!

How Social Anxiety Stops You From Creating Great Conversations

Welcome to today’s episode of Shrink for the Shy Guy. Today you’re going to learn something that is an incredibly valuable skill that’s going to help you in work, in business, in your personal life, your social life, when it comes to making friends, in your dating life, when it comes to finding more people to date, creating dating opportunities and ultimately creating the relationship that you really want in your life. This skill above all transfers and influences every single area of your life and as a cornerstone to confidence.

And that skill is how to start conversation with anyone. And you’re going to learn today how to do that exactly, how to casually and easily start conversations anywhere you go whether you’re in an airport or a bookstore or on the street or in a coffee shop or at work or in the break room or at a bar, it doesn’t matter. You can use this skill anywhere in your life. And the more you practice this, the more that you master this, the more you’re confidence is naturally going to increase.

So I’m particularly excited to share some very powerful, useful tips with you on how to improve your ability to just casually and easily start conversations with anyone anywhere you go. And if you want to jump in to the conversation, you want to leave me a message, you can go to the website at and record an audio message directly from your computer or your phone with a microphone, you can also go to You can find us on Twitter @ShyGuyShrink, is the twitter log in there and you can also call the studio hotline, 206-338-3176, that’s 206-338-3176.

I’d love to hear your questions your comments. We got some really great stuff about what people have been learning and what they want to know and answer some of those questions in some upcoming episodes. And today though we’re going to focus on how to build this ability to start conversations and one of the first things we have to start with is what’s getting in the way because most people think this, they say, well I don’t know what to say. I just don’t, my mind goes blank. I don’t have anything good to say, I don’t know how to keep the conversation going or how to even start it.

I just really don’t even know what to say. That’s the most common thing that I hear and I know that that feels true because you really don’t have an idea of what to say but there is something deeper than that. That’s not the end of the story. That’s not all she wrote. You might have a blank mind but underneath that there are powerful mindsets, beliefs, stories at work that are creating that experience of not having anything to say because trust me, when you’re totally relaxed and you’re hanging out with a good buddy or your by yourself or you’re on the phone with someone that you know really well, you don’t have to think of things to say, it just comes out of you.

Have you had that experience where you’re just in flow and having a great conversation, you’re not thinking of what’s the next thing to say, what’s the next thing to say? So there is something happening when it comes to meeting someone new where we have that feeling of I don’t know what to say and what’s underneath that are beliefs and mindsets. And I call these unhelpful mindsets. These are unhelpful mindsets when it comes to starting conversations with people. And if you notice yourself in any of these mindsets, then what I’d like you to do is take your right hand if you’re right-handed or your left hand if you’re left-handed, reach up into the air, go back up over your head and pat yourself on the back because that’s a great thing to do, is to notice some of the mindsets that are holding you back because once you notice those, then you can shift them and then you can start taking new actions and having new experiences and ultimately start to feel a lot more social freedom.

So what is the first unhelpful mindset? That is that it’s inappropriate to talk to people that I don’t know. It’s inappropriate to go talk to a stranger. Now that idea can get implanted way back when, when you were a young lad or a young lass and you just got a message from society, form your parents like don’t talk to them, don’t bother those people and I see this all the time, just today I was in the supermarket and I was gathering some things and there’s a little like three-year-old kid came over to me and I don’t know what he said, he is like, I like chocolate milk or something, something.

And actually I had a big smile on my face, I was like this kid is awesome. And I was like, that’s cool or I said something like that and all of a sudden then his mom catches up to him and she is like, you know, Tim or Timothy, and like kind of grabs him, he’s like leave him alone and she looks at me and she is like, sorry. And I said, no need to apologize, I was really enjoying talking to him. But that was just my attempt to try to kind of break her pattern but I don’t think he got through to her.

But that he gets the message there that it’s not okay to come talk to me. Now what is it not okay to come to me? Maybe she is scared, maybe she got some story but her story was oh my God, my son is bothering people. But anyway, we take this on and then we carry this forward and we have this idea like, oh I’m bothering people, I’m putting people out. It’s inappropriate to go talk to people. I’m interrupting them, I’m bothering them. That’s the first unhelpful mindset. Have you noticed yourself adopting that mindset in the past, then pat yourself on the back, you’re learning something, you’re about to shift it.

The second unhelpful mindset that I see is this, people don’t want to talk to me specifically. So sometimes people say, yeah, yeah, it’s okay to go talk to someone. I understand that if you’re charming and if you’re good looking and, you know, successful and rich and all that stuff, me, I’m a weird loser. I shouldn’t, no one is going to want to talk to me, people don’t want to talk to me. I might talk to someone else but me, no and it’s because I am a nuisance, I’m a bother, I’m, there’s something wrong with me and my presence just really takes away from any situation that I go to.

That’s another unhelpful mindset. Do you see yourself in that? If so, great, give yourself a pat on the back, big smile on your face, this is good. No reason to attack here, no reason to be down on yourself. This is good stuff because guess what you’re going to learn right now, more helpful mindsets. Hey, as if by design, I’m leading us through a process, more helpful mindsets. So, what are those? Maybe you can even come up with one right now. Like if you know your unhelpful mindset, you can generally come up with a more helpful mindset which is the opposite of the unhelpful one.

In case your wanting a clue. So what is a more helpful mindset? What can you come up with? Come up with one right now. I’m going to share several with you but don’t just wait passively for me to give you the answers. Come up with one on your own because whether you come up with for yourself, you’re going to own it and it’s going to get into your mind much deeper and much more powerful. Great. So here are some helpful mindsets. One is of course people want to talk with me.

Of course people want to talk with me. The of course is important there. It’s almost like duh, like assuming and like of course people want to come talk with me. Why wouldn’t they? Of course people want to come talk to me. Of course people want me to come talk with them. Another one is I just enjoy interacting with my fellow humans. I really got that one from a counselor I was working with when I was really stuck in shyness and, you know, I want to be able to just chat with someone at the supermarket.

I was like, but it’s so weird and it’s so inappropriate and they’re not want to talk to me and he is like, what if you’re just the kind of person that likes to interact with your fellow humans, everywhere you go? And you don’t have to be a crazy extrovert where everywhere you go, you’re always talking to people but when you want you can just give yourself the permission to start a conversation with someone. Here is a final mindset that’s really helpful and that is that the reality is people are in their own bubbles.

They’re in their cell phones, they’re in their thoughts, they’re often disconnected and dissatisfied. That’s how a lot of people are walking around. If you look at their faces, they’re, either heads are slightly down, their mouths are in a tight, their lips are tight together, they’re in their thoughts, they’re brows are slightly furrowed, they’re disconnected and dissatisfied. And I am here to brighten their day and add value. That’s a powerful mindset if you can really adopt that.

Hey I’m just here to brighten people’s day. People are often not fully satisfied and I just have a thought interaction with them and things are better for a moment. People just want to be happy underneath. Now, if that was your mindset, that people are just in their own bubbles and it’s your job to poke through and pop the bubble for a moment and just hey, have them realize like hey, we’re all humans and we’re all connected and let’s have a fun interaction for a moment and I’ll let you go on your way.

What do you think that’s going to do to your confidence? What do you think that’s going to do to your ability to go start a conversation with someone? Exactly, so the mindset is so important here. Without that mindset, you can get so much fear and so much discomfort before you even go do it. So what I’m going to share after the break which is some techniques and strategies for actually starting the conversation, you have to have your mindset in line before you go do that. Otherwise it’s going to be really hard to overcome that fear.

So we’re going to take a quick break when we get back, we’re going to get into some of the easiest ways to specifically start a conversation. You’re going to learn two simple ways to start that conversation with anyone, no matter where you are and where you go. Stay tuned and we’ll be right back.

How To Start Conversations

So, what are the ways to start conversations? How can we do this? And the simplest way that I broken it down is there’s only two things that you can do not only to start a conversation but even when you’re in the conversation. There’s literally only two things that are going to come out of your mouth, two categories of things. You’re ready, can you maybe guess what they are? The first is ask a question. Ask a question. The second is making a statement or a comment. That’s it. Those are only two things you can do, everything that comes out of your mouth, I mean, other than listening which is a very important of the conversation, that’s when you’re silent but asking a question when you’re speaking, it’s either asking a question or making a statement.

Think about it, pay attention in the next conversation, everything that anyone says is a combination of those two things. And you can use those to start a conversation. Hey, how is it going today? Where did you get that? What’s that in your car? What are you reading? What are all those? Those are all questions. How about statements? Man, it is hot in here. This line is really long. What a gorgeous day. This looks like a nice place to sit. And I’m just coming up with things out of the top of my head outside of any sort of context but you can see where they might apply.

Those are the statements and you could do this, this is the powerhouse. You can combine a statement with a question to start a conversation. Hey, that’s a cool bracelet. Where did you get it? I like your watch. What kind is it? All right, so ask and you make a statement and you ask a question. That’s, it might seem like, wait a minute, that’s it. That’s how you do it? Yes, that’s it. Simple is better. I was working with one guy, I was just having a conversation with him this morning and he is the UK and he’s had, for many years a fear around starting conversations to people.

And over the last few months, he is just been making awesome progress and he said to me today, he said, Aziz, it’s so strange, he says it in his British accent but he says Aziz, it’s so strange because it doesn’t really matter. I just, I’m saying the, he used some British term, it was like, oh God, dribble or something, all I do is say, just random dribble and it starts a conversation and he is like shocked but I’m like, yeah it doesn’t matter what you say is just as long as you just take the risk and say hey I’m just going to jump into a conversation.

And the simpler it is, the better, the more complex you try to get and over think it, the more you just start get in your way and holding yourself back. Let me give you some specific examples and specific scenarios so you can see just how easy this is. Just recently, I was in an airport and I was going to be flying somewhere and I was really hungry. I had some snacks but, you know, I need something substantial. And I don’t want to sit down in the restaurant. I don’t have much time so I went into like the travel area where they have prepackaged food, salad, sandwiches and stuff.

And I was like, oh I’ll get the salad. I don’t know, I was kind of craving some sort of heavier comfort food. I saw they had an egg salad sandwich sitting there prepackaged. And it was from a local delicatessen here in Portland, so, you know, I somewhat trusted it but I don’t know if you ever seen Futurama, the TV show but there’s an episode where fry, eats an egg salad sandwich from a truck stop and gets this colony of bacteria inside of him. I always associated like eggs, you know, prepackaged in a sandwich to be kind of risky, right, and now you get some bacteria, you might sick from it.

So I was sitting there and I’m kind of stroking my chin being like, should I get that or not and this beautiful woman walks by and I said, hey, what do you think about egg salad? What was that, a statement or question? That’s right, it was a question. I just said, hey what do you think about egg salad? And she stopped and she is like, no, I wouldn’t do that. And I was like, oh, because just like you don’t like it or you’re something about, are you worried about getting ill from it? And she paused and she is like, no, I guess I just don’t eat it because I just don’t, try to, you know, eat healthier stuff than that.

I was like oh cool, thanks. That was it. That was the conversation. And I just started with a question, I asked another question. I was curious about the second one, right, that’s what I was trying to get at is does someone else think that egg sandwiches are dangerous? And by the way, you can go to and leave your message about your thoughts on egg sandwiches and they’re safety if they’re prepackaged. I’d like to know but I could have made then into a long conversation if I wanted to but I didn’t.

Like I said, oh what kind of stuff do you eat or oh yes, you have a fruit cup there so what kind of stuff do you eat? And we could have gone into a conversation about food and health right there. But just see how easy it was, all it took me to do was to say hey, and just blurt something out. And what allowed me to blurt something out? Those mindsets, of course people want to talk with me. I’m just popping people’s bubbles and starting conversations and brightening people’s days, I’m just interacting with my fellow humans.

You treat strangers as if you’re familiar, as if they’re your friend, right. That’s what you do with your good friend. If you’re sitting there at the airport with a good friend and you say, hey man, do you think I should I get the egg salad? Or is that going to make sick. All right, so you just say the same thing to a stranger and treat them in the same familiar way and bam, you’re engaged in a fascinating fun easy conversation. Another example, I was in downtown Phoenix recently with a good friend of mine and we are walking around some kind of landscapie park area in the downtown with trees and the cactuses and shit, whatever you’d have in Phoenix.

And there is a woman that walked by kind of in front of us and she had one of those flash bulb umbrellas that a photographer carries and a big camera around her neck. And my friend said, get this, this is some hi technique stuff. He said, are you doing a photo shoot? That’s it. Are you doing a photo shoot? I mean, how obvious is that? Obviously she is doing a photo shoot. She is a light bulb and a camera. Duh, but it was easy, that’s all it took and then she started to talking to him.

She’s like, oh yeah, actually I’m doing a photo shoot for an engagement session and I was like an engagement session, what’s that? And we started chatting for a while. We talked with her for about four, five minutes, just talking about some of photography’s and about something else and I’m like, okay, well I let you get to your couple to your to shoot the engagement session, have fun and that was it. I mean, this is not rocket science. This is really simple stuff but again my friend has that mindset of, of course people want to talk with me. I’m just interacting with my fellow humans and people are often in their own heads and their worlds and I’m just here to brighten their day, right.

And it makes it so easy when you do this. And you might say, well, you know that’s just what you do. Most people don’t do that kind of stuff. Oh contraire, not too much longer in same the place in Phoenix, we’re at this Mexican restaurant and we’re sitting at this table and I was chatting with my friend and I don’t remember what he said but for some reason it reminded me of the term phalanx, and if you’re a guy listening right now, do you know what a phalanx is? And actually asked my friend now, I said, do you know what a phalanx is?

He is like yeah of course. It’s a like a fighting unit with shields and stuff. And I was like, I know that too, I don’t know much about military history but does every guy know what a phalanx is? So if you’re a guy listening, do you know what a phalanx is? And if you do I think that’s pretty fine. I don’t know why we all know that. But, he said, yeah it’s interesting. Our phalanx is where they Greek, are they Roman, are they Greek, and then from across and one table down like literally like 15 feet away, some dude with a beard is like, Greek.

We both stopped and looked at him, he is like, they’re Greek. And I just laughed. I was like, does every guy know what a phalanx is? And he is like, well actually yeah, I mean, I used to be in the military, I studied military history, I love that stuff. And then we get into a fascinating four, five minute conversation about phalanxes. He said why they are like the, you know, cutting edge technology, military tech of the day and then we got into talking about red coats and how they all used to line up in to going to the way later than phalanxes but lining up, in line with their muskets and just like firing at each other, we talked about what that must have been like, like how shitty that much have been to be a ground troupe in that situation.

And we just went from there. And it was a fun, fascinating conversation. And how did it start, because he said a comment. Phalanx are Greek, right, because he heard I was asked the question, he has jumped in. Now, when he jumped in did we say, excuse me stranger, we were having our own conversation, we don’t like you and we reject you. No, because we’re reasonable people. And we’d like to talk to someone and he was bringing value, he was brightening our day, eh was adding something to the conversation and so of course we welcomed him in and it was really fun.

And the same is true for you, you can be that guy, you can just jump in, you can hear something, you can over hear a word, if someone says, yeah the other day, you know, I was moving a bunch of brick from one part of my house to another, right, and he is talking to someone else and you can just jump in and say, oh what kind of brick or where are you moving it to? Bam, you’re into the conversation. Don’t let that fear, that inhibition, you know, people are not going to like it. It’s bullshit.

The reality is you can just jump right in and sure one out of 10 people is going to be kind of a dick or say, don’t talk to me but the other nine out of 10 people are going to just roll with it because people like talking to each other. So we’re going to take a quick break and when we get back, I’m going to give you some success tips on how to make your conversations starting to go really smoothly, how to overcome any fears or blocks that might come up and how to really make this a part of your life.

So stay tuned, we’ll be right back after this.

How To Become Even Better At Starting Conversations

So how do you make this an easy part of your life? How do you make it where you can just instantly start a conversation and just share something without even thinking about it how can you become so good at this that it just becomes unconscious, it’s just part of who you are, it’s just what you do. The first thing and success tip I want to share is practice. You got to practice it. You got to want to just do this stuff. One guy I’ve been working with for a couple of months, he made a lot of progress initially and he’s kind of tapered off, he has been focusing on dating and relationships and what we came to in our last conversation, our last session is realizing that he’s just got to practice more.

So we got really specific, really structured and said okay, what days of the week after work are you going to do and what are you going to do? And so we came up with three days during the week. After work he is going to stop by somewhere. He is going to, before he just goes home, and go into his comfort zone, he is going to set a timer for 20 minutes and he is just going to walk around and say hi to people and practice and engage and look for opportunities to converse.

And if he does that for three weeks in a row, he’ll be in a totally different place. I know it seems so simple but it’s really just a matter of putting in the effort, putting in the time in the practice and you can make rapid progress especially in this area of starting conversations and initiating interactions because it’s really not that complex, it’s actually very simple when you have the right mindset and you just jump in and take the risks. The second tip for success that I want to share is you have to be willing to drive the conversation.

If you’re jumping in to the conversation, then you cannot be super passive. When I say about passive, I mean that the passive person of the conversation is the one where the other person leads the whole thing. Right, so they say, well what kind of work do you do? Oh, you know, I’m in Hi-Tech, oh cool, where do you work? Oh, I work for Intel. Oh great, what kind of job do you do? Oh, like, you know product development, right. So if you’re the guy who is just giving the answers then you are not leading the conversation.

You are being passive and you’re also not giving the other person much to work with. But, you have to be willing to be the one to ask the questions, make the comments, not just the first one to start the conversation but several more. You got to be able to be willing to drive the conversation for about 60 seconds and see if it takes off and if you could get into a roll in a conversation person and if you can’t, then it’s just you asking questions and not giving you much, then you can exit after a minute or so but don’t exit before that because them not responding a whole lot immediately doesn’t mean they hate you, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad guy, you’re bothering them and you’re inappropriate and all those old stories and mindsets, all that it means is that you haven’t locked into a conversation yet.

Maybe you haven’t found a topic that connects both of you. Maybe they’re still in their own head. Maybe they are like, wait a minute, what’s this guy talking to me for does he want something? But you chat for about 30 seconds and all of a sudden they realize oh this guy is just being a friend and then they open up. So many things can happen for them in those first 60 seconds. You just got to be willing to lead the conversation. And if this stuff is useful for you, if you’re finding this helpful, then you absolutely, you want to go, I mean, we’re just at the surface level, you want to go 10 layers deep into the nuts and bolts of conversation from starting them to creating engaging interactions to really getting into groups and getting out of that phase where you’re kind of afraid to jump in to groups and how to tell stories, all that stuff then you want to go way deep into that, check out my program The Confidence Code which is going to go, you know, so many layers deep, in helping you understand the stuff from the inside out.

So you can just make it part of who you are. And that brings us to your action step. Today’s action step, simple, start three conversations today, today, now if you’re listening to this and it’s 11 PM or whatever, then get your ass to 7/11, now, do it tomorrow, whatever, that’s fine. But literally tomorrow, as soon as you can, don’t say well I work tomorrow, do it after work. Do it on your lunch break. Start three conversations today. Now, a conversation can be a 10-second interaction.

What do you think about the egg salad? Oh yeah, well because you’re worried about being sick or you just don’t like it? Oh cool thanks. And that’s a conversation, that counts. That only took about 12 seconds. So, or you kind of longer one if you want but the key is you got to start three today. And if you really go for the gold, then do it everyday this week or five times, you know, five days this week, something that works for you but the more you practice this stuff, the better you’re going to get, the more it’s going to become part of who you are and ultimately the better your life is going to become because if you can start conversations with people, you know, your social life will improve, you’ll be able to create more friendships, your dating life will improve, you’ll find awesome girlfriends and partners, your business life will improve.

Build a network better, connect with people, find new opportunities, sell more stuff, do what you want in your life that all comes from conversations. So thanks so much for joining me today and until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you are awesome!

Music Credits

DeepSound – Lost Ground
(Licensed through

First Ad:
Mind Over Matter
(Licensed through

Second Ad:
Justin Crosby – Afterparty
(Licensed through

Action Step:
DeepSound – Yellow Dog
(Licensed through

Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)

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