When you’re at a social event, there’s a lot going on and plenty of reason to scan the room. If you want to have an engaging conversation with the person you’re talking to, though, stop scoping the place out for something more interesting.
Photo by Loren Kerns
Smartphones get a bad rap for distracting us from the people we’re with, but distractions weren’t invented in 2007. Social events practically beg for a lack of focus. The room is full of interesting people, there’s food, music or other entertainment set out that can grab your attention, and everyone’s mingling.
If you really want to have an engaging conversation with someone, stop looking around the room for something better to do. As business blog Inc. explains:
At cocktail parties, many of us find ourselves looking over the shoulder of the person in front of us to see who’s around. To which I say, stop. Stop looking around the room physically or looking around the room in your brain. Five minutes spent fully engaging with one person as if they are the only thing in the room at the moment is worth ten times more than 15 minutes half-heartedly tittering on about the dullest subjects.
The effect of paying undivided attention to someone is they find it a more enjoyable experience to talk to you. This helps leave a lasting impression. If you find you’re not really interested in the conversation, don’t let it drone on. Do both of you the courtesy of ending it. If there’s someone you genuinely want to connect with, though, be in the moment.