We all understand the intimidation of starting up a conversation with a good looking stranger. The unsettled feelings of wanting to talk to them, but also feeling weird about it. Wishy-washy thoughts of ‘yolo’ and ‘nope, never’ may be simultaneously running through your brain. Fear not, here is a 5 step plan to help you achieve your goal of talking to attractive strangers!
Step 1: Self-confidence
This is, hands down, the most important part of this task. It takes some genuine effort and time to assure yourself that this isn’t a weird thing and that people have conversations all the time. Heck, you probably were just having a conversation with your mailman about the weather (maybe not, bear with me). Start with positive self-talk, “you are cool, people like you, this is something you are good at.” From there, you can move into really motivating yourself to chat up the person you’re eyeballing.
Step 2: The 1,2,3 method
In the classic flick, We Bought a Zoo, the main character is building up his courage to say hello to a beautiful stranger. In the film, he repeats to himself “all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage”, and with that in mind, runs into the coffee shop and meets the woman of his dreams. This could be you! Come up with your first words in your head (a practical “hello” would suffice), countdown from three and walk over to them. It’s important that you follow through, and the best way to do that is to remember all of the things you know about yourself (see step 1).
Step 3: Invite them into conversation
You’ve made it! Now that you’re here, really talking to this mythical creature called an attractive person, what’s the next step? This can be very challenging for some and most are intimidated by the possibility of awkwardness. Don’t be discouraged if things are a little unsettled, it’ll get better with the more comfortable you feel! Bringing up subjects that are broad is a great way to start, ex. “We’re having great weather today, are you a fan of sunshine or rain?”, “Have you ever thought about how many people there are in the world that looks just like you?”, etc. Questions that are open-ended are the best way to keep and encourage conversation.
Step 4: Smile
This encourages the fun stranger to keep talking! Nodding your head and facing your body toward them makes them feel like you really care about what they’re saying. This is a great way to leave a good impression, can you think of a time that you felt very ‘heard’ by someone? They were probably using affirmative body language! Practice active listening with your friends by nodding, repeating things that they said back to them, and asking questions based off of things they said. The more comfortable you get with this, the more naturally it will happen in a conversation with a stranger!
Step 5: Short and sweet
The easiest way to have a conversation be awkward is to let it drag on and on. The interactions with a stranger should be pretty short, allowing the time spent with each other to be action-packed and exciting! Leaving the conversation a bit too early leaves them feeling like they want more. Saying something like “It’s been great chatting, but I have to head back to work. We should do this again sometime?” Giving them a chance to ask you (or vice versa) for your number is a great way to get a ‘next time’. If you’re not feeling it, or the interaction was a little too uncomfortable for your liking, end it there and wish them well!
Now that you’ve read the 5 steps into stirring conversation with attractive strangers, the most important part is to get out there and do it! Overall, be yourself. There’s no one else like you, let that be something that empowers you to share yourself with the world! You can do it!