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Social Skills: How to Talk to Strangers

by nick

Ever since many of us were little kids, we were told to never talk to strangers.  Whilst this was done out of concern for our safety, many men have carried this over into adulthood.

In this day and age we have become more and more isolated. We live in a neighbourhood for decades and never get to know our neighbours. We don’t know people at work who are in a different department than we are, even though they’re on the same floor.

This lack of social trust damages our social skills which are key to being successful in life. So today we’re going to explain how to start a conversation with people we don’t know…..yet.

Why is Talking to Strangers Important?

Make new friends. Men who have more friends tend to be happier and live longer than men who don’t have any close mates. Many men, myself included, find it very hard to make new friends. But there are many potential friends out there if we would just get out of our comfort zones and start talking to some strangers.

Business networking. You can’t network properly if the only people you ever talk to are your parents. While the prospect of talking to someone you don’t know may seem intimidating, overcoming this fear may be the difference between staying in a dead-end job and landing your dream career. If you can get used to talking to strangers on a daily basis, you’ll be surprised who you may meet and where it can lead you.

Learn new things.  Talking to strangers forces you to interact with people you know nothing about, and therefore you’re likely to learn new things.

Meet new women. A man’s fear of talking to strangers can potentially prevent him from meeting the woman of his dreams. If you’ve been complaining that you can’t find any good women, then you need to look around you. Women are everywhere! You just need to get out there and meet them. There’s no need for cheesy pickup lines, just be friendly and approachable. Read my post How to Approach and Talk to Women with Confidence.

Increase your social skills. If you want to go far in life, then you need to sharpen your social skills. This doesn’t mean you have to be the man that works the room like a salesman. You’ll just annoy people that way. But let’s face facts, most success in life, whether it’s in the business or dating world, depends on your ability to interact with other people. And just like with any other skill, our ability to interact improves the more we practice. Talking to strangers on a daily basis provides a great opportunity to increase your social skills.

Increase your confidence. There’s something about talking to strangers that boosts my confidence. The more I talk to strangers, the more socially confident I feel. If you’re looking for a way to increase your confidence, then start talking to strangers on a daily basis.

How to Talk to Strangers

Smile and say ‘hi.’ A simple smile and a ‘hello’ is one of the best ways to break the ice. Instead of keeping your eyes glued to the ground as you’re walking, smile and say hi to people as you pass them by. Although you might not start a conversation, it’s a good first step towards having full conversations with strangers.

Stop fearing rejection. You may think that the number one barrier to talking to strangers is nerves, but it’s actually pride. We get nervous because we don’t want our egos getting bruised from being rejected.  Therefore we don’t attempt to reach out.

The surprising thing is that most of time, when I’ve started a conversation with stranger, the response has been positive. Even if you do get rejected, who cares? You didn’t know the person before and you will probably never see them again anyway.

Care about your appearance. If you’re constantly looking at the ground instead of looking at other people, you probably lack self-confidence in your appearance. If you’re dressing like a slob, you’re not going to have the confidence to talk to other people because you don’t want anyone to give a closer inspection.  But if you practice basic grooming and dress properly, you’ll feel great about yourself. You’ll have a lot more self-confidence, and you’ll begin to look people in the eye.

Also if you dress respectfully, people will feel more comfortable talking to you. It makes you more approachable. For advice on how to transform your appearance, I strongly recommend you read Mark Belmont’s The Handsome Factor. He is currently offering a $1 trail, so you can try before you buy. I used his transformation system to improve my appearance a few years ago and I still use his tips today.

Talk to people at businesses you visit. Talking to business employees is one of the easiest ways to start a conversation as you already have a kind of connection with them. Instead of keeping your conversation strictly business, show a genuine interest in them by asking questions like, “how’s your day today?” or “how long have you been working here?”  Introduce yourself and ask for their name. You have just made a new connection with someone you see on a regular basis.

People at work are generally up for a friendly chat. In fact a friendly chat may brighten up their day. Also if you chat with them on a regular basis, you may receive a better service. People tend to treat people they know and like better than people they don’t know. Use this to your advantage.

Use ice-breakers that are relevant to the moment. At a wedding? Ask the person how they know the bride and groom. In a clothes shop? Ask a person’s opinion on an item of clothing you’re thinking of buying. The conversation may only last a few minutes, but there’s always potential you’re striking up a conversation with a new friend or girlfriend.

Ask questions. One of the easiest ways to start a conversation with someone is to ask questions about them. Most people like talking about themselves. However, be careful what questions you ask. If you’re talking to a woman you’ve just met, its best not to ask her where she lives or what time she gets home. It’ll scare her off!

Be genuine.  When talking to strangers, just be yourself.  There’s no need to be fake and try to impress people you don’t know. When you’re comfortable with yourself, people will acknowledge that and will instantly become comfortable with you.

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