The Best Tips To Help You Talk To Strangers Online & Offline
Updated April 30, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Every friend you've had was a stranger once, and yet talking to strangers seems so foreign. Maybe it's because you grew up being told not to talk to them or because you feel awkward. Whatever the case, talking to strangers is a necessity in life. Whether to ask for help, make a friend, or find love, you need to talk to strangers in some form or another. This post will tell you how you can talk to strangers on the Internet and the Internet. Let's delve into the subject, shall we?
Talking To Strangers Online
For most, it's much easier to talk to a stranger online than it is to talk to one offline. The awkward air you experience around them is thinner. You can think about what you should say next without feeling rushed or expected to answer quickly. Best of all, there are forums dedicated to hobbies and beliefs, and you can meet a stranger using your interest as icebreakers. Here are some other tips.
This is a common-sense rule, but one worth emphasizing. Most strangers you meet online are good people, but it is important to be safe.
By being safe, we mean that you shouldn't give away your info to a stranger you meet online. You may laugh at that. Why would you give a stranger your address or other identifying information? However, it's easy to casually mention where you work and where you live in conversation. Be mindful of your words, and don't say anything you may regret later.
Another thing you should avoid is downloading anything suspicious that a stranger sends you. If you get a message telling you to download something, run it through a virus scanner and be skeptical about it. It could be a virus or some other form of malware designed to spy on you.
Some strangers may make the conversation turn uncomfortable, whether they mean to or not. If the stranger asks increasingly personal questions that make you feel uncomfortable, tell them to knock it off. If they continue, leave the conversation or block them. You are not obligated to talk to someone if their words make you feel uneasy. You're supposed to have fun online, not get anxious if someone asks you a question that is too personal for your tastes.
If a stranger becomes a friend and wants to meet in person, do it on safe grounds. Meet at a coffee shop or another public location. Please don't go to their home, or have them come to your place until you are comfortable and know each other well.
Start A Conversation With Something Interesting
This is especially true with a dating site. Online, the stranger might be getting plenty of messages and just sending a short greeting, like hi or hello. He may make them feel a bit odd. How are they supposed to respond to that? Rather, begin the conversation with an interesting topic. Ask about what they usually do and use this to break the ice between you two. If they like movies, talk about the latest movies. It's a bit hard figuring out what you're going to say at first, but it becomes easier with time by starting the conversation right.
When talking to someone online, don't feel like you have to take on some other persona. Instead, talk to the stranger online like you would any other friend. Be yourself by talking about what you like and what you dislike. Talk about what's been bothering you, what your dreams are, or anything else that crosses your mind. Just don't reveal anything personal to the stranger.
Listen To Them
It's not all about you. When the stranger online describes their interests, listen. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine yourself in their position. Offer advice or sympathy if they are dealing with a problem. If their interests are different, go in with an open mind and trade interests. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn from someone else, be it interests, walks of life, or cultures, if the stranger is from another part of the world.
Look In The Right Places
As mentioned before, you can go to places dedicated to a hobby or belief. There are forums and anonymous chat rooms where you can talk to others without giving your identity. If you want to be in a place where everyone has a name, you can turn to a Facebook group to make friends online. Just make sure your profile has its privacy settings adjusted not to reveal any personal information.
And that about covers how to talk to people online. It's fun, but there are some rules you should follow to have the best and safest experience possible.
How To Talk To Strangers Offline
If you've moved to a new place and want to meet new people, here are some ways you can do that.
Look For A Place Of Shared Interest
This is the same rule as the Internet. If you want to talk to some people, the best icebreaker is a shared hobby. Going to a comic book shop or a game store may be your best bet to connect with others if you're into comics. If you're into fitness, you can join a fitness club and talk to the people there. If you're into reading, bookstores are a good place to look.
Just Do It And Don't Overthink It.
Talking to a stranger can be intimidating. That anxiety is something that never goes away but becomes more manageable over time. When you see someone you want to talk to, relax and be yourself. Go up to them and strike a conversation. Don't be nervous, but instead be someone friendly and approachable.
Don't Feel Bad If They Don't Want To Talk.
If you try to talk to someone and don't want to talk or brush you off, don't feel down. Odds are, you've been approached by people when you don't feel like talking. They don't dislike you but instead aren't in the mood to talk. Instead, try someone else, and don't pursue someone who isn't interested. Rejection can happen when talking to a stranger, but don't feel bad if it happens. Instead, use it as a chance to look for someone else.
Go Alone…Or With A Friend
It may be tough when searching for new friends, but it is perfectly fine to approach someone when you're alone. Or, a friend can make a good wingman or woman. For example, if you feel nervous, a friend can talk to them for you or introduce you to people they do know. It all depends on the situation, honestly.
Be Mindful Of Your Body Language
Your body language can say a lot about you or have someone misinterpret something about you. Use friendly body language with decent eye contact. Do not look standoffish or tough. Finding the right body language can be challenging for the socially awkward, but by being mindful of it, you can make more friends much easier than you would without any good body language.
Keep The Subject Matter Lighthearted
This applies to online conversation as well, but it's especially important in real life. Online, people may feel more open to disagreements, as there is a barrier between the two parties. In real life, a debate about religion or politics can turn uncomfortable and even hostile. Instead, talk about hobbies and other lighthearted topics. Save the serious things for when the two of you know each other better.
Always Share Contact Info
You don't need to give out any personal details, but if the conversation goes well, you have to speak to each other at some point. Give them an email, number, or social media account where the two of you can keep in touch. If you keep in touch, great. You've made a new friend.
If you still have trouble making new friends or dealing with the anxiety that can sometimes come with talking to new people, you may benefit from talking to a therapist. A therapist can help you learn skills to conquer your fears and make new friends. If you have a new friend or even a relationship, a therapist can keep that relationship going smoothly and help you to resolve any conflicts should they arise.
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