The Subtle Art of Talking to strangers


Most of us have been in this situation before. We meet a really cool and attractive stranger on the street but never get to talk to them. Some of us even stare at them for long periods but one thing we never do is say a word {I’m a victim of this too.}

In this article, I would try to explain some basic things that would help ease the tension and make it easy for you to talk to strangers.

Rule #1: You have to understand that the stranger you are about to talk to feels as nervous as you do. It might as well be the person’s first time of talking to a stranger too, so just try to ease up on the tension and relax

Rule #2: Start by introducing yourself with a smile. You don’t have to say your full name, your first name should suffice, and try not to fake that smile. Grin it like you mean it!

Rule #3: Talk less about yourself and be more interested in him/her. Nobody wants to hear how much you brought the really nice shoes you’re wearing or how many times you’ve travelled out of the country. Most people are really actually interested in themselves so ask the stranger about his/her interests, hobbies,passion e.t.c. if you don’t feel comfortable with that, then talk about general topics like the weather, football, game of thrones e.t.c

Rule #4: Humor works. If you’re funny, this should come easy to you. Humor helps to ease the tension and gets things running a bit smoother. As much as humor is a good thing, it can also be bad if not used properly plus it also depends on the sense of humor of the stranger. Try to observe him/her and see how they react when you say funny stuff.

Rule #5: Don’t act weird or say weird stuff. I cannot overemphasize how important it is for you to not say something that could upset the stranger. Avoid making comments on grey areas such as politics, religion and tribalistic remarks

Rule #6: Depart casually as though you would definitely see him/her again. Don’t try to keep the conversation too long or too short. If you think you are relaxed enough, try to get his/her phone number. Don’t say “bye-bye”. Say something like “See you later” or “See you around” (even though you might never see them again, say it like you mean it)

Meeting new people is really exciting and is meant to be something we should be good at. I’m not saying I’ve gotten really good at it, but I’m still trying. I hope this article was helpful and makes it easy for you to talk to strangers.

The Subtle Art of….is a weekly column on Tell! that shares psychological tips to help make life a little cooler.😎

P.S: I’M NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST!. I just read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies about the field😏

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