Hey! I’m Nour Naguib, a young teen who is eager to help everyone I possibly can. Some of my hobbies include playing sports, especially kickboxing and taking quick photographs of trees while jogging at the break of dawn. I dedicate my free time to reading self-help books and, of course, eating!
Since some of you teenagers have a similar lifestyle as mine, I'd like to start by writing about something most of us can relate to as it usually makes us nervous: MEETING NEW PEOPLE!
Picture this: you’ve been invited to a gathering at your friend’s place to celebrate the end of a school year! Sounds fun, right? You enter the house; everybody is having the time of their lives as they talk about how much they’ve enjoyed the year, but that's not you. No, you're too busy being frustrated because your friend is busy running around being a good hostess and you need to talk to other people.
So there you are, just standing alone in the corner, pretend-texting and eagerly hoping that someone finds you appealing enough to come and talk to you. You've been there, haven't you? Well, I know I have, and it was, by far, the most terrifying experience I've had. So how can you confidently meet new people at a social gathering?
Starting a Conversation
My main problem was that when I tried to go up to people, they unintentionally kept blocking me out. You need to know when and who to approach, meaning that if you find two or three people very engaged in a certain conversation and only focusing on one another, they are not your best option; you'll feel singled out and most probably even lose track of what they are saying.
But, when you see a couple of people chit-chatting with long breaks between every sentence and very little eye contact, they're probably not enjoying it. When you approach these two, not only will you spice up the conversation, but you'll also make a great first impression, coming off as confident, fun, and friendly. Here are some suggestions on how to start a conversation:
- First words floodgates. When you encounter someone, solely start the conversation with "Hello! How are you?" and introduce yourself.
- Pay a little compliment. Now the trick here is that you want to make sure the compliment you give is something they're not immune to; they don't hear it every day, and you'd also probably want to make it about something they've worked for. So don't go up to a girl with naturally green eyes and tell her that they're beautiful; yes, she'll thank you and be happy, but she's probably heard it a thousand times. By constructing a special compliment for the person, you will increase their self-esteem and there is a higher chance that they'll remember you in further encounters.
- Skip the small talk; no one wants to hear about the weather, except if it's literally raining cats and dogs. Try asking a personal question, about their family, for instance, but don't get too personal. It's also fundamental to find common things between you two and carry on with the conversation.
Keeping the Conversation Going
One of my big personality setbacks is that I always zone out when someone talks to me, and I immediately forget their name; I'm positive there are a lot of people just like me.
- To make sure you don’t drop their name, say it out loud and tell the person how nice it sounds. Try to relate the name to something that it rhymes with or recall someone you know with the same name as well.
- This trick also works with other information; when you just simply repeat whatever the person you are talking to says in a simplified way, with a little nod every now and then while maintaining eye contact, you come off as a great listener and the words affix into your mind.
- If they start talking to you about an experience they've had or something they've been through, try to relate to them by saying what you would've felt in their place. NEVER just pull out your phone and start texting, it shows how unimportant you find the person in front of you, and that is the worst thing you can do when talking to someone for the first time.
No matter what, don’t forget to enjoy your time. What do you do when you meet someone for the first time? How do you start a conversation? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.