When making new friends, or setting up an office meeting, the transition from online to offline is never easy. You’ve got to go beyond being unstrangered online, you’ve also got to unstranger offline, in reality. But there’s the fear of awkwardness, the possibility of time clashes and the inhibitions of unwelcome first impressions. But then having things in common always helps.
You’ve rarely felt uneasy about setting up a meeting with someone for work, right? So why the unease about wanting to go out book shopping with a fellow book lover you’ve met, or going out bar hopping with someone just for fun? To help you let things flow, we’ve got some tips for you.
That normal hi can make all the difference in the world. Talking to strangers is not easy. It’s scary, it’s uncomfortable and most importantly, you do not know what kind of person you might end up inviting in your life, but it is a risk we take in every aspect of life. So just break that ice. 20 seconds of courage is all it takes!
There’s Something In Common
Go beyond compliments. They may be great icebreakers offline, online they are not the best approach to take. Rather keep it simple with a ,“Hi! I see you like movies too. Didn’t Tubelight suck?” This implies that you know them a little and have found a common thread too. And since it is a question around a general subject rather than them straight away, answers are encouraged too. In fact, you’ll get tips on these common interests and conversation starters right there in the MYOLO app as well.
Hold your horses
Unless you really feel the conversation is really taking off, it’s better to take things slow. Like we already said, initiate a conversation, put your guards down. Don’t intimidate. Let them know you are a human. Laugh a little.
A conversation needs two people
While trying to impress someone, we often forget that a conversation needs two people. We either listen too much or talk too much. It should be a balance of both to really to really get to know one another.
Start on neutral grounds like hobbies, or favorite TV shows and then perhaps move on to deeper and more meaningful conversations. Just don’t worry about first impressions much. Sometimes though, you can begin with those questions about life straight away if you seem you’ve found someone from your tribe. You’ll know!
And always remember, serious and sensitive information can wait and is better avoided, at least for some time.
Ever tried telling someone you like dogs (when you hate them) and then ended up meeting their dogs? The white lie didn’t seem so white then, did it?
That is exactly why you should always stay clean. Whether it is about your likes or dislikes, your comfort zone or anything for that matter. Even if it causes a strain in the friendship, it is better they find it out from you rather than someone else. You’ve unstrangered yourself, so do that completely. Likewise, if there is something you are not okay with, let’s say the other person’s habit or choice, let them know.
Where to meet
Let this be a mutual decision and let your common interests guide you there. Like books, perhaps a bookshop and cafe? More into sports, then go catch up over a football game at the sports bar.
That’ll always mean there’s a common thread to keep the conversations flowing while you get to know each other face to face. Do think about the distance the two of you will need to travel, the travel time etc. Being considerate is always a good thing. And then perhaps, the best option would be hang out at the next MYOLO event happening around you. There’s always be activities and icebreakers there and a bunch of other people too. So the fun will only be multiplied!
Why not check out some of those events here and come unstranger yourself!