7 Tips to Help You Talk to Strangers
If you feel like you’re naturally shy but you want to talk to a stranger, it can be difficult to think about how you’re going to do it or what excuse to use.
Even the thought of opening your mouth to say something to somebody you’re not familiar with can be very daunting, so here are some tips to help you make conversation with strangers.
1. Smile and say hello
Sometimes it’s as simple as smiling and saying hello. To most people, this will send across the message that you want to make conversation and that you are open.
If they choose to ignore this, it’s clear that they don’t want a conversation, so it’s time to move on.
2. Imagine they are a friend
The more you think about the fact that you’ve never spoken to them before and you don’t know them at all, the scarier it will become when you think about making a conversation.
Imagine they’re a friend you haven’t met yet, and imagine the situation turning out positively.
3. Forget about what other people think
The main reason we choose not to do many things in life is because we’re worried about what other will think about it.
The fear of embarrassment is one of the greatest fears that we experience in society, but once you get rid of this, you’ll be able to achieve a lot more.
4. Find something to talk about
This could be something such as, ‘Excuse me, I really like your shoes, where did you get them from?’ or ‘Do you mind if I pet your dog?’
You don’t need to have anything particularly special to say, and it will be quite clear whether the other person is happy to continue the conversation or would rather get away.
5. Ask open questions
If you want to start a proper conversation with a stranger, you should ask an open question rather than a closed one. An open question is one which cannot be answered with either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
This forces the stranger to either completely ignore you (most people won’t do this for fear of seeming rude) or give a longer answer, thus initiating further conversation.
6. Know when to stop
If you see the person regularly and you want to speak to them again, don’t scare them off by being too full-on at first.
Rather than talking and talking about yourself, ask questions about them but don’t be too intimidating.
Observe whether or not they are still interacting and interested in your conversation... learn to see the signals for when to break off so that you know when to stop the conversation and walk away.
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