Moving to a new town is hard. You don't know anyone, and don't know how to get to know them! So you wait for people to approach you … and wait … and wait. Somebody has to make the first move! If you're a bit shy, though, you simply don't have the nerve to initiate conversation, or have no idea what to say. So here are some different ways to introduce yourself and get a conversation rolling …
One very good way to introduce yourself is by asking questions (not too personal, obviously!). This opens up the possibilities as it could lead to a conversation. People love to talk about themselves, so give them the opening by asking questions; they'll usually be happy to respond. This will lead to more questions and information, and so the conversation develops.
People respond very well to compliments; who doesn't like to be told 'Your hair looks fabulous! Where did you get it cut?' So initiate a conversation with a flattering remark about their appearance and ask questions about where they bought their outfit. It could lead to a conversation about vintage clothing, recommendations for where to shop, and even a new friend …
People often think that they can't approach strangers as it would seem creepy. But everyone is a stranger at first - if we didn't speak to others, we'd never make friends. So be open to the possibility of a conversation even in the most unlikely setting; waiting for a train, at the library (though don't speak too loudly!) or in a thrift sore.
Be on the lookout for an opening; the potential could be there at any time and in any place. A casual comment or question could lead to a conversation and even a new friend. Every friendship has to start somewhere, and even if you don't make instant friends with someone you talk to it could lead to something else. They might suggest an event that interests you, or someone you should talk to.
Look for events where you can join in. It's seen as a cliché that you should sign up for an evening class if you want to meet people, but it's true. It works so well because you already have something in common - an interest in the subject that the class is about. And many classes are very sociable, with people meeting for a coffee afterwards.
How often have you kicked yourself at missed opportunities? Don't waste a chance to chat to someone. The worst that can happen is that they don't want to talk to you. So bite the bullet - you might end up having a pleasant chat that brightens your day. And plucking up the nerve to start a conversation could mean that you make new friends. Be brave!
Finally a good conversation opener is to ask someone for advice. People feel flattered if you ask their opinion, as it's a compliment to their taste and judgement. And there are so many things that you could ask for advice on, from which top looks best on you to how you should style your hair.
So find the nerve to start a conversation - you never know what it could lead to!
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