Always struggled with making friends. On top of that, I never really liked going to big social gatherings. I’m introverted and tend to be overwhelmed when a lot of people are around. I like talking one-on-one.
So I decided to do things my own way. I started talking to strangers on my college campus and in the city because I was tired of staying on the sidelines.
Feeling like home? Relatable?
If you see somebody you think might be interesting, and want to strike up a conversation, we’ll show you a few tips on how to break the ice.
#1: Be casual
Everybody there is in the mood for a good time, and unless they’re wearing a scowl that says, “Don’t even think about invading my personal space,” the person you want to talk to is probably in the same mood.
#2: Find your champion
A champion is a friend you meet other new people with. This friend will introduce you to the group and talk about who you are and your accomplishments. Usually, after their introduction, people will respond with follow-up questions or comments based on that information. Realise you don’t need to be perfect
#3: Comment on an observation
Take a look around you. What does your surrounding environment look like? Is there anything interesting happening? For example, if someone is reading a book, you could ask, “What do you think of that book?” This often naturally leads to a very easy conversation because it gives you a substantial common experience to talk about with the other person.
#4: Be genuinely curious
Ask questions with genuine curiosity. Your authenticity will shine through. The last thing you want to do is to come off contrived.
#5: Don’t mind what strangers think
This is your life, and you have the right to talk to whomever you want to talk to. Not everyone is that open. Allow them to be how they and think how they do, without letting it challenge your courage.
This is the key to good conversations. Being able to truly listen to the other person and asking questions about the things that interest them is not just a great way to make conversation; you may end up with a new friend as well.
#7: Make eye contact before you approach
Because people are wary in public places, if you come up behind them or they don’t see you approach, you could startle them. By making your friendly intentions clear, you diffuse any possible tension that could arise.
#8: Find out what interests the other party
What sports and hobbies do they enjoy? What classes are they taking, and what’s the end result? (Degree, job, etc.)
#9: Learn to persevere
Maybe your first 10 conversations will fail miserably. That’s okay, you’re not perfect. No one is. The key is to keep pushing forward and improving every single day.
#10: Start with a “HI”
Can’t think of something interesting to say? Just keep it simple. Just start by saying “hello” and let the moment take you from there. Don’t act, be yourself.