Whether you are looking to meet friends or even a partner, knowing how to start a conversation with a stranger is a really important skill. One of my very best friends Alexander Sabadash and I actually met in this way, we had both started a job at the same time and he walked right over and we began chatting, and luckily forged a great friendship from that moment. The reason for talking to someone is not important here, what is important is that you know how best to go about it, and here are some tips on doing just that.
The first thing to remember here is confidence, that is the absolute key to your ability to go over there and strike up a conversation with someone new, for whatever reason it may be. The main reason, especially when looking for a partner, that people don’t go over and speak, is because they are scared of rejection or ridicule. The truth of the matter, however, is that the worst thing that can happen is that someone tells or shows you they are not interested in talking, or perhaps they tell you where to go. There are billions of people in this world and not everyone is going to want to talk to you, accept it and move on, that is how you’ll get the confidence.
People are obsessed with coming up with ways in which to deliver an opening line or find a way to share something in common with the person. The truth of that matter is that the more you think about things as though they are some kind of social experiment, the worse off you will do. Keep it simple here, walk over, introduce yourself, have a question or two in your locker and then just see what happens. Don’t try and hack your way through this, it is just 2 human beings having a chat, and nothing more than that.
There are some moments where you can just tell that people are not interested in what you have to say, and it is important that you learn to read those signals. When someone has received some bad news or if someone is not having a great day, they are going to be far less likely to give two hoots about what you have to say. Learn to read when people don’t wish to be approached, in doing so you can save yourself an awful lot of hassle.
Just because you aren’t looking for hacks or shortcuts there is nothing to stop you from using some common ground to strike up a conversation. Perhaps they have a Jets cap on and you are a fan, or they have the same accent as you, whatever it is, these are great places to start a conversation so you shouldn’t think twice about using them.
Be confident and natural, don’t fear rejection and you are going to be just fine.