You feel as though the cat's got your tongue, and you wish the furry feline really did, because then you'd at least have an excuse for your lack of words. The good news is you can keep nerves from stifling conversation ideas. Keep the topics going no matter what by keeping a few handy communication strategies up your sleeve.
Extend any topic you're currently discussing by asking your friend what she thinks. Great listeners encourage people to talk about themselves, and use questions to keep the conversation going. On his personal website, leadership expert Michael Hyatt recommends saying something like "How did it make you feel when that happened?" to find out more about the person. When you use this strategy, you'll find that new conversational topics naturally appear without effort.
New topics will present themselves if you listen carefully to what your girlfriend is saying. Hyatt notes that you will learn a lot by paying attention not only to her words, but to her body language as well. You can parlay your listening skills into new conversational topics by looking beneath the surface of the conversation. For example, if she offhandedly mentions during a conversation about cooking that some of the best food she ever ate was in Paris, you can then ask her about her trip. Keep in mind that most people greatly enjoy talking about themselves, and you'll keep the conversation flowing.
The 24-Hour Trick
Focus on something that has happened in the last 24 hours, advises communication strategist Robbie Vorhaus on his website. For example, bring up something that happened the day before, such as an earthquake, and ask her why she thinks natural disasters are becoming more frequent. Even the most mundane occurrences can be conversational fodder. Try telling her about something stupid your cat did last night or ask her how to wash wool sweaters, since you just shrank yours two sizes in the laundry.
Coming up with conversational ideas -- whether from the past 24 hours or otherwise -- is much easier when you live a life that is rich in information, inspiration and ideas. In other words, spending your down time playing video games is unlikely to help you to find intriguing topics of conversation. Spend a few minutes each morning reading the news headlines to find out what's going on in the world. Listen to an audio book as you drive to work. Find a hobby or two to enjoy and learn about. Attend a local lecture or art opening now and then. When you add richness to your life, you'll do the same for your conversation.