Approaching someone new to start a conversation out of the blue can be tricky territory to navigate. How can you play it safe enough, while also grabbing their attention? Today, I’ll share with you my top three, easiest openers that can be used on absolutely anyone. Let’s dive in!
The first on my list, and the safest in any scenario, is to use a logistics opener. Depending on the venue, these can be really useful in taking the stress off of approaching someone. For example, if you’re out on the town, something as simple as, “Do you know where you can get a great burger around here?” could do the trick. Asking about the venue’s closing hours, the location of the nearest coffee shop, etc. are super easy questions to use when you absolutely can’t think of anything else to say. For this to be effective, you’ll really need to know how to transition off of this into something better. You’ll want to avoid questions like, “Where is the restroom?” because continuing the conversation after that (without utilizing the information) is pretty awkward. If you can figure out how to switch into a deeper conversation off the back of it, a logistics opener can do wonders to get over approach anxiety.
Another great way start up new communication is to give someone a compliment. You should be careful with this one, because so many people get it wrong. When giving someone a compliment, it’s important to choose something that they have specifically put EFFORT into. If you tell me I have beautiful eyes, there is not much I can say to respond. I was born with them. But if you comment on how well my outfit was put together or how I color coordinated my accessories? That is something I worked hard at. People don’t often look excellent by mistake, so it’s safe to assume that those wardrobe choices were intentional. Again, you’ll need to carry on the conversation beyond the initial approach when using a compliment, but it can be a great tool to break the ice and warm someone up to getting chatty with you.
Finally, one of my favorite tools to use when starting a conversation with someone new is to ask their opinion on something. “My friend and I are in this debate, and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind finally settling it for us?” This is a great one, because it instantly gives you a topic of discussion to transition into after the initial question. People generally love giving their opinions on hot topics, so you’re likely to get good results when asking for them. I also enjoy asking people for fashion advice, especially when I’m out shopping. It shows that they are a person whose appearance I appreciate, without me having to say it.
Easy peasy! Three simple openers that make starting a conversation incredibly simple. As long as you can learn to carry the discussion beyond this beginning approach, these tips will do wonders for alleviating the stress of initiating with someone new.