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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm now doing my voluntary ecological year at an environmental protection station. I have two colleagues, both guys, that I spend most of the working day (as in, about 7-8h daily) with.

Now, I think they're both nice guys, though very different. However, it feels like we kind of don't have much to talk about - at lunchbreak there's silence most of the time and while we're working, we talk about the task at hand. We all have really different kind of hobbies and interests (at least I think so, I don't actually know much about them yet, but so far there's been no topic except work we've really talked about) and whenever I ask about what they did last night after work, that kind of thing, it always trails off quickly and I don't want to be the only one talking, you know?

It kind of gets to me since I'm a very talkative person and like to make friends with people that I have much to do with; it makes me sad to think that it'll go on like this all the coming year.


Have you ever encountered something like this? Any people who are good at this social thing and can give me some hints? I can relate to people who will talk back to me, but I'm really bad with silence :/ So, um, yeah. I don't want to ask them everyday what they're planning for the weekend so they won't think I'm nosey or whatever, seeing that they don't really ask me that kind of thing.

Ah well. Maybe I'm just overthinking things.
 

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I usually find these to be good conversation-starters:

"so, I was thinking of discussing any embarrassing sexual situations from our past, in order to better come to terms with ourselves and our bodies. you guys can start. if you don't mind, I'll post your stories on the 'net for the purpose of this research project I'm working on."
"did you know that the average wingspan of the Ecuadorian night bat is 12.2 centimeters, but that in 1982 one individual was found whose wingspan was slightly over 17 cm?"
"I've been thinking recently that when I first saw you, you looked very familiar. is there any chance you too were at the necrophilia convention a few years back?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I usually find these to be good conversation-starters:

"so, I was thinking of discussing any embarrassing sexual situations from our past, in order to better come to terms with ourselves and our bodies. you guys can start. if you don't mind, I'll post your stories on the 'net for the purpose of this research project I'm working on."
"did you know that the average wingspan of the Ecuadorian night bat is 12.2 centimeters, but that in 1982 one individual was found whose wingspan was slightly over 17 cm?"
"I've been thinking recently that when I first saw you, you looked very familiar. is there any chance you too were at the necrophilia convention a few years back?"
Why didn't I think of those earlier? I'm sure I'll fare much better now, thanks SS
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I usually find these to be good conversation-starters:

"so, I was thinking of discussing any embarrassing sexual situations from our past, in order to better come to terms with ourselves and our bodies. you guys can start. if you don't mind, I'll post your stories on the 'net for the purpose of this research project I'm working on."
"did you know that the average wingspan of the Ecuadorian night bat is 12.2 centimeters, but that in 1982 one individual was found whose wingspan was slightly over 17 cm?"
"I've been thinking recently that when I first saw you, you looked very familiar. is there any chance you too were at the necrophilia convention a few years back?"
No wonder I have no friends! I am using all the wong lines.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post

We all have really different kind of hobbies and interests (at least I think so, I don't actually know much about them yet, but so far there's been no topic except work we've really talked about) and whenever I ask about what they did last night after work, that kind of thing, it always trails off quickly and I don't want to be the only one talking, you know?
I'm like you, I can't stand awkward silences either. I have found that most people have a favourite subject and once you find it that they are much more open to communicating. I would probably try and engage them on a few issues like politics, films etc... and see if they respond.
 

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If they're like me, they don't really like talking to people they don't know, but will eventually open up. But remember, everyone likes talking about themselves
Ask them questions about their favorite movies, restaurants, what-have-you.
 

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Just ask questions! I usually ask about things related to the situation, since it should provide common ground (have they volunteered before, about the environment, about studies) or just general things, what do you do in your spare time, do you have any hobbies, what are you up to this weekend, do you live alone or with family, where are you from/where did you live/what's your commute like, did you see X on tv last night - that kind of thing. If their answers are short/trail off then perhaps they're just shy or quiet people.

I did have a friend who it was really difficult to talk to at first, and I realised it was because they didn't seem to like talking about themselves/their life, but if instead I talked about common intrests - politics, tv, etc - they were really chatty. I'd say this is an exception rather than the rule though, I think most people would rather talk about themselves, because if you ask about politics or something you run the risk they don't really know anything about it and feel stupid/left out/embarrased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone. So far nothing much has changed, but the three of us like spending our breaks in the donkey enclosure, picking apples off the trees there and cuddling the donkeys. No real small talk yet, but I'll be patient.

Maybe I'll ask on Monday about their favourite music or something, maybe we have unknown similarities
 

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There can be many reasons why people don't want to talk.

if I was getting the reaction you were getting when asking them questions about their life i'd just tell hem that i've noticed that they don't seem to want to talk much and ask them why. see what they say to that and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First day back at work after the weekend and it's a lot better now
We chatted half an hour while mucking out the donkey enclosure (donkeys make everything better! It's true!) and except for lunch there were no awkward silences today, even more work-centered talk was pretty relaxed and we all laughed a lot today.
I'm one happy muffin now.

... Is this the right time to mention that I've got a bit of a crush on one of the guys?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post

First day back at work after the weekend and it's a lot better now
We chatted half an hour while mucking out the donkey enclosure (donkeys make everything better! It's true!) and except for lunch there were no awkward silences today, even more work-centered talk was pretty relaxed and we all laughed a lot today.
I'm one happy muffin now.

... Is this the right time to mention that I've got a bit of a crush on one of the guys?
haha, I KNEW it!


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

haha, I KNEW it!


Oh you FOX


Sooo... Anyone explain this whole flirting thing to me?
 

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Within the context of the tasks at hand, you can show that you're a good sort by doing something that makes the other guy's day a little easier. And not just the guy you have a crush on, of course... Or say something to the boss about something good the other guy did, etc. Once they know you're nice, they'll be way more interested in getting to know you. But you can't do too much of that for too long. They also need to demonstrate that they are worth the trouble of all that ice-breaking. Doing little voluntary things that help one another out with the work day, that's the best ice-breaker ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Joan, that's awesome advice. It's pretty much what's going on right now, too, getting each other's things, lending a hand, that type of stuff. We're all getting along now and actually have lots of fun together everyday, I think it just took the first week for us to thaw a little because we were all somewhat intimidated. The environmental protection station has a big sort of family feeling, though, our boss is also very much a friend, and I think that greatly helps.
 

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While you have a desire to chat or talk, keep in mind that other people's desires will not always match up with yours. Your first post seems to be all about what *you* want, but it also gives a hint for us that maybe 1) these guys don't feel like talking at work 2) as someone said, they haven't opened up yet. There's nothing wrong with silence, and don't take it personally.

I have quiet times and also talkative times, but boy does it really get on my nerves when I want quiet and someone won't stop asking questions.
You're not asking questions for them, remember - you're doing it because *you* want to talk. REspect their space.
 
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