Oh the art of conversation starting. Let’s talk about it!
It’s pretty common to feel unsettled about your friendships by your mid twenties. People start changing, growing, and moving more and more towards who they’re going to be as adults.
This means that friends you thought you’d have for life could begin to feel kind of like strangers. It’s really normal to start feeling like all of a sudden you don’t enjoy the same old shit you used to. We may be placed in new environments and situations that make you feel unsure.
Most of the time this goes one of two ways:
- We keep hanging out with the same old people that don’t really make us feel full, happy or complete because it’s easy and convenient.
- We swirl in a pool of doubt and loneliness feeling like we don’t even know how to talk to new people anymore and therefor deem ourselves friend-less or socially awkward
INTRO PANIC MODE. For sure, it can be uncomfortable and awkward to start conversation with someone new. Quite frankly, by the time we venture into young adulthood we’re probably a bit out of practice. But, there is still hope!
If you tend to lean towards the socially anxious, quiet side and feel like you wouldn’t know what to say to intro yourself to a new human being, let’s work on it. Starting conversation doesn’t have to be so scary! You are cool, interesting and unique – remember?!
Sometimes saying hello and starting the convo is truly, truly the hardest part of this whole experience!
Here are seven simple and approachable tips to starting conversation. Have at it!:
- Get curious! Have a question about someone (that’s not too personal), ask em. People generally love talking about themselves. (ie. What are you reading? Where’d you get that jean jacket? Explore hobbies, interests, skills)
- Something as simple as… Hey! I’m Chelsea. I’ve noticed you hanging around _______ (this coffee shop, yoga studio, restaurant, store) a lot and just wanted to introduce myself! What are you up to today?
- This may seem obvious but pay attention to your body language! Open, receptive, aware and present. If you saw you across the room, would you deem that person approachable?! It may seem small but it makes a BIG FAT difference.
- What’s something you’ve been loving lately? – This one might catch people off guard but man is good for stretching our brains in a noninvasive way!!
- Offer to help! “Hey! Need a hand with that bag?” “I think the mats are over there.” Move a chair out of the way. Hold a door. etc. etc.
- Lean into shared experiences! Any common ground can be grounds for starting conversation. – Live in the same area? Taking the same class? Part of the same club? Both runners? Chat about it. Ask about it.
- Work on strengthening your self worth and self compassion as you navigate this! There’s no perfect way to do this, like anything else in life. It’s okay to feel the discomfort and do it anyway. Remind yourself that it’s only a conversation and it will be a memory soon!
And here’s some tough love for you – sometimes conversations will fall flat. You won’t always become instant BFF’s with a new person. That doesn’t mean you’re weird or awkward or “bad at this.” It means that you’re human, talking to another human, trying to see what sticks.
So, I challenge you. Can you give this a go? Pick one that stands out to you and start a conversation – today! Let me know how it goes in the comments or shoot me a note here!