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8 Tips to Mastering Conversation With New People

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Talking in the restaurant

And those of us who aren’t tend to struggle while conversing with a new person, often over-thinking things. Thing is most people aren’t as unfriendly as we might think. You can master conversing with new people if you simply keep a few things in mind.

Let’s look at a few tips on that matter. 

1Start with a conversation starter.

A simple hi is a lot better and friendlier than starting with a whole sentence that implies you’ve known each other for a while now. You don’t. They make people think what is he/she talking about? Simple starters like hi also show that you’re a social person with proper manners (awkward or not). 

2Not all of us are fans of small talks but they do help us in understanding other people better.

What a person does for a living tell us quite a bit about them even though jobs aren’t one of the most exciting things to talk about, unless you’re a professional deep sea diver. Talk about their birth place as well. A good follow-up question could be what’s the difference between here and there. Hobbies are still good but never talk about the weather. No one’s actually interested in them and it implies you’re getting bored or ran out of things to talk about. 

3If you aren’t that bad with jokes, use them.

But remember not to go overboard. If you aren’t funny, you can even use that as your advantage. Telling a not-so-funny joke and then saying things like I’m not funny, I know tend to make other people laugh. It creates a light conversational environment.  4.   The other person also sees what you’re doing, not just hear what you’re saying. Control your body language, especially your hand. Don’t be overfriendly and touch them. Maintain proper eye-contact. Don’t stare hard at them or into the distance. Smile occasionally and don’t keep it plastered over your face.

4 Do not always wait for them to ask questions.

Relate your experiences with whatever seems relatable. For instance, if they talk about skiing you could tell them how you like the wilderness or trekking (and such). If you can spot a relatable non-sequitur, jump at the opportunity.

5  Tell a story.

For instance, you could tell them about the most exciting trekking trip you had. Stories open up new opportunities for both participants. 

6The best bridge-between-worlds is common grounds.

Find them. These are especially helpful when related to a person’s personality or/and principles, even if it’s video games. However, it’s tactful to avoid religion and politics (for the best reasons). 

7Last but not least, be sincere to what they say.

Sincerity is a simple show of trust, meaning you are listening to what they’re saying. Don’t joke around too much and if that IS your nature, follow up with comments like Jokes aside.    If you can pull off a 15-20 minutes conversation with a complete stranger, you deserve a good pat on the back. Always remember, they are new to you as you are to them.

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