For many people, starting a conversation with a stranger is an intimidating task. But for you, after reading this article, it will be a breeze.
The best beginning for the
conversation is, "Hi".
(I am sure you can master that!)
The second step
is to introduce yourself, "Hi, I am Jim."
(Not too tricky, is it?)
Then it goes depending
The three most popular and foolproof conversation-starters are:
- Make a comment about the surroundings;
- Enquire about something unusual in their appearance;
- Ask for a comment from a woman’s/man’s point of view.
Let’s talk about those conversation-starters in more detail:
1. Making a comment about the SURROUNDINGS.
This is the safest and universal conversation-starter. Wherever you are, something’s always happening around you. There are people, or cars, or queues, or something else. Even if there is nothing happening, you can make a comment about that! Use a bit of humor in your comment and most of the time you will get a favorable answer.
- Hi, what a chilly/hot day today (on a hot day, say it’s chilly, on a chilly day, say it’s hot -- it’s VERY funny). I see you are also shivering/sweating. By the way, my name is Jim. What is your name?
- Hi, you know, you look very pretty with these awesome roses as the backdrop. By the way, my name is Jim. What is your name?
- Hey, this queue doesn’t seem to be moving, does it? Since we are going to spend the next few hours here together, I guess I should introduce myself: I am Jim. What is your name?
2. Enquiring about something unusual in their appearance.
This requires some skill but after a while you will be able to pick up something in an instant. It can be a tattoo, a piece of jewelry, a handbag, or even an unusual color. People don’t buy things at random. They buy them and wear them because they LIKE them, or because they MEAN something to them. They have some pleasant emotion attached to it. If you mention this thing, you can tap into this pleasant emotion and they will consider your advances more favorably.
- Hi! I could not help but noticed this interesting ring. It isn’t an engagement ring, is it? If it is, I will have to end my life in a monastery. And by the way, my name is Jim.
- Hi, I was looking at your earrings; they are exactly what I was looking for, as a present for my sister. Where did you get them? And by the way, my name is Jim.
- Hi, I could not help but noticed the book you are reading, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”. So, what do you think about it? And by the way, my name is Jim.
3. Asking for a comment from a woman’s/man’s point of view.
For some mysterious reason, we just LOVE rendering our opinion as a woman/man. This is such a successful conversation-starter; you can use it anywhere, on anyone. Even 90-year-old grannies will be happy to answer your enquiries.
- Hi! I am Jim. My friend and I were talking about what women value the most in men they date, and could not agree. Could you please help us out with a woman’s opinion?
- Hi, I am Jill. My friend and I were talking about what men value the most in women they date, and could not agree. Could you please help us out with a man’s opinion?
- Etc, etc.
It doesn’t matter what you are asking about. The point is, we all understand that men and women think differently and we appreciate a thoughtful stranger who makes an effort to learn from the source.
You see, it’s not scary at all. Just go and try it - first on the people you don’t care about, and then on the people you like. You will see that men and women alike generally respond very positively to a friendly stranger.
Start with the service personnel at the shops and cafes. They are PAID to be nice to you. Look them in the eyes and strike a conversation. You will see how easy it is.
Once you learn the skill of starting a conversation with strangers, your life is never going to be the same. You will be able to feel at home wherever you go - simply because you know how to talk to people you never met.
It feels fantastic!