Perhaps you sail through social events like holiday parties, weddings, work functions and even family reunions without a blink of apprehension or even a slightly uncomfortable moment. You easily chat away with just about anyone, never run out of an intriguing conversational topic and relish meeting new people. In fact, you are a natural at it.
Or, . . . maybe not so much. Or, . . somewhere in-between.
For many, large social gatherings, at least at first, may be a bit daunting. I know I have felt that way at times. After all, just how exactly do you walk up to someone you don’t know well or even at all to break the ice and start connecting? It may feel stiff, disingenuous or even boring! Chances are, though, you are not alone in feeling that and perhaps if you make the first move, others may be quite relieved you have initiated a conversation and be forever grateful!
So, how to go about meeting others with more ease, warm up the room, melt the ice and enjoy the event? I suggest with a little mental preparation BEFORE the event, you will be a lot more relaxed AT the event. And, when you are more relaxed, chances are far greater to ignite a memorable conversation or two and maybe even spark a new friendship.
We all know how friendships and our relationships play a critical role in creating that healthy lifestyle we seek. Thus, those very social events we may dread are an opportunity to create a better life. With that in mind, please come look below for a few tips I have gathered here to help make that next social gathering start off well for you and the others in the room and make for a great night . . . and just maybe, a better life!
HOW TO CREATE A POSITIVE MINDSET BEFORE YOUR NEXT SOCIAL EVENT
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind before you even reach the threshold of that room full of people at your next big event:
1. Assume the best of people and that meeting others will be interesting.
Don’t let others’ views of other partygoers steer you away from anyone too easily. Make sure to form your own opinions based on your experience with him or her. And, that person across the room whom you seem to have nothing in common with may have a great tale to tell or you actually may learn something new. After all, the more often you enter a conversation with the belief that it can be fascinating, the more often it will be!
Don’t miss this: Having interests makes for better conversations. Check out these ways to easily get your life moving and be a more interesting person.
2. Remind yourself that we all share similarities.
You probably have more in common with the people in the room than you realize. You may not share a familiar life situation, but everyone has challenges, insecurities, and problems to solve. I certainly don’t suggest starting off with deeply personal questions or revelations when first meeting someone, but, if appropriate, you may find the courage to engage in a conversation after a bit on a challenging aspect of your life.
3. Be yourself.
Don’t be someone else. That is exhausting and wastes everyone’s time. You are there to connect. You have a lot to offer to share and put that forward!
4. Check your body language
How we carry ourselves sends a message as to whether we are open to meeting new people or not and plays a part in whether or not we get overlooked. Here are a few tips many pros suggest to keep in mind so that you appear more approachable:
- Keep your stance open and keep arms uncrossed.
- Don’t have your nose in your phone. Head and chest up.
- Pull your shoulders back and stand straight, but not rigid.
- Smile at people walking by.
- Offer to shake hands when first meeting.
5. Try and try again.
If it did not go well with one person, it never means it will not go well with another. Learn from your error or maybe you didn’t even make one and that person was having an off-day. Start again. Go approach someone else.
Consider practicing talking to strangers when out running errands – say while waiting in line for example. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become talking to people you do not know.
Don’t miss this: You may find these tips on creating a better social life that is meaningful to you here.
18 ICE BREAKERS TO BEGIN CONNECTING WELL WITH OTHERS
Typically, the better the questions, the more interesting the answers! See if any of these starters will help you get the conversation going with those strangers in the room that could lead to a more engaging exchange. Try to remember a few of these ice-breaking conversation ideas BEFORE your next shin-dig and you will be more relaxed when you get there. They are broken down into categories depending on what you feel comfortable with and that reflect your interests and who you really are.
Some basic starters that work for many situations:
1. “Since we are both here in-line waiting for a (drink, ticket, food), let me please introduce myself.”
2. “I don’t seem to know many here, so may I please introduce myself. I’m (name) and I work at (company). or I am (friends, neighbors) with (host or hostess name).”
3. “I have been admiring your (boots, tie). Or, I saw you holding that (book title, camera) and have been looking for one. I am (name) and would love to hear where you purchased it or what you think of it.”
Travel is a great topic and people usually enjoy sharing their adventures and travel tales. Here are some questions you could ask in this category:
4. “I am currently creating a travel list and love to hear where others have been. Do you have any favorite travels or are you planning one as well?”
5. “What countries have you traveled to and what did you bring back?”
Don’t miss this: Consider bringing back some of these from your next trip.
6. “Do you have any favorite travel planning apps, websites or books?”
Don’t miss this: Here is a plan to make those travel dreams a reality. All the steps are there!
If you have a dog or cat or other pet like I do, we animal lovers could talk all day about them. How about this?
7. “I am new to the area and have a (type of pet). I’m looking for (vet recs, pet sitters, groomers, favorite dog parks). If you have a pet, do you have tips?”
And, of course, people love to talk about their children:
8. “The piano player here is very talented. My (son, daughter) dreads (or loves) (his, her) weekly lesson! Do you have children, too?”
You can’t go wrong asking if someone has a favorite something or other:
9. “I am a fan of (TV show. author, actor). Have you (seen latest episode, read the latest work)? (And, if they have not, ask if they have favorite.)
10. “I’m looking for a (new book, new series on Netflix). Have you (read, watched) any good ones lately?”
11. “After this meal, I better not skip my workout like I did tonight. Do you have a favorite (running trail, spin instructor, yoga studio)?”
Show you are real and self-deprecation can go miles:
12. “I promised myself I’d meet three new people tonight. Can I say hello and start with you?”
13. “I don’t know a soul here. and I think everyone else knows each other. Are you a newbie here as well?”
14. “I made a glamorous entrance and just spilled my drink! Has that happened to you?”
15. “This party is getting a little crowded in there. Mind if i join you here where it is a bit quieter?”
Everyone likes to eat and spend time in beautiful surroundings. Talk about that:
16. “Tried the (appetizer name) yet? Wish I could make those at home as they are great!”
17. “This room is perfect for entertaining. The (favorite element of room) is beautiful. Have you been here before?”
News events or sports scores can be safe as long as you keep it neutral:
18. “That was quite an event today (news or sporting event). I have not been able to catch an update on it yet today. Have you by chance?”
Do you have a special way you connect at large social gatherings where you do not know many people? Please share your magical tips in the comments!
Featured on Jill Conyers Blog Hop.