Posted: Saturday 17th May 2014 at 15:01 pm

How To Talk To Strangers


Let go of your ego. Prepare to be ignored. Prepare to be brushed off in a dramatic fashion. But also prepare to meet (and possibly date) people of unique vintage and beauty. When you take the risk of talking to someone you don’t know, rejection is certainly a possibility. So when you’re out and about, leave the ego behind and keep the following in mind:

  • Try to see failure as exciting — it’s a chance to learn and improve.
  • People don’t bite. A lot of people are really open to conversation. In fact, you’d be amazed at how many people will be practically overjoyed that you came and talked to them, as if they’ve been waiting for you to approach them.
  • Rejection is no big deal. This can’t be emphasized enough. Still, fear of rejection will be the main reason why people don’t go out and try this. If you are willing to get rejected, brush it off and keep going. You will have an awesome life.
  • The people around you aren’t watching you approach strangers. And, even when they are, it’s usually in shock and awe, ratherthan because they’re laughing at you

Know how to start a conversation with a stranger. Don’t count on other people to come to you; be ready and willing to walk up to anyone who looks interesting and forge a connection.

  • Make sure you know how to use confidence and welcoming body language to disarm anyone who might be on their guard.

Keep it simple. Don’t come in with “canned material”, “nuclear attraction” routines, or other social robotics. The best way to make a connection with someone is to come from the heart and live fully in the moment.

  • What you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it. Socializing is about exchanging energy, not being a wordsmith.
  • When in doubt, just say “Hi”. If you’ve never done this before, you may get brushed off several, even dozens of times until you get really comfortable being yourself in front of other people.
  • Try beginning with an experience that you and the stranger are both experiencing together. Perhaps a baby is crying annoyingly in the room or you and the stranger are at the theater, walking out of a really bad movie. Use these shared experiences to create conversation starting questions or statements. Breaking the ice is easier when you can create a connection with the stranger. Also, they will likely already have an opinion on the matter to share in response.

Try often. If you’re still terrified by the idea of talking to strangers, challenge yourself to talk to one stranger a day, every day, for 30 days. If you’re walking past someone on the sidewalk, say “Hi”, and the person looks at you and keeps walking (done that many times), your job is done for the day. If you walk up to a girl in a club and say “Hey!”, and she responds, with a slightly grossed out look “I have a boyfriend,” congratulations — you’re one step closer to improving your love life. The point of this exercise is to get you used to talking to people you don’t know and form the habit of being more social.

Attend social events by yourself. That’s right — don’t invite anyone along. No one needs to know where you’re going. You don’t need permission from your girlfriend or boyfriend. You just need to choose to make right now a lot more exciting than yesterday.

  • Your goal for this outing should be just one simple thing: Amuse yourself. You don’t need to get any phone numbers. In fact, you don’t need to make any guarantees that you’ll actually talk to anyone. Don’t scare yourself into submission before you’ve even left the house. If you claim you “can’t find anything good” you may not be looking hard enough.
  • There are many opportunities for improving your social suaveness in most towns and cities:
    • Art shows
    • Book readings
    • Music concerts
    • Museum exhibitions
    • “Beginners Night” dance classes
    • Speed dating
    • Outdoor festivals
    • Geek gatherings
    • Parades/rallies/protests
    • Nightclubs

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