4 Simple Steps To Meeting Someone  

Posted by Wanie Idayu

It’s all about being able to chat people up—wherever, whenever the opportunity strikes. Here’s a simple plan for doing just that.

Trick #1: Smile and wave
Don’t be afraid to use gestures that say, “I’d like to chat with you”—whether that means a smile, a nod, a wave or just eyebrows raised in expectation. Say you have to wait in line at a fast food restaurant, or waiting for your drinks to be ready at Starbucks, and you saw a cute guy, try smiling at him. People need encouragement that it's OK for them to come over and talk to you. I've done it many times before; and it always have a positive outcome. So take your chances, you may get new friends if not more ;)

How to practice it: Even though it may seem bold, smiling at strangers is the top way to let them know it’s safe to break through. Try it on everyone and anyone: The beleaguered workers at the post office, a harried mother in front of you at the checkout aisle, or even the toddler sitting in her cart. As you get used to being a smiler, you’ll start doing it naturally—including at the people you most want to meet.

Trick #2: Be the one to talk first...
Anyone can talk back to someone, but real people-meeters know the trick is starting a chat out of the blue. The secret lies in seeing the world around you as full of opportunities to talk, versus waiting to be spoken to.

How to do it: In order to break the ice with people you want to date, it helps to start with people you’d normally never speak to—say, the married guy in another department at work or a grandma at the bus stop. Since you’re not worried about whether they’ll shoot you down, you can truly be yourself and get used to talking to perfect strangers. You have to get comfortable doing it, or you’ll hesitate when you see someone in particular who you want to talk to. If you have to think about what to say or feel self-conscious, you’ll hesitate, and the moment will be gone.

Trick #3: Work your chit-chat charm
OK, what the heck should you talk about? The experts advise finding something that you two share—that could easily be something in your environment, like the weather or the huge new billboard that went up across the street. Or it could be something in the world around you, like a big verdict that was announced on the news earlier in the day or the fact that the next day is officially the longest day of the year.

How to practice it: Work on having an opinion or asking for the other person’s view of things, rather than just throwing a remark out there. So if you’re in the cereal aisle, don’t mutter to yourself, “Wow, expensive...” Turn to the object of your affection and say, “Wow, can you believe it? Almost six dollars for this! Is it just this brand or are they all so pricey?” Similarly, if you’re in line for lunch and the folks behind the deli counter are taking their time, don’t just say, “Gee, this line is moving so slowly.” Instead, try to get some playful banter going by saying, “I’ll bet you a little bag of chips that we’re not out of here by 1 P.M.” The idea is, open the door to a chat rather than just toss off a remark.

Trick #4: Then stop talking...
The secret of charming people around you is knowing when to stop yapping and start listening. People aren’t used to having other people really listen to them, so that’s how we win a lot of people over. So whether you're remarking about an old hit song that just came on or asking someone at Starbucks which shaker has cocoa and which has cinnamon and does it really make a difference; open the door to a chat and then shut it to hear what the other person have to say. The new acquaintance walks away feeling connected to you since you lavished on that personal attention.

How to practice it: Next time you start a conversation, make an effort to ask the person you’re chatting with at least three questions before making another observation of your own. That will get you in the groove of letting the other person open up to you... and make them feel appreciated. And when they feel appreciated, chances are, they’ll want to continue that conversation. ;)

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .