Be brave and do it!
Even if you feel nervous, scared, uncomfortable or any other negative feelings - just take the first step. Be brave and approach the person to talk. That’s the first step you have to take! Don’t worry about anything else. Repeat positive thoughts to yourself as you walk over to a new person. Like:
‘I look great today.’
‘I’m a super, confident person.’
‘I can do this’
Look at him/her and smile. A smile goes a long way. It literally makes you feel better. You will come across as less intimidating and easier to talk to. In short, a toothy grin is a boost every conversation needs!
Think about why you decided to approach that person. Is there something different about them? Are they wearing something noticeably different - like a bright colour or some nice dress? Tell them about it. Flattery also takes you places!
But first, make sure the conversation is going and you feel comfortable. A compliment must always be sincere – people can see through lies and it will only make you seem insecure.
Don’t mention intimate physical features though – like breasts, hips, body. It will nearly always be offensive. Eyes, hair or clothes are usually fairly safe territory. You could try:
‘I couldn’t help noticing how lovely your eyes are.’
‘By the way, that dress looks amazing on you.’
‘That shirt looks really great on you.’
‘I really like your laugh, it makes me smile.’
Skip the normal talk:
Skip the normal questions (what do you do, where do you live, etc.), and ask a question that can get you started on a conversation.
‘The canteen food is very boring here.’
‘I can’t believe how crowded the bus is today.’
Statements like this are invitations to start talking.
Find common ground
Once you have the confidence and think you have warmed up a bit, try to find something you both have in common. Begin by asking a simple question – you don’t have to be really original!
‘Have you been to this place before?’
‘Do you and your friends come here regularly?’
If you’re at a get-together, perhaps ask how the person knows the host. Try to work out if you have friends in common. The conversation has begun!
‘I love this song that’s playing now! What music do you like?’
‘It's so cold today, what’s your favourite weather?’
If you pretend to be someone you’re not, you will get found out at some point. If you want someone to like the real you, be honest. (That doesn’t mean launch into your whole life story and tell them all about your school, studies, parents etc!)
If the conversation goes well and you feel a connection, suggest swapping mobile numbers. Then if you’re going out at the weekend, call to ask if they’d like to come along. Or if they had previously mentioned a new film, suggest seeing it together. Say how great it was to meet them, and that you’re looking forward to seeing them again.
Practice talking to new people
Rather than talking to new people of the opposite sex for the first time, talk to strangers of the same sex, if that is less intimidating for you! The more you have such conversations with strangers on a bus, on the road, in school/college, neighbourhood, shopping etc, the more likely that you’re going to have good conversations next time you meet a stranger of the opposite sex.
Don’t be afraid of rejection
People get worried about the person not wanting to talk to them. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know and you may end up regretting not having the courage to speak to them. If the person is not interested in talking to you, don’t take it personally. Maybe they’re having a bad day or dealing with something else that you don’t know about.
To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model and names have been changed.