There are many ways to meet new people without seeming crazy. It is funny how on social media we have thousands of friends but face to face we are probably the most socially awkward generation to date. I know many people that do not know one shred of information about their neighbor. We live in a different day and time, but let's face it, that is downright crazy. It is just not as common to meet new people these days. Our lives run on a path much quicker than it did even 10 years ago. We are so bombarded the last thing on our minds when we are in public is trying to meet new people. It is not that we are horrible for not wanting to meet new people, we are in a time that is very challenging to say the least. So how do you meet new people other than on social media? We all have different reasons for wanting to meet new people. Business contacts, someone to help you learn a new skill, or just someone to hang out could be your motive.
If there is one thing I love more than anything it is meeting new people. One of the key lessons I have learned in life is people are not really interested in what you have to say. Well, at least until you are interested in what they have to say. People like to talk, they don't like to listen. I remember in my early days I would try to find new people to meet on a daily basis. This was a laborious task and often ill-fated unless we could break common ground. It is just awkward, especially in the world we live in today, to just walk up to someone and strike up a conversation.
I learned one of the best secrets during that time. I would love to share them with you so here goes.
Some other key things that can help you are:
1.) Once you strike up the conversation, try to let it flow. Try to avoid a period of silence. In order to avoid silence, maybe think of a few key things you might say before confronting the person. Don't come on too strong though and take over the conversation. This is not proper flow. You want to let the other person participate as much as you or they will lose interest with a quickness. Remember, people like to talk.
2.) Rehearse different ways to address people. Most people are approachable if you have the right demeanor. You might even consider trying to plant yourself within an existing group of people. Don't be rude and start joining in the conversation. See if someone asks you to and then step right on in. You would be amazed at how easy this one works.
3.) Try to avoid excessive direct contact and staring. Make eye contact but veer off every once in a while. Some people find it creepy if you constantly stare them in the eye. You can usually tell by body language if you are making someone uncomfortable. Be conscious of the body language.
4.)Learn how to ask great questions. Sometimes one simple question can work magic. Find a question revolving around a reason you are both where you are. For example, if you are at Starbucks, ask the person what the best kind of coffee is. Even if you think you know the answer you might learn something and meet someone new. Remember you are here to create conversation, but also to create connections or friendships. It is probably best to have a backup thing to say after the initial icebreaker. Asking one question and getting one answer is the start to flow. However, it is not flow.
5.) Make Yourself Noticeable:Have something that people want or they can use. This can be anything. Sometimes if word passes around you are knowledgeable about a subject that is a great outlet. Having a product or service that you offer will attract people if they can use it. The only obstacle in that is they have to know you have it available. This would come easier over time if you actually possess something of value to others.
6.) It is to make yourself available. You are much better off joining in with groups, factions, etc. because it is a no-brainer that people are going to talk to you. That is kind of the point in this setup. We are much more comfortable meeting in groups than one on one. Conferences and seminars that revolve around a common subject are great as well. You already have a common interest so that kills the awkwardness of the situation. It is much more fun to talk to someone that is already interested in what you have to say then having to entice someone else's interests.
7.) Still feel awkward in this situation? Find common ground. Maybe they are wearing or possessing something (cell phone, tablet, etc.) that could be a point of conversation. If you complement them or ask them a question they will most likely respond to you.
8.) Leverage existing friends to see if they know anyone you might have something in common with. Sometimes you can end up meeting new multiple people by just meeting one other person in the long run. Ask your friend if they know anyone with common interests. So it does not seem awkward to you, the friend, or the new person you should schedule a time you can all get together. This will help you break the ice much easier.
One of the key things is be comfortable with rejection if you don't hit it off with someone. If you notice you are dealing with repeated rejections, consider changing your approach. The same thing does not work for everybody and everybody will not always work for you. You might start talking to someone and realize that it is probably not potential for a second engagement. You might find out that the person you started talking to has nothing in common with you, but it never hurts to try.
Introverts are as capable as extroverts to meeting new people. That is just a label anyway. Having the right people skills will put you over the top when it comes to meeting new people.