The Meeting Someone New For The First Time Series
Part IV: Introductions & How to start with easy conversations
So you had spotted your friend or friends you are meeting for the first time at the place you were meeting and greeted them with a firm handshake (not everyone is comfortable with hugs, handshakes are safe). How next, do you start a conversation?
All of you are (or both of you if it’s just you two) facing each other at the table. What now? Should you start the conversation or wait for them? What do you talk about? First of all, relax. They may be as nervous as you are. So how do you start a conversation? Here are a few tips on how to start the conversation.
Even though you have had conversations with your new friends before, all of those were through some medium and isn’t quite the same as talking to them in person. Your friend might not look or talk like how you imagined. But fear not because we have for you, a list of introductions and conversation starters that you could try out, because transition from online to offline chats can be tricky sometimes.
As said before, a handshake with a smile is the safest option you could go for. Some people might find hugs casual while others need their personal space bubble.
Compliment them. The first thing you should do when seated is compliment their appearance or punctuality or for choosing the place if it was their idea. This will make ANYONE feel happy and comfortable (as long as you don’t make it sound like you’re hitting on them).
Making conversation would be much easier if both of you had similar interests so you would have loads to talk about. If both of you don’t share much in common, you needn’t worry. You could ask them about their interests and hobbies to get to know them better.
A foolproof few conversation openers you can go for are movies, books and television. Not only is it such a safe topic but there are a wide range of things to talk about. Talking about siblings and family is also easy to start as long as you make sure you don’t pry too much.
When asking questions, rather than starting with ‘what’, try to start your question with ‘why’. For example, instead of “What did you major in? “Ask “Why did you choose to major in…”.This will provide a longer and more detailed conversation rather than finishing with a simple one word answer.
Talking about work, friends and pets are also good to start a conversation. If you all are pet lovers, then great! You could exchange cute animal videos and share a laugh or two.
One of the main things you should remember when making conversation is, be confident. The more confident you are, the less awkward it will be. Plus once your friends see your confidence, it will slowly make them more comfortable. Apart from these. There’s really nothing much to it!
You might ask, “But what do I say?”, and “what do I NOT say?!?” But alas that’s for another day. Until then, stay chill and be yourself! Perhaps, also get on MYOLO.