How To Avoid Awkward Silences

The Get The Guy Tour is underway! We’re two events down. I had an incredible time in both Toronto and Winnipeg. However, travelling around and meeting lots of new people outside of these events led me to the topic of today’s video…

From The Video

In travelling, you end up meeting a lot of new people whom you want to have interesting things to talk about with.

I often come across people who struggle with this.

Whenever I think about people who have a hard time getting a conversation going, I think of how they sensor themselves too much; not allowing themselves to say the thing that’s on their mind.

I like to make the comparison with writers and the common problem ‘writer’s block’. Whenever someone experiences this, it’s because the standard for what they want to write is too high.

If it can never be good enough for you, you end up not writing anything.

And how do you get through this to go on to become a better writer? You write more.

Stephen King said “write for the waste paper basket”.

In writing for the trash can you have nothing to worry about, and no expectation to live up to.

I think people have to approach conversation the same way.

If your problem is awkward silences or not being able to keep a conversation going, you have to lower your standards for what comes out of your mouth.

Be prepared to say things other people might think are ridiculous or boring, because as you talk more, you get feedback and learn what’s interesting.

Christopher Hitchens said “self publish, even in conversation”. I love this idea, as with every sentence you’re publishing another thought.

Most people spend their lives self-editing, not self-publishing – which leads to not awkward silences as they’ve edited before they’ve created anything.

I know there will be many conversational situations where you feel you don’t have anything to contribute. Of course the cure for that is to ask questions and to be curious.

People who are intensely curious about life never struggle for conversation.

If you are genuinely interested in something, people will be interested in answering as they will feel your curiosity.

So lower your standard for what you have to say, self-publish liberally, and in the absence of knowing about a subject, ask about it.



My dear brother Stephen, who happens to be an extraordinary writer, has agreed to start writing some articles for this site.

I’m over the moon about it. He co-wrote the Get The Guy book with me, and I’ve been begging him to do this for years. I feel privileged he’s going to contribute to the site, and I know you’re going to fall in love with him.

The first article is going to be live on Wednesday. I hope you’re excited!

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24 Replies to “How To Avoid Awkward Silences”

  • Another insightful article Matthew, you give the best advice in the most simple and direct way possible, which is then easy to apply in your on life. Keep it up!, Vanessa.

  • hey matt :) loved this video!
    i’m starting college on march (i live in south america) and i was wondering if you had any advice about making friends and getting guys’ attention without every girl on campus hating you, cause that’s what happened to me in high school. take care :)

  • Hi Matthew,
    Good article, I like the idea of self-publishing when you speak, I think there’s a lot to take away from this. Are you mentioning the Mona Lisa as you recently visited The Louvre. I hope you had a lovely time in beautiful Paris and am very much looking forward to your brothers articles on this blog. If he co-wrote your book he must be very clever. Every time I decide to veer away from what the book says it all goes horribly wrong. I live and learn.
    Kathryn x

  • Yeahhhhhhh Team Hussey!!!! Can’t wait for your brother’s article. We won’t forget about you Matt. You are our #1 Hussey.


  • Hey Matt,

    This is great. Now we’ll have Matt, Steve, and Jamieson! (I just like the mention of Jamieson. :-))

    I’m one of those intensely curious people who have a ton of questions. Perhaps you can tell! So my issue isn’t awkward silences, it’s not liking any silences at all. I get bored and my mind wanders. But I’m working on it.

    I’ve been doing the Get The Guy/Keep The Guy thing for several months now. Sigh. It’s fine. Going out a few times a week is normal. My confidence is at a high. I try not to focus on getting the guy, just having a fun and active social life. But . . . while it’s fun in the moment to flirt and be around guys, later on especially on a cold journey home (though not Winnepeg cold) I don’t know, it’s not as fun later. I guess I still have goals for going out rather than just fun in the moment. I know it takes time and I’m not going to stop what I’m doing. I just really want to spend time doing the things I love, which unfortunately are not things that men enjoy. I miss those things but I only have energy to focus on one thing at a time.

    What do you think?

    I hope the Keep The Guy tour doesn’t mean we won’t see your comments around her for four months!



  • I’m very intrigued in what you had to say about making conversation and getting lost for words,because it become an issue with anyone. Myself I listen more then I talk. I do need to learn the art of a well developed skilled conversationist. Thanks for the food for thought.!!!

  • I think this also applies to people singing. Singing is fun, but few people sing because they don’t think they can sing perfectly. Anyway, I was dancing in the store today because I was happy. I didn’t even realize I was dancing and this guy noticed and made a comment. It wasn’t a negative comment. Anyway, I decided to move to California in June and I am VERY excited. Minnesota is COLD and I might as well be warm and be able to go for a walk when I need to. Life is very exciting today. I found a really beautiful formal dress very cheep, now I need to find a really cool formal event to wear it to. : ) A good excuse to have fun, I think.

  • I love the way that Get the Guy is written, for sure we will love to read you brother, but fall in love… just with you :)

  • Hi Matthew:

    It’s so great to hear from you again!! Thank you so much for your hard working and outstanding contribution to all of us. I have learned a lot about dating, relationship, as we as how to interact with people and make good friends. I totally agree with you that making a good conversation is a skill that we all should develop, it will affect all aspects of our lives!! I feel so lucky that I found you, the extraordinary dating coach!

    Can’t wait to see you in your seminar in NYC!

  • Hey Matt,

    You are so brilliant. You just made my day. The thing you said about writing and writers (and everuthing else) is so true. I’m writing my thesis and my problem is that I’m such a perfectionist which slows down my writing process. Thanks for the peptalk:)


  • what I’m learning from you ( MATTHEWOLOGY ) is far more interesting than what I’m learning from psychology .
    oh , thank you for e-mailing me the updates .
    by the way I’m not an ass , cuz I’m sure that Jameson is real .

  • Great video Matthew Hussey!
    Introduce Stephan Hussey with a photo or video!
    Im really excited to see more of your videos and writing!


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