How to find an interesting conversation starter

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Do you have problems talking to strangers?

Do you have problems starting conversations with strangers?
Did you try to start a conversation with a stranger but got a negative response?
Do you have problems talking to people you barley know?

If five different people approached the same person and used 5 different conversation starters each one of them will get a different response provided that all other factors are constant.

This is why its important to know how to use the right words when you approach a new person. If you already have an emotional wound such as believing that you are boring or that you are not that handsome then most probably the rejection you will get as a result of the wrong conversation starter you used will be interpreted by you as a proof that you are uninteresting or ugly depending on your beliefs. (see also How your world revolves around your psychological wounds)

In this article i will tell you about the perfect way to start a conversation with a stranger so that you increase your chances of getting a good response.

How to find an interesting conversation starter

Follow these tips each time you attempt to approach a stranger:

  • 1) Say something mysterious: No matter who the person you are trying to approach he will always want to know what you meant by your words. When you say something mysterious that can't be easily interpreted a typical person will feel a bit insecure and might start to think that you are referring to one of his flaws. In such a case the person will try to extend the conversation with you to know what's in your mind. just take care while using this method because there is a thin line between confusing a person and making him believe that you are actually referring to his flaws. (see also Why being mysterious works)
  • 2) Forget about yourself: Many people do the mistake of starting the conversation by introducing themselves and talking about what they do. Most people don't like that direct way and they prefer to be approached by talking to them about what interests them. Here is a good conversation started in the Gym "You know what, you could make your training much more effective if you bent your back a little". What you just did here is that you started by telling the person a tip that certainly interests him. (see also Why do we find certain things interesting)
  • 3) Trigger their emotions: If for example you saw a person with a mild injury (hands in cast for example) you can start by saying "Get well soon" plus a smile. The person will usually feel happy because a stranger cared about him. Next you can say, "how did you injure yourself that way?" In few seconds you will find yourself talking as if you knew each other long ago
  • 4) Pick related topics: Back to the previous example. You can start saying "Take care, i had that same injury before and it won't recover fully unless you do so and so". By choosing a topic that is related to the situation the person is facing you will make sure that the person you approached will be extremely interested to know more (see also The right way to approach someone)
  • 5) Start by offering help: Don't offer help by talking but instead take actions right away. This will show that you are assertive and confident. If for example you saw someone having troubles lifting his bag then say "Excuse me" and carry it without asking for permission. If you were allowed to do so you can then say something like "looks like you are leaving the country, huh?"
  • 6) Start by a good joke: A close friend of mine is too big. He is about 2 meters tall (7 feet) and has a massive body. The guy was trying to enter the elevator but few people were already inside it. One of them said not sure if we will all fit, so my friend replied, "I am tiny i can fit anywhere" and then everyone in the elevator exploded with laughter (see How to make people laugh)
  • 7) Target the Ego, use a compliment: Each person without exception wants to feel important and loved. Some people misuse this fact and start by giving compliments that show that they are needy such as "OMG you are so pretty". Instead you should give compliments that other people rarely give. Here is an example i use in the gym, when someone does a rare exercise that most people don't do i tell him "Wow, for how long you have been training to do such a move?"

There are no rules

Put in mind that when attempting to start a conversation with strangers there are no rules or fixed phrases. Many sites try to promote certain conversation starters forgetting about the fact that each setup has its own specific starters.

The words you will start your conversation with in a hot day on a beach are totally different than the words you will use in a Gym.

Study the environment well & the person you are trying to approach then apply the above tips to find the best conversation starter.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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