Let’s be honest. We’ve all been there. At an event or party, looking at people and becoming all stifled about the fact that we have nothing to talk about with anyone. Everyone just seems to be more interesting than you so you just sit there in the corner, leaning against the wall overanalyzing why you’re never able to socialize properly with new people.
If you follow these guidelines I’m about to show you, you will jump in the top 10% of charismatic people in the whole world.
And I’m not exaggerating at all. Take a look around you in your day to day life.
What do you see?
People avoiding eye contact and always looking down or busy
People only talking and laughing when drunk during happy hours
People bending down their necks to hide in their phones
People with headphones on looking mean and unfriendly
Everyone seems busy. Everyone seems rude. Everyone seems disconnected.
So it’s normal that we become closed in and fear to chat up new people when the environment is built in such a way that it doesn’t encourage healthy social interactions. In fact, the truth is actually the opposite. Most people will gladly talk with a person that has interesting stories to share and is also pleasant to be around. And your duty is to be that person.
Especially if you’re an introvert the pressure of standing out and making a fool of yourself can be too much to handle. I know because I’ve been there. And this is how I escaped from it all.
#1 Give value
Whenever you are meeting a new person they have no idea who you are. If you don’t have a jawline chiseled by Michelangelo himself then you are even more in a disadvantage. Unfortunately, people judge a lot based on looks and clothing.
So how can you turn this around?
Instead of looking to take something start with a giving mentality. Express a compliment, share a story you are excited about or try to guess something about the other person. Bring a new element to the conversation. Always add to the fun, never seek to take it from somewhere else because that group looks cooler than yours and you want some of that.
#2 The 90/10 Rule
Giving value is the right mindset. In fact, if you are not doing something horrible or completely awkward you are already giving value by just going up and saying hello. But that’s not enough. The other person still doesn’t know you. So how can they get to know you?
You need to talk 90% of the time at the beginning. The rest 10% is covered by them which is usually Yes/No. The mistake that most people make is that they go in interview mode, always asking questions and then expecting a reply in order to get the conversation going.
Everybody is a little suspicious when they meet someone new so you need to make yourself familiar and put your personality out there as much as you can. You are there to bring value and enjoy yourself first of all, that’s how you draw people into your own world.
Imagine in their eyes you are a colorless figure on a white piece a paper. The more you talk the more colored and real you become in their eyes.
#3 The 50/50 Rule
Until now you’ve demonstrated a strong character. You just wanted to give value to someone else. Whatever happens next you are someone who entertained them for a couple of minutes without any expectations.
Now people have enough reference points to see that you are an interesting guy. But you also need to show some empathy. For this you need to let them invest in the conversation also. If you continue talking even when you see that they are also eager to say something, you will just seem like narcissistic and self-absorbed.
The conversation shifts more to a 50/50 contribution where you both start weaving a conversation together.
#4 Call it as it is
People fret too much about what to say next.
As if you need to have a whole script written before the actual. We always fear we will run out of things to say but think about how ridiculous that actually sounds.
You can talk about what is happening around you every moment: about each other’s body expression, about the weather, about how random is that you’re talking with a stranger about favorite movies, about the color of the floor carpet, about how your nose itches or how you are totally breaking out of your comfort zone by starting this conversation.
The possibilities are endless. Snap out of trying to guess everything and just be present.
#5 Eye contact
It’s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul.
If you are always looking away when you are talking with someone it will seem like you are trying to hide something or that your intentions are dishonest.
Always maintain eye contact while talking and especially while listening.
There is a subtle sign of empathy when two pairs of eye connect. Keep your face relaxed, don’t try to overdo it and fall in the other extreme where it appears like you’re trying to hypnotize the other person.
#6 Create the bubble
Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves.
By giving value, being present and allowing others to invest in the conversation you can create a bubble where both of you play your own scenarios or topics together. This is also how great speakers captivate their audience. When a speech is touching, you don’t feel like there’s someone in front speaking to 1000 people. You feel like there’s a guy talking directly with you. His story becomes your story.
Think about the awesome conversations you have with your close friends where you start talking about your favorite foods and then end up talking about pineapple powered space ships. That’s what I’m talking about.
#7 Bleed a little
Until now you might have been just a “good feeling”. The conversation has been awesome, fun and value giving.
But how do you transition from just being a feeling to being real? You create a long lasting impression that people will remember you for. You show that you are vulnerable.
Share some of your fears, weaknesses or doubts. You could talk about a lesson you had in your childhood or an event that totally changed how you see life today. Nobody likes that person who tries to portray the perfect life because we all know the truth. It’s fake and it just shows the fact that you’re not authentic. People need to relate and connect.
The more personal the wound, the more universal.
Don’t be afraid to show that you are a real person.