Last updated on January 21st, 2024 at 06:03 pm

Sometimes, you might think, “I never have anything to say.” This can happen during an interview, on a date, or with friends. Suddenly, you can’t find the words. You feel alone and silent.

But remember, you’re not the only one. This happens to many people. We want to help you understand why and how to get past these quiet times.

Talking should be easy and fun. Let’s figure out how to feel good about talking again.

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1. Stress and anxiety leave you speechless 

Do you find it hard to talk when stressed? Your body’s “fight or flight” reaction can make you feel dizzy and lost for words.

Dr. Julian Ford, an expert, says stress messes with our usual way of talking, making simple talks hard. But knowing this can help. If you realize it’s just stress, you can calm down, breathe, and start talking again.

When you’re really anxious or stressed, you might feel like you can’t speak well. This is why you sometimes think, “I don’t know what to say!”


fight or flight

2. “I never have anything to say” might mean you’re not ready


Going into social events without planning is risky, like sailing without a map. If you often think, “I don’t know what to say,” in interviews, dates, or parties, maybe you haven’t practiced enough. But it’s an easy problem to fix.

Preparing a little can help a lot. Just think for a few minutes each day about what to talk about or ask. This small step can put you ahead, as many people don’t prepare for daily conversations.

If you want more tips on getting ready for talks and meeting people, look for free social skills resources!

i don't know what to say

3. Mind traps: Bad thoughts stop your words

How you think can mess up your conversations. Think about your thoughts—are they happy or sad? Are you relaxed or worried?

Experts often mention “cognitive distortions,” which are ways of thinking that aren’t quite right. Expecting the worst (“Catastrophizing”) and seeing things as only good or bad (“All or Nothing Thinking”) are common issues.

These ways of thinking can make talking hard. By noticing and changing them, you can talk better. Below, there’s a list of guides to help you understand these issues and how to deal with them.

Here’s a list you can read to learn more about faulty thinking and how to handle it.

Video: Getting stuck in negative thinking (and how to get unstuck)

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4. You’re in the wrong place? Find where you fit

If you often can’t speak, maybe you’re in the wrong place. Ask yourself, “Where do I feel comfortable talking?” If you always feel out of place, it’s like wearing a heavy coat in the heat.

Remember when talking was easy. Where were you? What was happening? Those are your safe spots. Going to similar places can help you chat more naturally.

It’s about being where you fit best. Once you find it, moving from “I don’t know what to say” to having good conversations will be easy. Find your spot!

find people who are compatible for good conversation

5. Dull questions, boring conversations

    Learning to ask questions is vital for all your relationships.

    Asking good questions is crucial for deep talks in your life. It’s a simple but powerful way to fix the “I don’t know what to say” problem.

    Expert Alison Wood Brooks from Harvard Business School highlights the importance of asking. Her study shows a common mistake: not asking enough. People often wish others had asked them more after talks or meetings. It’s a chance for better connections that’s often missed.

    The results below from a survey of 2,169 leaders showed that asking questions is important. The right questions make conversations better.


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    Quick answers to never knowing what to say

    What does it mean if you never have anything to say?

    It’s okay to feel this way. It might mean you’re shy or unsure. You’re not alone in feeling like this.


    What to do if you don’t have anything to say?

    Try asking questions or talking about simple things around you. It’s a good way to start.


    Is it normal to not have anything to talk about?

    Yes, it’s totally normal. Everyone has moments of silence. You’re not the only one.


    What do I say if I have nothing to say?

    Ask about the other person’s day or mention something nearby. Small talk is a great bridge to more conversation.


    Get better at socializing: Finally know what to say

    Below are 4 easy tips to help you talk more. Try just one, and you’ll start to see changes.

    Give it a go!

    If you often think “I never have anything to say,” practice more

    Practicing helps you learn faster. The sooner you practice and get feedback, the quicker you’ll improve. Rehearse what you want to say, learn how to handle disagreements, negotiate, and answer common questions.

    Like any skill, conversation gets better with time and effort. Work on improving your habits, too.

    quora and reddit never knowing what to say

    Small talk is here to stay

    Small talk is a big part of meeting people. It helps you find common ground with others. It’s really important to learn, especially if you often feel lost for words. When you chat about things outside work, you build a connection. Like, if someone mentions a trip and you’ve been somewhere similar, you can share that.

    This builds a friendly relationship and helps you understand who they are. Check out our free social skills tool.

    Also, if you want to improve your small talk and social skills, look for tips on the best and worst things to talk about.


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    Conversation starters, questions to ask, dealing with anxiety, and more

    things to say and conversation starters

    Consider getting professional help

    It’s tough to know what to say and feel confident starting conversations. A lot of this begins in our minds. But sometimes, it’s too hard to handle alone, especially if your worries are deep-rooted.

    Working on yourself means exploring your thoughts, past, and fears. Learning to move past what stops you can change your life.

    To tackle the thought “I don’t know what to say,” look into counseling. You can find help nearby and even get a discount with this link.


    Learn to keep a conversation going

    Being good at talking can help you in work, making friends, or meeting someone special. But for many, starting and keeping a conversation is very hard.

    If you often think “I can’t start a conversation,” you’re not alone. The good news is, with some guidance and practice, you can become great at chatting.

    Check out these 9 powerful tips to make conversation easier. With these, you’ll worry less about not knowing what to say.

    FAQ’s on “I never have anything to say”

    Why do I feel like I never know what to say?

    A: Feeling at a loss for words is a universal experience and usually stems from fear of saying the wrong thing or not being interesting enough. It’s okay to feel this way, and many do. To combat this, try reflecting on past conversations that went well and remember what topics brought you comfort and engagement.


    What should I do when I never have anything to say during social events?

    A: It’s perfectly normal to draw a blank in social settings. When this happens, focus on asking open-ended questions that invite others to talk about their interests. This takes the pressure off you and allows the conversation to flow more naturally. Also, consider preparing some talking points before the event about your hobbies, recent movies, or books you’ve enjoyed.


    How can I become better at conversation and prevent those silent moments?

    A: Practice makes perfect. Try engaging in small talk with acquaintances to build your comfort level. Also, consider joining a club or group that aligns with your interests to provide more opportunities to converse with like-minded individuals. Remember, silence can be a natural part of the conversation rhythm; it’s not always something to fear.


    Is it normal to run out of things to say with friends or on a date?

    A: Definitely. It’s a common part of human interaction and can happen to anyone. The key is how you handle it. Instead of panicking, take a moment to breathe. You can always change the subject to something more comfortable or share an observation about your surroundings to reignite the conversation.


    How can I keep a conversation going on a date when I feel out of depth?

    A: Dates can be nerve-wracking, but they’re also an opportunity to connect. If you’re worried about running out of topics, do a bit of homework beforehand. Look into their interests, and think of related questions that can lead to deeper discussions. And remember, being genuinely interested in the other person and reflecting on their responses often leads to a more meaningful and effortless exchange.


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    When all else fails … 

    Try talking about yourself. If you’re shy, this might seem hard.

    It’s tough to open up, especially for quiet people. But when you don’t share your thoughts and stories, you miss out on better talks and closer friendships.

    Think of sharing as planting seeds in a conversation garden. The more you share, the richer it grows. Each thing you tell invites others into your world, making it easier to talk as time goes by.

    Start with small things you’re okay to talk about. As you feel safer, you’ll find  easier. Soon, your relationships will bloom with real, shared stories and ideas.

    The fastest way to find a topic is to talk about what you see.

    The easiest way to start chatting is to mention something around you.

    Look around—what stands out about the person you’re with or the place you’re at? Maybe it’s someone’s clothes, a part of your surroundings, or even the weather.

    Use these things as conversation openers. They’re everywhere, ready to be part of your talk. Think of it as a fun game. You’ll be surprised how a small remark can turn into an exciting or deep conversation.

    So, go ahead, talk about what’s around you, and watch the conversation grow naturally.

    What else can you do right now?

    Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “I never know what to say” or “I never have anything to say”.

    Next time, you’ll feel more confident and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.

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