Enjoy our INAUGURAL Friendsday Wednesday contribution by some fellow cool aunts, Bailey deBardeleban + Emily Broussard, expert friend-makers! Please join these lovely stock image people below in a round of applause for these fabulous ladies...
Y’all--how did we get so lucky to be the first Friendsday Wednesday posters? When Katie mentioned to us that we should transform a recent talk from our real lives into a blog post for cyber space… what can we say? We pretty much felt like blog princesses.
But really, what a fun way for us to talk about something that we both love: Talking.
We’re Bailey (Aunt B) + Em (Bunny) your average gals in their twenties who just happen to love a good conversation and a new friend! Between the two of us, we host a most entertaining and fun conversation on conversation every semester with the college girls over at the Ragin’ Cajun Catholics called “Talkin’ Bout Talkin.’”
Here’s the thing: In a world where we feel more “connected” than ever (social media, snap chat stories, insta stories, SO MANY STORIES), somehow we’ve forgotten how to actually share our real stories with people IRL. How many times do we hide behind our screens to avoid the possibility of an awkward conversation (Is that just us? Orrrrr….)? Or, maybe we stay away from someone new because the idea of starting a conversation from scratch is daunting. News flash: We feel it too.
Are you looking for ways to make that phone screen in front of your face a little less exciting and the idea of conversation with that real person in front of you a little more enticing? Or to remove that sense of dread from the friend-making process? That’s where we come in.
It’s worth taking a chance to meet someone new! Think about it--all of your best friends did not just appear, they used to be acquaintances, and before that just people you recognized, and before that just strangers. It’s worth it to risk the awkward conversation and look up from your Facebook feed. The world has awesome people just waiting to meet you! And, on top of all of that, we are called to be Disciples and grow the Kingdom of God. How does that happen? Through communication IRL.
So, here we are--throwing out some ridiculous tidbits about talking to all you people on the interwebs. Without further ado, we present to you…
Bailey + Em’s Top 5 Talkin’ Tips from Talkin’ bout Talkin'!
1. Get over the awkward.
This is my (Emily’s) favorite rule of conversation: Awkwardness happens. Sometimes it’s hilarious and sometimes you have to take a deep breath and move on. Either way, it’s worth taking the chance when it comes to making conversation.
My favorite story to tell is one about a wonderful, bearded, IT guy who did some major IT magic in the midst of a minor crisis at a work event. I was so star struck by this man’s knowledge of the tech-world that I shared with him that I thought he “kept all of the secrets in his beard”. Yes, I said that. In real life. To a real, live, bearded person. *facepalm*
Have you ever had a moment when you saw the awkward words coming out of your mouth and immediately wished you could stuff them back in? Yeah, hey guys, that’s me.
But you better believe we had a good laugh about it! And, it certainly broke the ice. I’m not saying that you should go around always discussing people’s beards. I am saying that you should go ahead and take the chance by starting the conversation. The worst that could happen is that you end up with a pretty amazing story.
2. Ask good questions.
The backbone of a great conversation is a good question. No, not surface level yes-no things… but thought provoking, open-ended, tell me more kind of things.
Friend 1: Do you like New York City?
Friend 2: Yep.
WRONG. Boring answer.
Friend 1: Tell me about your favorite place you’ve traveled to!
Friend 2: Well, this one time I went to New York City and I had the best time! I stuffed cookies in the DVD player, I worked in the mailroom, I found my dad, I helped save Christmas…. Oh wait, wrong story.
SEE? So many more fun things when you ask an open-ended question!
3. Make yourself available.
Bailey here. Real talk--Do you look like you’re more interested in your phone than the real people sitting next to you? If you’re hunched over, scrolling, and never looking up, the answer is probably yes. [Editor’s note: Exception--if you’re looking at AskAuntKatie.com]
You don’t have to hide your phone for all of eternity, but maybe just take a break from it every now and then. Put it in your bag or pocket and look around the room for a second. Say hi to the bartender or person sitting next to you. Smile at someone. Ask what they recommend eating or drinking. An open, receptive posture invites conversation without having to say a word.
4. Learn something new.
Emily’s second favorite rule! The world is full of people who are different than we are. Why not learn more about who they are and what they do? Here are some of my favorite conversation starters to use when I don’t know much about what someone is talking about…
“Hello, my name is Ursula, and I’m a professional underwater basketweaver.”
...How did you get into that?
...What’s your normal day like?
...Give me the “for dummies” explanation of what that is…
...What’s your favorite part about that?
...I’m trying to understand…. Can you help me?
...I’ve never experienced that before. Can you give me a snapshot of what that’s like?
And, my FAVORITE… Tell me more about that!
SO MANY opportunities to learn more about the people around us! This makes us want to meet all the people!
5. Be you.
No, but really. Just be you! Good conversation doesn’t know the difference between age, stereotypes, or backgrounds. What’s important is that you bring your life and experience to the table without fear. Besides--how are Em and I going to make a NEW friend if you’re not being you? We already know each other!
So, there you have it! Bailey and Em’s Top 5 Talkin’ Tips. We hope you put them to good use! And, hey, tell us about your experiences—the good, the bad, the awkward. We want to hear it all! But we’re warning you--we’ll most likely reply with “Tell me more about that!”
Aunt B + Bunny
Bailey DeBardeleben is the Dean of Students at St. Pius Elementary in Lafayette, LA, aka she gets to show love and mercy when God’s children mess up. She has a degree in work/life balance and her favorite part about life is living it! To contact Bailey: Debardeleben.firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Broussard is the Assistant Director of Advancement for Our Lady of Wisdom Church & Catholic Student Center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette--home of the Ragin' Cajun Catholics! She loves a good old fashioned, a punny joke, and a well designed monogram. #26yearoldchurchladylife. To contact Emily: Broussard.Emily@gmail.com, IG: ecb3543