It was the first day back at campus, and the weather was quite apt. The skies were an ominous grey with no shining sun in sight as if a foreboding as to what was to come that semester. Aavi sought refuge in the library building to escape the icy breeze outside. As he entered the building he noticed a girl that caught his attention. So I’m sure you know what happened next right? He did what any single 20 year old at campus would do…. Nah, I’m just pulling your leg, Aavi ran for the Hills like a little girl 😀
What’s up my Young Uchiha’s, it’s Aavi Yadhav Uchiha Singh bringing you another awesome blog. For those of you who know me or have some idea of the personality that I have, you’ve probably figured that I’m a complete chicken, especially in social situations. For example that scenario above, is no scenario at all but rather a cringe worthy memory that I pulled out of my head the way Neville Longbottom pulled out the sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat. So I decided to tackle how to make conversation with strangers.
Now just a word of caution, these are 7 tips on how to talk with a person whom you have never interacted with before, these are not “ 7 of Aavi’s lamest pick up lines to help make sure a girl never talks you forever”. Basically, these are general conversation tips, not tips aimed at making you a better flirt. So let’s get started than.
Malavika Varadan, who’s basically one of the most charismatic radio personalities and people of all time composed a list of seven tips on how to initiate conversation with a stranger and she presented this talk on a TED stage for those of you who want watch the original presentation which is farmore bubbly, exciting and informative compared to this dreary lame blog. I strongly recommend you watch it. Also, she’s quite attractive, and I mean she’s like hot. You should see her hair, it’s set in such a sexy way…. Okay wait, back to the blog. (I luv you Vika 😉 )
The first tip is Saying Hi. Wow, what a plot twist right ? But yes if you guessed that, please take a moment to congratulate yourself for getting that right. What’s also important is how you do so, which means delivery is very important. If you watch cricket, you’d be aware of how a bowler prepares before he bowls his delivery. He stretches, takes in a deep breath and finds his centre before bowling his or her delivery. Just like that we need to do the same as in we need to first take a deep subtle breath to calm ourselves. Try to breathe in through your nose instead of sucking air in with your mouth wide open as if you’re trying to take a bite out of the Wi-Fi. Next you move towards the person with a gentle smile, not a creepy smile, not a wide toothy eyed smile, NO. But rather think of something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, like Naruto, or Erza….or Naruto ? Okay seriously, maybe a sunset, the beach, or a young nephew or niece. So yeah that’s how you introduce yourself to someone with a great smile. You can also follow up by telling them your name, but just the name.
The second tip can be done directly after you say hi to the person or can be done when you have the opportunity to talk to them again at a later stage. The second step is to skip the small talk. Okay, this one was a definite plot twist right? The thing is that a lot of people find small talk to be tedious and only really engage in it if they are forced to fill up uncomfortable silences. So if someone is making small talk with you and they associate small talk with uncomfortable silences, that conversation is going to go extinct faster than the dinosaurs. Questions you want to avoid asking are:
- How are you ?
- How’s the family ?
- How’s the weather ?
You get my point right? So you might be wondering what questions can you ask someone, especially a stranger. Well you can ask them
- Where they are you from?
- Where is your family from?
- Where is a good place to dine around here?
These questions are unusual and personal, yet not to the point of being creepy or intrusive. By doing this, you’re making small talk without actually belittling the conversation.
The third tip for talking to strangers is something we often see in romantic comedies and that is the “Me Too”. Often this statement or strategy is used as source of comedic effect in these movies, but that’s usually because the person is being dishonest. What’s important here is that you’re honest and natural. What this means is that you should be honest about the topic, or the preference of something that you may have in common as well as having a good understanding of it. For example if they mention a certain type of music or a particular series that you really enjoy as well, pursue that topic and let them know that you’re into it as well. What’s not okay is to lie or to try and sell yourself to be more enthusiastic about something than you really are. If they mention something and you have little or no interest in, try to steer the conversation in a different direction. All you need is a quick glance at your personal newsfeed to spit ball different things and interests that they might be into like music, social media, famous personalities, series, sport, Naruto, anime etc.
An additional note attached to the “Me Too” rule is to try to avoid being negative. If they mention one of their interests and you disagree, dislike or don’t feel too strongly about, try not to voice that opinion out aloud. Rather simply nod your head and acknowledge what they’ve said. Remember acknowledging and accepting are two different things. So if they support a different sports team than you, don’t openly disagree, simply nod your head as if thoughtfully. Like when someone says they don’t like anime…. Then I pull out my Katana and drop a body if ya know what Mean 😉 Also try not to pretend to share an interest for the sake of having something in common because in situations like that, you’re already nervous and dishonesty is easy to pick up on.
The fourth tip is to pay a unique compliment to the stranger in question. This is something that if you’re guy you’ve probably done wrong, and if you’re a gal, you’ve probably rolled your eyes at this mistake too many times before. We’ve all see guys say the same thing in different ways when they try to attract the attention of some attractive girl on social media. You know something along the lines of “I want to cover you in peanut butter and lick you until my peanut butter allergy kills me”. Yeah…. Don’t. Do. That!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Perhaps say something along the lines like, “I love the way you nose crinkles up and the way your ears perk up when you smile, its like a feeling of Summer warmth”. See that’s that the correct way J Or you can use my pick up lines like “Can you please lend me a Richter scale? Because you just caused a Boobquake” Yeah no, don’t do that X_X They say that people will not always remember what we say or do for them, but they will always remember how we made them feel, just like my restraining order reminds me that Demi Rose Mawby is off limits… (That’s just a joke!!!! I never met her L).
The fifth tip is to ask the stranger in question for their opinion on something. Remember I mentioned before to take a quick glance at your regular newsfeed to give yourself some ammo, well it would also come in handy here. If you’ve progressed up to this point in the conversation, this is where it gets real. You need to ask for an opinion of something that isn’t too controversial but something that is interesting and open ended. Try to stay away from politics and commodity markets and things that may embarrass either one of you due to lack of on hand knowledge, especially if you’re surrounded by people. Rather try to focus on something light, like perhaps gardening or cooking tips. Your previous experience of the “Me Too” tip will benefit you here, as it can provide you some direction as to what question you should ask. It’s also at this point of the convo that a 2 way street of communication is established between you and the stranger, giving you a chance to engage with them better and on a more personal level. This is your chance to rope the person into the conversation properly where they will now ask you to engage into the conversation.
The sixth tip is to Be Present in the conversation. Try to avoid being distracted by your phone or your surroundings. Body language is important, so make sure your shoulders and feet face the person you are talking to, to let them know that they have your full attention. Even if you are capable of multi tasking, it would be advised against. Probably the most important aspect here is maintaining Eye Contact. For a lot of us, it’s really nerve wrecking and awkward and isn’t something that comes easy to us. However this is essential and eye contact can add levels of depth to a conversation that can otherwise not be experienced. They say our eyes can express true emotions even when our other expressions may deceive so, Aavi said that btw. A trick to avoid becoming self conscious is too focus on the eye colour of the person, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Maintaining eye contact also forces the person maintain eye contact with you. Couple that with you making sure that you use the person’s name to draw the conversation to a more intimate level. A final note on this point is to listen to the person for the purpose of listening and to not simply respond.
The last tip can be phrased as Name, Place, Animal, Thing. This is important as it gives you a reference for the person for when you meet them again. So you associate certain things, names or animals and places with the person. This is the last and final point of the presentation she gave. Now there’s one final point I have to add.
The eighth point, how do you ensure that you aren’t in a room that may be home to a stranger that may be a serial killer like India’s Stone man, Zodiac Killer, Jack The Ripper, or The Babysitter ? Simple, just make sure you’re the serial killer. And with that, this blog is over. Also, I’m killing, I mean kidding about the serial killer thing.
So I hope this was useful to you my Young Uchiha’s, this is your #INFJ blogger logging out.