Today you’re going to learn how to start conversation with stranger.
Do you get incredibly nervous when it comes to interacting with new people? Have you ever planned an amazing conversation starter and completely blanked when it mattered? Conversational discomfort is a pretty familiar personality trait found throughout people all over the world.
Not to mention conversations can be difficult things in terms of actually getting them started. There are too many factors that can easily make a conversation go sour or become awkward, and that’s hardly a good thing for anyone.
When it comes to conversational skills, it’s easy to pinpoint the dysfunction in someone’s delivery and other times it’s difficult to see through that awkward social shell. In a lot of instances, social anxiety is a major cause for conversational issues; it can cause a number of dilemmas in someone’s entire social demeanor.
Body language is another major issue when it comes to communication, because not many people realize that their body movements tell more than their words. Some other circumstances that can cause conversational issues to crop up are just meeting someone new, having romantic tension, keeping a conversation moving, and trying to find common interests.
All of these hurdles can dissuade someone from engaging in conversation altogether; but with the right knowledge and a proper strategy, anyone can become a social connoisseur. That’s exactly what this post was written for. Here, you’ll find everything you need to get past the obstacles blocking your social creativity and comfort. Let’s get started!
How To Start Conversation With Stranger
1. Making the Initial Approach
Many consider talking to strangers an art. Sometimes, it can be incredibly difficult to approach a stranger; many people have a great deal of thoughts as to what may go wrong. Others can be too confident and are in disbelief of the possible rejection that they may run into.
There are some key mistakes to avoid when initiating a conversation with a stranger, and some rules to follow in regards to your approach. Keeping these ideas in mind when you’re starting a conversation will definitely help the conversation to go smoothly thereafter.
While confidence is an excellent quality to have, it can sometimes get in the way; particularly in social situations. If you’re considering approaching a stranger and sparking up a conversation, take a moment to breathe and reevaluate yourself. Drop your ego before diving into a conversation with someone new.
If you’re too confident, or cocky, as some might say, you can appear too forward and make people nervous. You should be realistic in social situations and when approaching strangers. Prepare yourself for rejection or being brushed off, but don’t make that your primary concern. You should have confidence and hope for the best, but also be prepared for the worst; realism is the best way to go.
Often times, people will devise schemes and create elaborate plans for approaching someone for conversation. This is not necessary in the least. The important thing about starting a conversation, especially with a stranger, is to be genuine. Don’t throw out a pick-up line you found on the internet, because chances are they’ve heard it a million and one times. Try and relate to the scene around you, start off on common ground; your chances of success are much higher than if you were to use the typical “canned” starting lines.
The only way to run into strangers with whom you might converse is to go out; attend events alone so you won’t have any distractions. The best way to get better at talking to strangers is to have a lot of practice. Go to parties, movies, live theatre performances and things of that nature; venues such as these are easy ways to find common ground and start a simple conversation. There is always the possibility of getting shot down, but there are equal chances of building a new friendship.
2. The Importance of Body Language
It’s not always the act of conversation that draws someone in or turns them away; body language is half the battle of a successful conversation. Body language is a much underestimated aspect of conversation, and can often be the determining factor in a meaningful conversation.
A major way to show someone that you’re uncomfortable or nervous is to be tense; mental tension can transfer over to physical tension, which is very easy to detect. If your conversation partner is conscious of your tension, it can dissuade them from continuing, or even pursuing a conversation with you.
There are a varied amount of body language mistakes that many people are unaware that they make. For example, some people have difficulties with matching their expressions and words to their own body language. It’s important for your thoughts to be conveyed to your partner through your body language, and vice versa. This isn’t to say that you should change what you’re saying to match what your body is telling your speaking partner.
Deception is not and should not be the aim of any conversation. Instead, your focus should be on the key parts of the conversation and the ideas you want your partner to be most aware of; once you’re clear on the message you’re trying to give, make sure you’re expressing that through details such as your posture, your hand movements and, particularly, your facial expressions. Self-awareness is a key skill when it relates to expressing ideas and keeping a conversation flowing smoothly.
Not only is it important to match your words to your body language, but to your speaking partner’s words as well. This obstacle isn’t always fully recognized, but it’s a very important facet to successful conversations.
When you’re in conversation with someone you’re fond of, be it romantic or otherwise, you should naturally mirror their tone of voice, body posture and movements; this makes you appear fully involved in the conversation. Staying in sync with your speaking partner shows that you’re attentive and interested. A lack of reaction makes you seem disinterested, while exaggerating your reactions can make you seem insincere.
Another issue that directly relates to this is the lack of body language altogether. You can’t match your body language if you aren’t showing any body language. People react more to body language rather than what’s coming out of your mouth; if you aren’t showing any body language, this will certainly turn someone away from holding a conversation with you.
Moreover, a major blunder in social situations is being distracted. In this day and age, technology is all around us, and many people are extremely attached to their phones. A surefire way to come off as disinterested is to consistently distract yourself with your phone, mp3 player or other objects that aren’t related to your conversation. If you’re more involved in something than your speaking partner, you can easily turn them away from the conversation.
SEE ALSO: How To Get What You Want From People: 9 Persuasion Strategies
3. Social Anxiety and Its Effect on Successful Conversations
It’s not an uncommon or shameful thing to have social anxiety. In fact, social anxiety disorder is the third largest disorder across the world. So, if this is a primary problem for you in conversation, you are certainly not alone. Social anxiety can expose itself when being introduced to someone knew, sparking conversations with strangers, even in friendships or relationships.
Social anxiety disorder, in the simplest sense, is a fear of social situations. Anything that involves social interaction can trigger anxiety and make it difficult to cope with these settings. This disorder can make someone simply appear shy, quiet, unfriendly and disinterested.
These perceptions can cause others to be wary of involving themselves in conversations with you; this can further the anxiety, because most who deal with this disorder have an intense fear of rejection. You may want to appear friendly and open to others, but social anxiety can prevent this. Therefore, it’s a benefit to your social abilities to find and experiment with ways to cope with this disorder.
Overcoming social anxiety is a major stepping-stone to starting and maintaining satisfying conversations. A common way for many people who deal with this social disorder is attending active behavior therapy groups and seeing specialists in the area. In groups such as these, people are faced with accepting and confronting their anxiety on a regular basis, and working through it with others who face a similar issue.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a proven successful method in treating social anxiety disorder; it’s been an accepted method for changing people’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors. Of course, you must be as willing and open as you can for therapy to truly work.
Another route some choose to take is medication that treats anxiety. A majority of professionals suggest that medication, in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy, is the most effective way to approach social anxiety disorder. The most important principles to subduing social anxiety are understanding and being aware of the problem, seeking treatment for the problem and having a commitment to help yourself.
Social anxiety disorder is a prominent and major cause for difficulty in conversation. It accounts for the nervousness and hesitation in most social situations, but it is not the only reason people struggle with friendly conversation. There are a number of other factors that can affect the way people deal with social situations, and just as many solutions for said problems.
4. Who’s Your Conversation Partner?
Who you’re talking to can make a huge difference in your ability to hold a decent conversation. Whether it’s talking to an acquaintance, coworker, or love interest, conversations can still be difficult to initiate. Of course, the rules can vary quite a bit depending on the situation.
Meeting someone new is a situation that can make anyone a bit nervous. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, a lot of things can run through your mind: they might not like you, you may not like them, you won’t have anything in common, etc. A staple for meeting someone new is to open up. Don’t stress yourself out or overthink the possibilities of a conversation, because that can make you tense up and create an awkward air between you and your acquaintance.
The important thing to think about when you’re starting a conversation with someone new is to find common interests. Create a common ground for the two of you to build on; ask the right questions and be inviting to your new acquaintance. Even if you don’t find many mutual interests, show enthusiasm when your acquaintance is talking about things with which you’re not familiar. If you show that you care, they’ll feel encouraged to keep talking to you.
You can pass by someone every day in the office and scarcely spark up a conversation. When it comes to talking to coworkers, it’s always safe to start with the workplace. Mentioning a recent happening in the workplace, such as a merger, a new employee or change in procedure, is an easy way to initiate a conversation in the work place.
If neither you nor your coworker is interested in discussing workplace happenings, you can be more direct and simply ask them what they like to do outside of work. Here is yet another instance where finding common interests is an important strategy. Creating a lax environment between your coworker and yourself, even if only for a short moment, can be a gateway to a workplace friendship.
Talking to a romantic interest is a nerve-racking experience for most people; many struggle with finding the “right” words to say. When it comes to approaching someone you’re interested in, you need to initiate the conversation with something unique and interesting. Make reference to something that relates to your setting, be it background music, scenery or anything similar; this can be the gateway to a more meaningful conversation.
Don’t be afraid to flirt a bit or open up in terms of body language. When someone sees that you’re truly interested, they become more open themselves. Try to avoid talking about things that aren’t too enjoyable, such as work, stress and things of that nature; it can quickly turn a conversation sour. Keeping the conversation open and playful is the best way to approach someone you are interested in.
5. Finding Common Interests
Something that many people are concerned with before going into a conversation is the fear that you won’t have anything in common with whomever you’ll be speaking. First thing’s first: don’t be fearful of this going into it, because it will create tension and you will seem uncomfortable towards your speaking partner the entire time. Instead, enter any conversation with an open mind and the intent of a positive interaction.
Your interests might coincide with your speaking partner’s through a huge range of topics. A very popular and often successful topic is pets; pet lovers tend to find their way to each other in almost any situation. Media topics also flourish in conversation. Things such as movies and films, live theatre, music, concerts and all things related can light a fire under any conversation. Deeper ideas that people can bond over are heritage, life goals, principles and ethics you have, family relationships, etc.
The best way to find out if you and your speaking partner have common interests is to directly ask them about their interests. Being direct and frank is often the best route to take in a conversation. Of course, you do have to be careful when taking this stance, since you don’t want to look as if you’re too aggressive in social situations. Try and ease into the questioning if you’re going to be direct; directness shows confidence, and confidence is a good characteristic in social scenes.
A less forward, but still to-the-point approach to find common interests is to simply tell your speaking partner of your own interests. Genuinely share your interests while being careful not to completely dominate the conversation. By sharing your own interests and personal preferences, you’re opening up to your speaking partner and encouraging them to respond to your interests and share their own; the conversation can only grow and expand from there.
A great way to express your interests and ideas to your speaking partner is to share stories. These stories shouldn’t simply be workplace stories or random instances; try to share amusing stories that you think will peak your partner’s interest and fully engage them in the conversation.
The key goal in this is to keep the conversation moving. Keep expanding on common ideas, respond to each other, and show that you are interested; this will keep your partner immersed in the conversation and eager to share more.
Continue asking questions and learning more about your speaking partner; having an abundance of topics to rely on is an excellent strategy to keep the conversation flowing, in case it starts to die out. Remember to take pauses in your conversations and gather your thoughts; there’s no need to rush, as you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn more about your speaking partner and share more about yourself.
SEE ALSO: 10 Signs You Should Break Up With Your Partner, According To Scientists
6. Keeping Things Interesting
When thinking in terms of conversational strategy, most people’s primary concern is that initial sentence, or the “ice-breaker.” Coincidentally, it’s not that initial line that keeps someone engaged. Yes, it gets their attention, but it’s all the things thereafter that make someone stay engaged. Even though it’s hard enough to start a conversation in the first place, it’s important to know how to keep the ball rolling and keep things interesting.
Follow Your Partner’s Lead
Whether it’s someone you’ve known for a while or someone you just met at a coffee shop, you should let your partner take the lead in a conversation. With your partner leading, you’re actually able to listen to them and respond to their thoughts and ideas. Staying engaged encourages your partner to stay engaged, and this keeps the conversation alive.
Also, pay attention to their body language. If they seem engaged, they probably are; move forward with the conversation, but be careful not to drone on for too long. If they seem tense, the conversation may be making them feel awkward. Find a way to smoothly end the conversation if your speaking partner seems like they’re looking for a quick escape.
Changing the Topic
A conversation can quickly die out if it stays on the same track. If the flame in your conversation is dwindling, you should know how to smoothly change the topic and keep things going. When a particular topic is dying out, this is the time to take advantage of the pauses in the conversation. Conversational pauses give both you and your speaking partner an opportunity to breathe, gather your thoughts and make a smooth transition to a new topic.
Keep the Balance
When you’re having a conversation, it’s not hard to dominate the conversation, or sink into yourself and scarcely participate. These are two opposite ends of the conversational spectrum, but they each do the same amount of damage to a social interaction. On one hand, dominating the conversation doesn’t let your speaking partner get a word in edgewise; this doesn’t leave room for you to have anything to respond to.
This can lead to a situation that seems more like a lecture or narrative than it does a conversation. On the other hand, being too quiet in a conversation forces your partner to do all of the talking with little to no interaction on your end. This can create an awkward air while your partner tries to create new ways to keep the conversation going. This will eventually cause your conversation to end on very uncomfortable terms.
In order to have a good conversation, it has to have a decent flow. Initiating a conversation is only the starting point; a good variety of topics keeps good air between speaking partners.
7. Maintaining Conversation versus Interrogation
Keeping a conversation alive usually involves a lot of questions from either party, but there is a very fine line between simply being inquisitive and interrogating your conversation partner. Throughout this article, you’ve been given quite a few tips on starting and maintaining good conversation.
It’s important for you to ask open questions and respond meaningfully to your speaking partner; getting to know the person you’re speaking to is the only way to stay genuine and engaged. Asking questions reveals common interests and opens up a broader range of topics to discuss.
At the same time, if questions are asked too quickly in succession, the conversation can very easily become an interview or interrogation. The last thing you’ll want to do is make your speaking partner uncomfortable; heavy questioning can certainly cause them to draw back from the conversation. When you dominate the conversation and bombard your speaking partner with questions, you can come off as aggressive. This is not how you want to portray yourself in social situations; this dissuades people from being interested in interacting with you.
In order to become perceptive and experienced in social matters, you’ll need to play close attention to details such as this. Understanding the difference between genuine interest and a social interrogation is a beneficial factor in conversation. The best way to avoid the aggressive vibe that comes with too much questioning is to maintain equilibrium in the conversation.
The art of conversation is not something that is naturally built into people at birth; it is an acquired skill that requires practice. Learning how to approach people is a difficult thing for many people across the world, but it shouldn’t hold you back from meeting new people and building your own confidence level. Starting conversations with strangers or meeting new people through friends is an excellent way to better your social abilities and make new friends in the process.
The important thing to remember when you’re considering initiating a conversation is to relax. People can sense tension from a mile away, and it will quickly dissuade someone from starting or continuing a conversation. Always keep your body language in mind, both before and during a conversation; people read much more into how you say things rather than what you’re actually saying.
In order to be comfortable speaking to new people, you have to practice regularly. Go out and meet new people; try out new venues and discuss your experience there with some of the people around you. Finding common ground is the best way to start a new conversation.
Always check your ego before going into a conversation. You never want to appear cocky or too forward to someone that hasn’t yet met you. The first impression is the one that matters; how you present yourself to a stranger is how they’ll perceive you through the duration of your conversation, if one ever gets started. Always consider your surroundings and find simple things to start the conversation off with; never try too hard, because people can always tell.
Authentically and genuinely approach new social encounters; putting on a front makes it difficult for you to maintain during the conversation; and once you drop that facade, it can make the situation incredibly uncomfortable for both you and your speaking partner.
When you’re starting a conversation with someone new, you should always consider these key ideas: be genuine, always be mindful of your body language, try your best to find common interests, always keep the conversation moving and don’t over think things. While some find it extremely difficult to approach strangers, these tips will certainly ease the pressure and help you get started.
Thank you for reading this article about how to start conversation with stranger and I really hope that you take action my advice. I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.