I think we can all agree that we humans crave some type of interaction, whether it’s face to face or over a zoom meeting. Hearing another person’s voice that is focused on you is a great feeling and it makes you feel like you’re cared for.
Meeting people for the first time can be challenging when trying to strike up a conversation or develop a good vibe with them. People who are strangers to you can come across as intimidating sometimes but everyone has a soft spot or at least a part of them that is willing to open up.
At my job, I realized that more customers asked me for help when I said hello to them first rather than me not saying anything to them at all. It was a fun little experiment to do at work that helped the time to go by but what I realized most about this experiment was that people will feel more comfortable with you once you make the first move.
This goes for romantic relationships and new friendships as well. Everyone could use a boost of encouragement once in a while. That’s why we have some of the friends we do now, they encourage us to be better people and let us know that we’re not going through life’s challenges alone.
So, how do we make more friends like this? It all starts with being comfortable being uncomfortable. This may sound a little confusing but take a minute to read it over and understand what it means. The only way you will get more comfortable with doing new things in your life is if you’re willing to get uncomfortable.
New experiences are hard to deal with because we’ve never done them before, this is why you need to keep doing them over and over again until you find them easy to do. Let’s go over a few tips you can use when talking to strangers for the first time and developing friendships.
Say “Hello” Like You Really Mean It
Being nice will take you a long way with any of the relationships you have now or in the future.
As an introvert, I used to find it very difficult to say hello to people I didn’t know. I thought that it was unnecessary and a bit embarrassing. Once I started doing it to somebody new every day, it became automatic and something that I don’t even think twice about.
The power of saying hello with true passion can help people have a better day than they were already having. People feel like they go unnoticed when they’re going out of their home, the world is so big that they may not see themselves as somebody important.
When you say “hi” to people like this, they feel good, they see that somebody notices them which gives them a boost of confidence. When going on a walk around your neighborhood, try saying hello to your fellow neighbors, look at the reaction that they give you, and watch how you feel afterward.
Just like that, you have a new friend or at least somebody you can rely on for an interaction every time you walk by their house. It’s crazy to think that we don’t know many of the people who live right next to us! It could’ve been one interaction with them that really could have set off the mood between you two but that’s now in the past.
Develop genuine relationships by saying hello to people you don’t truly know. It’s best to keep in mind that not everybody who you say hello to will want to be your friend. This is the only real risk you’re taking when doing this, if somebody doesn’t say hello back to you then don’t take it personally. Move on with your life and keep saying hello to people, somebody else will appreciate your gratitude.
Be Open to Conversation
You will come across people who love to have conversations, they may not even know you that well but they feel like they have somebody who can relate to them.
You’ve probably come across people who talk a lot and are not concerned with how other people may interpret them. These are the best people to learn from! Even though they talk for long periods of time, people do listen to them when they talk and they have relationships with many people.
People who are not afraid to speak their minds usually don’t have an issue with making friends because they know the value of their words and how valuable it is, to be honest nowadays.
You may catch yourself getting into conversations that you didn’t want to be apart of but that’s okay, just go with the flow. As long as the conversation isn’t about talking bad about anybody else then you should be open to hearing what the other person has to say. You never know what you can learn from people you don’t know.
I will admit that it can be easy to walk around like you’re a know-it-all but learning from different people constantly will automatically make you a smarter person.
Practice some go-to words that you can use when in a conversation, use those words to build a relationship with the person you’re talking to. Being present in the conversation will not only help you learn more from other people but more about themselves.
Remember One Thing About the Person
Some of the interactions that you have over time will feel meaningless because you didn’t really learn anything. It’s the same way you would judge a teacher that you have in school. The teachers that made your class unentertaining and left you leaving the class feeling uneducated usually did not gain a lot of respect from your or other students. Students learn more from a teacher who is excited to teach and keeps education simple for the students, allowing the students to remember a few things from the class that is actually important as opposed to not remembering anything.
Before having a conversation with somebody, plan ahead, and set a goal to remember one thing about that person. It can be something that they were wearing, their eye color, or even something that they told you in the conversation. This will not only help you to remember the person the next time you see them but it will give you a chance to start a conversation with that person.
Remembering one aspect of a person is crucial in building a new friendship with them. One secret to making a person remember you is by remembering their name. This can be tough due to only seeing that person for the first time in your life but you can repeat the name several times in your head after the conversation has ended or use their name while talking to them.
It’s not guaranteed that you will be friends with everybody you meet but you can be a friend to anybody while you see them. Friendships were made to help you understand people who have similar mindsets to you and how theirs differ.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Albert Schweitzer that says
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”