Believe it or not, in the times before online dating, social media and queek’d took over the world, it was totally normal for relationships and friendships to start from two people striking up a conversation at the checkout queue in the supermarket. These days, for many people, the thought of starting a conversation without a computer to hide behind makes them cringe.
If you’re a single man or woman and you’d like to know how to break out of the online dating mould and expand your channels to love, take a look at these tips and tricks on how to create a great first impression and increase your confidence – wherever you spot a potential date!
First things first…
In any situation good body language is important. If want to come across confident, it is essential that you have a great posture, keeping your shoulders up and back to pull your frame up tall. Next, you should make the right amount of eye contact. Shoot them a nice smile and you’re good to go. Looking and acting confident will help both of you feel at ease, helping the conversation flow without any awkward moments.
Take deep breaths before you approach, and try and stay relaxed – after all, they may be even more nervous than you!
This is essential to starting a conversation with someone you don’t know. Try greeting someone with a simple “Hi” and you may even find that they’ll help you along by striking up a bit of small talk themselves. If not, following it with a question such as “how are you?” or even something more relaxed like “busy in here, isn’t it?” should do. Notice something about them you could comment on? Why not try ‘Great book, I love his/her work?’ From then, simple questions such as “nice accent, where are you from?” or “any good restaurants around here?” could work well. The most important thing about initiating small talk, is practise and confidence.
Ask for advice
If you’re not into just walking up to someone and saying hi straight away, then this might be a better option for you and slightly less intimidating if you are shy. Sticking with the supermarket theme, why not try asking them for some help?
If you’re conveniently in the same aisle, you could tactically say “Hey! I was wondering if you know which is the best dish to get for making pasta bake?” You could then easily lead the conversation into asking him or her whether they cook regularly, ask them what sort of dishes they like to cook etc. Before you know it the conversation will be on a roll and they will also be pretty flattered if you take their advice on whatever they suggested too. Couple this with a few ‘accidentally on purpose’ bumps with the trolley on different aisles, and hey presto, you’re in!
This is a great way to start a conversation as you can apply it to any situation or place that you’re in, such as a book shop, electronics retailer, bus stop or coffee shop. By the time it comes to asking for their name and their number, you’ll both be relaxed an easily chatting.
Yes, speaking to people for the first time can be a little daunting, but if you don’t give it a go, you’ll always wonder ‘What if?”. So don't be a wonderer, step outside your comfort zone and start chatting ;-)