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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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    The 12 Golden Rules of Great Conversation: Part 1 of 2 The 12 Golden Rules of Great Conversation: Part 2 Defend Against Any Bully in 2 Simple Steps Don’t Let These 4 Habits Ruin Your Conversations Start a Conversation with a Stranger without Sounding Desperate

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    Last Updated on February 13, 2019

    10 Things Happy People Do Differently

    10 Things Happy People Do Differently

    Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

    Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

    Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

    1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

    Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

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    2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

    You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

    3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

    One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

    4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

    Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

    “There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

    5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

    happiness surrounding

      One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

      6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

      People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

      7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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      smile

        This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

        8. Happy people are passionate.

        Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

        9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

        Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

        10. Happy people live in the present.

        While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

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        There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

        So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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