Starting a conversation with a stranger can sometimes be hard.
We may hesitant because we don’t know what to say, or we may be afraid that the other person will reject us.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
If there is someone new you want to talk to, here are 7 tips on how to start a conversation with a stranger.
Act Confident, Be Confident
Confidence is important when it comes to conversations. Often those who go to talk to other people are those who are confident in themselves – or pretend to be. So how do you gain confidence?
One of the best ways to gain confidence is to act confident. Fake it till you make it. Seriously.
Our minds and bodies work in neat ways – when we tell ourselves we are confident and act that way, over time we start to believe it. Our mind follows suit.
So the first tip is, whether you feel confident or not, act confident. Act like you know what you are doing. Act like you are sure of yourself and good at conversations. Go up to people and talk to them with confidence.
Act like it, and over time, you will really begin to believe it.
Action Cures Fear
One fact about fear is that, the more you wait, the stronger it grows. If you want to overcome fear, the best action you can take is to act. Action cures fear. Instead of standing around worrying about what other people might say, just go and talk to the person. Whatever happens, happens.
The truth is, the other person is probably just as nervous as you are. We are often worried about what other people think about us, when, in fact, usually they are either worrying about what people think about them, or they don’t care.
When you take action and go and talk to someone, it makes you bold, it makes you seem confident, and, to some, it makes you a hero. You become a hero to them because they were afraid to take action, and you took the initiative and talked to them.
Remember, the longer you wait, the stronger the fear will grow. Don’t give it time to grow – just go and talk to the person.
When you greet someone, again, act confident.
Smile. Look at the person in the eye. Walk up to them. Give them a good handshake.
Tell them your name and ask for theirs. Comment on something about the location or something around you and then ask a related question to them.
Use your senses. Your location and the area around you are great sources of questions and conversation topics.
Ask Good Questions
Ask good questions. Avoid closed-ended questions unless you have a followup question planned. Generally, you want to use open-ended questions, questions that require longer responses.
You can use the location or situation you are at to start and keep a conversation going. If you are at a coffee shop or the DMV, those both are starting points for conversations. Have a list of prepared question memorized that you can pull out anytime.
Also, have a list of prepared question memorized that you can pull out anytime. Even keep a notecard with questions on you that you can pull out before walking up to someone.
As you talk to the other person, show interest in what they are saying. Make sure you are using good body language. Face them if possible, look at them in the eyes, nod, and lean forward. Make sure you aren’t in their personal bubble. Avoid crossing your legs or arms if you can.
Give them your full attention. Focus the conversation on them, not you. Ask questions that dig deeper into what they say.
One of the best ways for both of you to start feeling more comfortable is to find something in common. When you find something in common, you connect. You have a similarity. People like people who are like them.
That is why the weather is such a common conversation starter – everyone can relate to it. Your surroundings or the event you are at are good starting points for common ground.
Don’t Fret Over Failure
Sometimes you will have a conversation bomb. Or you won’t be able to think of anything to say. It’s not a big deal. We all make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just brush yourself off, learn from it what you can, and move on. Often success is built on the stepping stones of failure.
And, if someone rejects a conversation with you – don’t take it personally. It likely is nothing personal. Even if it is, some people are just that way. Just brush it off and move on. Don’t take it as a mark on you, but on them. There are plenty of people out there willing and wanting to talk to someone.
You can do it. You can talk to strangers boldly and confidently. Go get them, tiger.
Do you have any other tips on how to start a conversation with strangers?