We all know how awkward it can be when you attend a party or a function and you don’t know anyone! You arrive and you have no one to talk to. It could be you’re a third wheel, you came alone or you are just waiting for your friends to arrive. Whatever the situation is… it can suck! But only if you let it!
This could also be the perfect opportunity for you to meet new people and start new friendships! So how do you do this? Follow these easy steps and you could be the life of the party before you even know it.
- Acknowledge that you are not the only person who may be feeling shy and looking for someone to talk to. Believe that you are doing the right thing and may even be saving some people from boring conversations and making their day!
- Always look your best when you go out. When you know that you are going to a place where you will meet a lot of people, put on your best outfit. Approaching people requires a lot of confidence but when you look good, you feel good, and that makes it easier. Also don’t for get to smell good too! It turns people on.
- Prepare a small introduction about yourself before you approach people, it’s not a business pitch so relax. It’s just a warm introduction followed by one or two statements about yourself. The idea is to give the other person something that they can comment on to get the conversation going. For example, “Hi, I am Xolani, I have been waiting for my friends to arrive for almost an hour. I saw you standing by yourself, are you in the same boat?”
- Always go for the person who is alone. That person might be very shy and would appreciate someone to talk too. Approach them with ‘Hey, You look interesting, you look smart. Would you mind if I chat to you for a bit before my friends arrive?’ You have charmed the person already and they will most likely say yes!
- Strike a balance. If you’re always asking questions, you can come across as a busybody, or nosy. And if you’re always revealing things about yourself, you’re going to share TMI. The magic’s in the mix. Let the other person speak more than you.
- Don’t approach 2 people talking. They may be very deep in conversation and you will break their moment. They might not be open to having you join in. Rather approach a group of 3 or more. If you want to approach a group of people, speak to those who look like they are having fun.
- Make a clean exit…Interrupt yourself, not them. Smile warmly, tell them what a pleasure it’s been to talk to them about [whatever it was you were talking about], and that you could just monopolize their time all night.
Try “But if you’ll excuse me, I need to…” And then offer an excuse. Try: Catch up with my friend from college over there. Grab a bite to eat; those cookies are calling my name. You may also want to offer your hand for a handshake, which most people understand to mean, “It was nice meeting you, good-bye.”
The point is to leave a conversation knowing that you made someone feel better because they’ve talked to you. Make it clear that you payed attention, enjoyed the conversation, and are leaving for a reason (rather than because the person is boring).