It's Not Weird If You Have To Get Momentum Going In Some Of Your Conversations Every Time

One little social thing that can throw people off is when they're able to have good conversations in a particular setting, but then feel clumsy and rusty when they're back in that same situation a while later. Here are the two main ways it happens:

When you're talking to people who make you nervous

The most common situation where this occurs is when you're speaking to people that make you anxious, like chatting to strangers at a party or bar or at a networking event. When you first show up you feel inhibited and out of your element, but you manage to start some conversations, perhaps by beginning with someone who doesn't seem as intimidating. After a while you get into a groove and start feeling more relaxed and confident.

If it's your first time ever finding your flow like this, at the end of the evening you may feel amped up and like you've conquered one of your fears for good. However, two weeks later you're at another pub or party and your nerves are mostly back. It can be quite demoralizing. You may think you've lost all your progress, or fret about whether you'll ever get over your shyness.

The fact is that while you can do a lot to work past your fears, there are some social settings where you may always be at least a bit anxious, and you'll have to warm up, shake off the rust, and get some steam going each time you show up at them. Your starting level of fear may become a 3, instead of the 8 it used to be, but some of it will always remain.

It doesn't mean you're weak or that you're doing something wrong. It's just that some situations have a built in level of risk to them - of rejection or an awkward moment. We're aware of those possibilities and it will always evoke some low, reasonable level of nervousness. Also, some social settings draw on a headspace and set of abilities you may not use every day. Most of us don't spend our week walking around a loud, crowded room trying to chat up wary strangers, so the mindset and skills required to do all that at a bar on a Saturday night feel odd and unfamiliar for a while. It takes some time to wake them up.

Most people intuitively deduce all this sooner or later, but again, if you're new to this kind of thing it can throw you off until you realize what's happening and learn to work around it.

Needing to get momentum going when talking to people you're closer to

Mingling-focused settings where there's a risk of rejection are where people usually notice this momentum issue, and can get worried or down on themselves about it. It's not as common, but it can also happen with people you know well. They may even be a family member, close friend, or longtime co-worker, but for whenever you meet up with them your conversations feel a bit forced and stilted at first. It's like you've forgotten how to talk to each other, or have to work to find things to chat about. For a moment you may question why you bother hanging out with them when things are so halting. However, after a few minutes you find your rhythm, and speaking with them starts to feel smooth and comfortable again, as it always does.

Even though it works out every time, you may wonder why things between you two always start in that shaky place. You might worry the fault lies with your hopeless awkwardness, or fear maybe the two of you just aren't that compatible. Here are a few other possible explanations:

Again, the main point is that if this happens, and always continues to happen, it doesn't necessarily mean something has gone wrong. That may just be the pattern conversations in your relationship will follow. If you realize and accept that, it can take some of the pressure and worry away.