The Meeting Someone New For The First Time Series
Part VI: What After The Hi-Hellos
The hardest parts of your first meet with your new friend or friends are over. Yay good for you! Introductions and small talk are long gone and now is the task of keeping the conversations going smoothly.
No one enjoys awkward pauses and silences and neither would you. But this doesn’t mean you should bombard them with interview questions in order to keep the convo going non-stop. If you don’t come upon any awkward silences, then cheers to you! But here are a few tips for those who want to avoid such moments at all costs or those who are already in it, and want to come out. Meanwhile, if you are having trouble figuring out a place to meet, check this.
As explained in a different blog, the place you guys choose can highly influence your conversation. If you choose a place where you can do nothing but talk, it might be a bit of a problem if you run out of things to talk about. A busy surrounding could provide plenty of conversations easily and doing an activity together has a balance between talking and having fun.
Be genuinely interested. People can easily tell if you’re interested in what they’re saying or not. If they doubt that you are even listening, they might shorten their reply and retreat to one word answers and silence. Being an active listener really helps. If you’re really interested in knowing something about them, ask away!
Rather than cringing away from the awkwardness, make a joke out of it. Say something like “We’ve hardly eaten and we’re at an awkward silence already”. (You better smile or grin while saying this or you might sound accusing).
Eye Contact Is Key
Eye contact is an important factor in avoiding anything awkward. Your eyes should be fixed on your friend’s eyes at all time when they speak. (You can blink of course else you’ll look super creepy). This shows that you really care about their opinion and that you are wholly listening to them. This will urge them to get more comfortable and speak more comfortably, creating no space for any awkward silences at all. That’s often the key to great conversations and unstrangering yourself.
Take off the pressure and be friendly. Pressure never amounts to anything good. Have a few topics pre planned that you could ask them about when you need to come out of the awkward silence. Be prepared to change subjects. If a certain topic could be seen getting uncomfortable, immediately switch to safer topics.
Always remember that being your chilled self is all the confidence you’ll ever need. With this, you can successfully make it through a great first meet.
But is that really the end? How do you finish the meet? Or let them know you would like to do it again? But that’s for another day. Until then, stay chill and be yourself! Perhaps, even get on MYOLO and unstranger yourself.