I have always been very introverted and was never able to talk to strangers or approach someone I didn’t know too well.
I never liked being that way, but rather wanted to be like one of those people in movies that seem to make new friends fast without struggling to come up with conversation topics.
While I am still very much introverted in certain situations, I have also learned a few tips along the way that made it easier for me to talk with new people.
- We have something in common with everyone. No matter how different the other person is from you, there will always be one topic of conversation that you will both be interested in and can talk about. Don’t be afraid to explore different topics to find out what that might be, and definitely act interested in what the other person has to say. Personally, I start with the obvious common points: something about the common friend you both met through, what you do for a living, etc.
- Smile more (not in a creepy way). Whenever I’m smiling a lot in social situations, people approach me a lot more. Just by smiling and laughing in a conversation, the other person is immediately more engaged in the conversation themselves and find a way to keep the conversation going.
- Talk like they’re your best friends. Obviously, this does depend on their personality so you have to analyse it case by case, but I feel like outgoing people like to start the banter right away and enjoy when people talk to them in a more casual, friendly and direct way than keeping distances at first. I usually approach someone like they’re a friend I haven’t seen in years and need to know everything about – it works about 90% of the time (there is that one person from time to time that does not seem interested at all, but it’s okay to let those go too).
Now I’m not claiming to be an expert on social interactions at all, but these little tips have helped me a lot when it comes to talking to new people and making a good first impression. These are, of course, not the only reasons why I feel more comfortable approaching people nowadays, but I’ll talk more about that later.
What are some of your favourite things that people do or say when you first meet them?