Starting up a conversation with a stranger you just met can be a very daunting task because no one wants to create a bad first impression. Learning how to make small talk is not impossible but involves effort and practice. The benefits of striking up meaningful conversations with people you just met cannot be overemphasized – apart from helping you have a healthy social life, you could also build professional relationships with people that could lead to a start of a beautiful, healthy relationship or friendship.
As said earlier, starting up meaningful conversations is a skill that involves conscious effort and practice. No one wants to give a total stranger the impression of being a self-absorbed person and a talkative or bore anyone who cares to listen to death. This is why we have decided to hold your hands and guide you through by giving you some helpful tips on effective ways to start up a conversation with a stranger you just met. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
How to Start Conversation with a Stranger
No matter how much we try to avoid it, encountering new people every day is inevitable, sometimes this encounter might not be physical – there could be a need to meet new people on virtual meeting platforms or even on social media. Starting up conversations in a good way is sure to quench whatever awkwardness or nervousness you might have felt before deciding to walk up to this person.
- Be Confident: talking to a stranger for the first time might feel uncomfortable, you need to be confident and think of it as a chance to learn something new and gain an exciting experience. To build up your confidence, you need to first think about how you intend to approach this person, and what you could say to make the person interested in talking to you. Preparing before meeting someone new can boost your confidence level and prevent you from starting up the conversation on the wrong foot.
Don’t dwell too much on it, worrying about it brings up thoughts and feelings that could probably deter you from making a move – the best approach is just to prepare, take a deep breath and just do it.
- Compliment the person: Complimenting someone you just met is a great way to start a conversation. It makes the person feel good and comfortable – starting your conversation with a compliment sends the stranger a signal that you care about them and you are genuinely interested in them. You can start off by observing them till you notice something you like about them, tell them and then start up the conversation with a follow-up topic.
- Don’t talk too much about yourself: When you spend so much time talking about yourself, you might come off to the stranger as a self-absorbed person which could bore them easily or make them lose interest. If you must talk about yourself, say little just to get the person comfortable and encourage them to tell you more about them, after the main reason you decided to meet this person is to know more about them not bore them with irrelevant stories about yourself.
- Bring up something you both have in common: One of the importance of getting to know more about the person you are talking to is that you discover new things about this person which might lead you to discover things you have in common. This could build up most of your conversation and also calm your nerves – you could start by asking about their interests and hobbies and then build up your conversation with it.
- Ask questions: Asking questions is a great way to start a conversation and also keep a conversation going. Make sure the questions you are asking are relevant to the conversation you are having and not inappropriate. If you notice the person getting uncomfortable with your questions, apologize and change the topic. Also, try to avoid inappropriate gestures or any flirty behaviour that might discomfort the person and make them unsettled.
- Use humour: People are more relaxed and free when they are laughing. Make a light-hearted joke about things happening around you. It is advisable to tell a positive joke, avoid dark humour because you don’t know this person well and telling mean-spirited humour might get the person uncomfortable. However, as the conversation gets deeper, you might realize that the person shares the same sense of humour with you; this is when you can get comfortable telling a joke based on what you have observed. While telling the joke, it is important to observe the person’s reaction to the joke, if you are getting a bad vibe, cut the joke off and say something else.
- Don’t be scared to have more conversations with new people: The more you start meeting new people and having conversations with them, the more you get used to it. Having good conversations with people is a skill and developing every skill involves constant practice and patience. Don’t let the fear of rejection deter you from meeting new people – if one conversation doesn’t go well, there are thousands that would go well.
We met people every day, some of them we get to hold meaningful conversations that could blossom into something beautiful and worthwhile. Before walking up to a stranger to start up a conversation, you need to calm your nerves and relax, this is important because whatever emotions you possess at that time could send the right or wrong signal to the person you want to talk to. Practice talking to new people more, this is very helpful in boosting your confidence and tackling your social anxiety. Learn how to observe whomever you are talking to to notice their gestures and body movements, if you feel them getting triggered and unsettled by the conversation, you can switch it up or apologize to them. No one wants to leave a stranger feeling like a total jerk.