Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to talk to strangers wherever you go

The #1 thing single people struggle with when they're out and about at both singles events and elsewhere is what to say to break the ice with a new person. Do you:
1) Ask a question?
2) Comment on something happening in the room at that time?
3) Give the person a compliment?
4) Or just walk up and introduce yourself?

The answer is YES--ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Any of these approaches will work. And none of them is all that awkward to try. The one that male dating experts advise women to use is #2--because it seems natural and friendly. Just say something lighthearted about whatever is going on nearby. For example, if you're both in line at a coffee shop and he's staring at the desserts, say "I can tell you'd love to try that muffin." Or, if you're at a party, ask "How do you know (name of host/hostess)? At a singles dance, mention that you noticed he/she hasn't danced yet.

When I was single, I used all four openers, and I got more comfortable the more I used them. To get my courage up, I asked myself: What's the worst that could happen? He could just ignore me and act like he didn't hear me. Or he could give me a weird look and walk away. In all my years of dating (nearly 9), neither of these things ever happened. Most people were polite and talked to me for a bit even if I could tell from their body language that they weren't interested.

The point is: you never know until you try. What have you got to lose? In most cases, you'll have a nice conversation. And maybe in one or two, you'll really hit if off with somebody. It's your choice: be brave...or stand around all night looking and feeling awkward.
P.S. For practice, try this first at non-singles gatherings like friends' parties or business networking events. It'll help you build courage and test out which openers get the best reception. Good luck & have fun! Today could be the day you meet a fascinating stranger! :-)