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Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to talk to a stranger, but you were too shy or nervous to do it? We’ve all been there. It’s awkward, and sometimes it feels like there’s just too much at stake.
But here’s the thing, talking to strangers doesn’t have to be awkward. In fact, it can be pretty easy once you know how.
Here are 13 tips on how to talk to strangers without being awkward.
1. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation
The first step is always the hardest, but once you take it, the rest will come more easily. Just muster up some courage and say hello!
2. Smile and make eye contact
Smiling is a universal sign of friendliness, so do it often when you’re talking to someone new. Maintaining eye contact is also important, as it shows that you’re interested in the conversation.
3. Ask questions
Asking questions is a great way to keep a conversation going. Not only will it show that you’re interested in whoever you are talking to has to say, but it can also help you get to know them better.
The best type of questions to ask are open-ended questions such as “What do you like to do for fun?” or “How was your day today?” as opposed to closed-ended questions which can usually be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” for example “Do you like to read books?” or “Are you from around here?”.
Asking open-ended questions is without a doubt one of the best methods for talking to strangers without being awkward.
4. Be a good listener
Listening is just as important as talking in a conversation. Pay attention to what the person you are having the conversation with is saying and respond accordingly.
Active listening involves not only hearing what the person is saying, but also taking the time to understand and process it. This can be done by asking clarifying questions or repeating back what you’ve heard to ensure accuracy.
Remember, we have two ears and one mouth for good reason.
5. Be yourself
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be anyone else but yourself. It is okay to be nervous and you don’t need to pretend to be someone that you aren’t. Just relax and let your true personality shine through. The more genuine you are, the easier it will be to connect with the person.
6. Find common ground
Another great way to talk to strangers without being awkward is to keep the conversation going by finding things that you have in common with the person. This can be anything from shared interests and experiences to similar backgrounds or hometowns.
If you can find something to bond over, it will be much easier to keep the conversation flowing.
For example, you could ask them about what hobbies they have, what their favorite movies are, or what kind of music they like, and see if you have any similar interests.
7. Talk about current events
Another great way to keep a conversation going is by talking about current events. This can be anything happening in the world that you both have an interest in. You can find out what’s going on in the news by reading a newspaper or watching the news on TV.
8. Have fun
Conversation should be enjoyable, so relax and have fun with it. Don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy getting to know someone new.
9. Be open-minded
When you meet someone new, try not to have any preconceived notions about who they are or what they’re like. Everyone is different, so it’s important to keep an open mind when you’re getting to know someone.
10. Give a compliment
Everyone likes to feel good about themselves, so giving a sincere compliment is a great way to start a conversation with a stranger on the right foot.
To do this, look for something you like about the person, such as “you have a brilliant smile” or “I love your sense of style.” Whatever it is, make sure you mean it because people can usually tell when you are sincere or not, so you could end up offending them instead.
11. Avoid controversial topics
To talk to strangers without being awkward you need to stay away from controversial topics, as you never know what someone’s opinions are on hot-button issues, so it’s best to steer clear of them altogether unless you’re sure that they’re okay with discussing them.
Of course, once you get to know someone better, you can discuss things like that but when first meeting someone, it’s best to avoid them because you never know how they will react and you don’t want to offend them.
12. End the conversation politely
When you’re ready to end the conversation, thank the person for their time and say goodbye in a friendly way. You can do this by saying something like “It was nice talking to you. I hope we can talk again sometime.” Or “I’m going to go now but it was nice meeting you. Goodbye!”
13. Follow up afterwards
If you’d like to stay in touch with the person you met, then make sure you exchange contact information during your conversation so you can follow up later. You could do this by sending them a text or email within a few days, just letting them know it was nice meeting them and see if they’d like to catch up again sometime soon!
Thanks for reading this post on how to talk to strangers without being awkward. By following the tips above, you will have great conversations with any stranger you meet! Just remember to be yourself, be a good listener, and ask questions. If you do all of those things, you will make a great impression and potentially even make a new friend.