7 EASY WAYS TO STRIKE A CONVERSATION WITH STRANGERS AND MAKE IT MEMORABLE
ave you ever felt socially awkward in a gathering? Do you hang out in one corner in parties until someone pulls you in? Do you justify your unwillingness to open up and get to know people by saying you are shy and introverted? Or even picky?
Well, you’re not alone. There are very few social butterflies that exist on this planet. As a society we seem to have done a good job at ensuring people are scared to open up, express an opinion or get close. Our need to stay in the comfort of our familiar zones and the need to protect ourselves from being judged or hurt keeps us from exploring the miracle of life that each human spirit embodies in itself.
I’m not a social butterfly by any stretch myself. But I have a gift. And that gift is to touch lives with heart-felt interactions. So, let me help you and share with you 7 easy, simple and powerful ways to not just strike a conversation with people you know a little to people you don’t know at all, but make each one a pleasant, soul touching and uplifting “human experience”
No body is socially awkward, we are contextually awkward.
We are awkward in situations where we perceive being judged, hurt, wronged, inferior, not enough. The fear of being judged, hurt or the fear of unknown is what creates this awkwardness. So I want you to consider this. As human beings we will always be judged, always be at the risk of being hurt and always experience something that we have not experienced before. To overcome fear of judgment, be vulnerable, be sincere and respect yourself. To overcome the risk of being hurt, know that no one can emotionally hurt you ever. Hurt is a perception. A meaning you give to a certain experience. The same experience can be a hurtful to some, a relief to others.
Remember always you have a choice to interpret life’s experiences the way you want it. To overcome fear of unknown, see experiences in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Almost everything that is known to you today was unknown at some point.
Match and Mirror
The brain loves what’s similar. One way to create that feeling of commonality is to ask a question and acknowledge that which is common. Another very powerful way of creating that “me too” feeling is by mirroring a certain posture, movement, facial expression or even breathing.
Ask for an opinion
We all love to express our opinion on things we know well, and sometimes on things we don’t know at all! Asking for a general opinion on something makes the other person feel important and makes the conversation engaging.
Smile and look into their eyes
This one is easy and a heart winner each and every time. Smile makes you relax, the other person relax and looking into someone’s eyes makes them feel very connected. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, probably true!
Get to know them
People love to talk about themselves. Ask them a relatively personal open-ended question that leads you into getting to their story, their beliefs and their values.
Make a sincere, unique compliment about something you notice in them. If the compliment is too general, you won’t grab their attention. Make the compliment specific, unique and sincere so it touches them. You can even follow up the compliment with a leading question about it. There, you have a free flowing conversation!
Be vulnerable and be present
Don’t be out there to impress. Be authentic and be you. The most beautiful, intelligent, confident and intriguing part of you is “you”. Also be present. Now this one really messes minds up. Most of us have no idea what this means! So let me make it simple. Focus on your breathing now and you will be totally present. In fact focus on any one thing or person around you right now and you will be present. In this age of massive distraction and self-obsession, being present is one of the best presents you can give to someone.
If you share the above 7 gifts with someone, you’ll have a place in their heart.