If you are anything like me, then you suck at starting a conversation. Whether it is during the first date, in a social setting or just meeting some new friends for the first time, some of us have trouble starting conversations. Yet there are some people who are very good at reaching out to strangers just about anywhere. At some point, you must have thought that starting a conversation was a talent that you were not lucky to possess. Well, do not give up just yet. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started.
Start out with a joke
This has been one of the oldest yet still very popular ways of starting a conversation. The beauty of a joke is that it does not even have to be good. It can be so bad that the other person laughs at you instead of at the joke. Many relationships have been built on terrible pick-up lines.
According to Dawn Maslaw, an award-winning author, laughing releases oxytocin, a bonding hormone. This biologically creates an opening for more conversation. So whether they laugh at you or with you, you have one foot in the door and it is easy to pick up the conversation from there. The end justifies the means.
Compliment something else other than their looks
We all like to be complimented one time or the other. However, if your main aim is simply to start a conversation with someone, you can avoid compliments that solely border on looks. Point out something that describes the person’s personality such as choice of words or how they have styled their hair. Paul DePompo, in his talk on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, states that this boosts their likability towards you for social or business reasons.
Build up on a shared Interest
The easiest thing that works in our favour is that even before you speak to someone, you already have something in common- the venue. If you meet up in an event, supermarket or restaurant he/she is there for more or less the same reason you are there. Use that common ground to start a conversation. Sharon Battle, a professional counsellor suggests asking interesting questions that surround the area you are in. Ask questions that do not have a yes or no answer. For instance ‘Why are you here? This is sure to help break the ice and set the ground rolling on any conversation.
Use a movie line
This may seem a little out of the box. However, if you are lucky, the person may know of the movie you quoted. Readers Digest says that screenwriters are extremely creative people. If they use a certain line in a movie, it is bound to be interesting. Movies can serve as a great first topic of conversation. If you are both movie junkies, it would serve as a bonding ingredient to your new friendship.
Hello with a smile
Sometimes a simple hello will do the trick. A smile communicates that you are approachable. If you are lucky, the other person may pick up the conversation from there. If not, you can just joke about how you had not planned on what to say next. This acts as an icebreaker allowing the other person to know that you are interested to talk to them. Even if the conversation does not pick up right away, it is bound to start at some point.
The important thing to notice about being around other people is that the other person is almost if not more nervous than you are. Do not worry too much. Humans are naturally social beings so socializing is embedded in our DNA. If things do not go as planned and the person is not quite receptive to you, that is okay. There is nothing wrong with starting a conversation.
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Featured image via www.thealternativeboard.com.