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Start a Conversation with a Stranger without Sounding Desperate

Start a Conversation with a Stranger without Sounding Desperate
Start a Conversation
    Start a Conversation

    You are at the bookstore, and you suddenly glimpse an attractive person near you in the same aisle. You would love to initiate conversation but you don’t want to come off as cheesy, pushy, or desperate. You are not alone. Luckily, there are three very natural tactics to break the ice without sounding cheesy, pushy, or desperate.

    Ask a Help Question

    Try playing dumb. For example, next time you’re at a coffee shop with your laptop, you can ask anyone near you the innocent question, “Is your internet working? Mine seems really slow…” You may have the fastest internet connection in the world, but that doesn’t matter. Your sole mission is to start the conversation. If you successfully ignite a conversation, in the end, no one will care or remember how it started.

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    These help questions work well because they are safe and give you permission to pop the bubble that exists between strangers. The other person won’t feel awkward responding to something so innocent (and you won’t feel awkward asking!). Additionally, these questions are easy to answer. The last thing you want to do is force the other person to answer a challenging question.

    If they are interested in talking with you, you’ll know. If they respond with a terse, “Mine is fine” and look back down at their laptop, then you can take that as a closed door to conversation. If you receive a warm reception – even if they cannot help you – you have officially popped the bubble and are free to ask follow up questions. You could then follow up with, “Yours is? You’re lucky…maybe it’s just my computer… I really need to buy a new one…do you like your Toshiba?”
    You get the idea.

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    Let’s look at a few more examples. Remember, you may know the answer, but that’s not the point!

    At a convention or event: “This food looks good…do you think we can start eating yet?”
    Near a festival: “I wonder what’s going on down there?”
    Concert or convention: “Do you know when ____ is supposed to start?”
    In the city: “Do you know where I can find a Verizon store around here? Mine is giving me issues…”

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    What are You Thinking?

    If you prefer the more subtle route, you can try simple spoken out-loud comments. Next time you sit down in a public environment, trying saying something like, “Wow it’s cold in here…” or “I’m so glad this place has outlets…” Like the help question, these comments will never be remembered; they simply let others know that you are open to conversation. If someone else feels like talking as well, they will respond to your comment with their own comment (e.g. “Yeah, I was thinking that too.” or “Yeah I wonder if they are going to turn up the a/c anytime soon.”).

    Find an Accomplice

    What if you are not ready to fly solo? Sometimes it helps to find an accomplice for your ice breaking mission.

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    Go out with your friend, and start an interesting conversation near the stranger. Maybe you’re shopping for a shirt at your favorite retail outlet, and an attractive stranger is nearby. If you have an accomplice with you, then it’s natural to start a conversation about the shirt; talk about how you feel about it, how it looks, how much it costs, etc. It’s far easier to invite someone to join an existing conversation than to start from scratch. If you and your friend are debating whether to buy the tight red shirt versus the tight blue shirt, it’s a fairly easy segue to asking the stranger for their opinion.

    Talking to strangers doesn’t have to cause a panic attack if you keep the approach low-key and low risk.

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    Last Updated on October 9, 2018

    27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

    27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

    Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

    If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

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    1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
    2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
    3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
    4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
    5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
    6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
    7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
    8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
    9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
    10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
    11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
    12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
    13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
    14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
    15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
    16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
    17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
    18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
    19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
    20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
    21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
    22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
    23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
    24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
    25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
    26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
    27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

    Remember:

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    It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

    If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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