The latest entry comes courtesy of New York Magazine, which posted an interesting piece about getting better at talking with strangers. I am, evidently, one of those “maniacally extroverted” people who is perfectly comfortable talking to anyone about anything. Yet if I tried to explain to you how to do it, it would seem woefully inadequate.
a) Be open to meeting strangers because they’re often nice and interesting.
b) Be inquisitive about them.
c) Be well-read and well-informed so you can feel comfortable talking in the universal languages of news, sports, entertainment, current events, relationships, etc.
Be open to meeting strangers….
Be inquisitive about them.
Be well-read and well-informed…
Dale Carnegie did a great job with this in How to Win Friends and Influence People, but basically, people respond to warmth, enthusiasm, and being asked questions about themselves. This creates trust, while the exchange of information creates a bond, however small and temporary.
Enter Kio Stark, author of “When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You,” who suggested you “draw a conversational polygon between you, a stranger, and some third thing that you’re both experiencing. The benefits are obvious, namely that you come off less threatening or creepy than commenting directly on your prospective conversational partner (“nice shoes, want to fuck?”), and it’s less boring than saying something about the weather (“great weather we’re having, huh?”).
I guess one can call that a conversational technique. I just call it having a personality.
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.