It is not always easy to explain why but we can all attest to the fact that breaking the ice and starting a conversation with someone of the opposite sex, especially someone you admire or like could be quite challenging. So many people have missed wonderful opportunities and relationships because they were unable to break the ice and start a conversation with someone they met for the first time or someone they had never spoken to before. There are several things to say to start a conversation, but for most people, it is either these things are not known or they just find it difficult putting them to practice. If you have someone you love in your life right now, it will be awful to think what would have happened if you had never met each other. But what could even be more perplexing is knowing what you could have missed if you did not summon the courage to open up to him or her when you did. Some people are naturally introverted and so whether or not they actually have interest in someone makes no difference to the fact that they are going to find it difficult breaking the ice and talking to them. We are going to look at some of the best ice breakers when meeting for the first time and different tips you can use to break the ice and feel more comfortable when you talk to someone for the first time but first, it is important you know the different reasons why people find it difficult starting a conversation. Perhaps knowing exactly which of them relates to you will be the first step to becoming bold and self confident when next you have to engage in a first time conversation.
Reasons why people find it difficult breaking the ice
Anxiety. This is the most common reason why people find it difficult starting a first time discussion. Anxiety simply makes you too self conscious that all you think about is the way the other person will react to you and how that will affect your self image. Even those who know all the things to say to start a conversation may sometimes find it challenging applying what they know because of anxiety.
Fear of being rejected. When you approach someone for the first time, especially if you have starting a relationship in mind, you know a person has the liberty to give a yes or no response and since most people cannot bear being rejected, the fear of it could stand in the way and prevent them from taking the chance and breaking the ice.
You may also find it difficult making a first time approach if you are not exactly sure what you want from the other person. Most people who have the courage to approach someone of the opposite sex for the first time usually do so before actually reflecting on what exactly they want from him or her. And believe me, there are so many things you may want from someone, many times without even being conscious of it. Besides the uncertainty, it may be the only time you see them again so you want to at least have a number or an address. Something that assures you that you will be able to get to him or her again. So you admire someone and then you don’t have enough grounds to approach them besides the fact that you like the way he or she looks. That could simply make things difficult. Men for example like to be in control and sometimes being in control when talking to a lady for the first time means he must have a definite reason why he wants to start a conversation. But like I said, the only reason could be that you like the way she looks, and to some girls, that is not good enough.
Some people have little or no understanding of body language and that makes it even more difficult for them to know or be sure of when to start a conversion and to know how the other person feels about it even if he or she says little to make his or her impressions known. Being ignorant of body language could really keep you back and make things difficult.
Lastly, some people find it difficult starting a first time conversation either because they do not know what they want from the other person, they are not prepared to ask for it or simply let the other person know about their desire just yet.
These are some of the reasons why being the one who starts a conversion with a stranger could be really challenging. But more important than knowing those reasons stated above is knowing how you can apply some of the best ice breakers when meeting for the first time and be more confident and effectively start a conversation when you need to. Let’s look into some things to say to start a conversation and important tips that will help you break the ice every time.
One of the most common ways to start a conversion with someone is to simply introduce yourself. This is one of the most effective ice breakers. It has been a long used trick that actually works great for some people on more than a few occasions. Hi, I am Gaston! Is enough to introduce yourself and start a discussion. At least you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to introduce yourself, unless of course you don’t know your name. And yes telling the other person your name with a nice Hi! Or Hello in front of it is supposed to do the trick. The thing with using this method is, you should make sure there is a backup to help you continue the conversation. And it is also a simple but clear invitation to start a conversation with someone.
You can easily know whether or not the other person is interested by the response he or she gives and the attitude that follows. Normally, you will expect the other person to introduce his or herself in return. That is the normal process. If he or she ignores, then it is a simple sign that tells you they are not interested, at least not for that moment. Be gentle and learn not to insist. Insisting on having a conversation with someone who is clearly uninterested is just another way to turn him or her off and make things even more complicated for you.
Back to the issue of what to say after you get a good response. Make sure you have that figured out, no matter how little the time you have to think is. If you cannot say anything reasonable after introducing yourself, you stand the risk of being even more confused and embarrassing yourself.
Talk out of the general
Another way to break the ice and talk to someone when meeting for the first time is to talk out of the general. As you try to figure out things to say to start a conversation, remember not to get too specific, especially on personal issues. Some people use this trick to start up a conversation before making an introduction of themselves. It all depends on how you feel about it. If you think this will work better for you or you are just more comfortable doing it, then it is better you start out talking from a general perspective. If you meet at a restaurant for example, your opening statement may be “the meals here are usually great” or “this place makes the best coffee I have tasted around town”. Those who feel more comfortable can start out with things like the weather or the latest news in the town or nation.
It is not necessarily about having information on what you say. Remember the intention is to make the other person open up so you guys can get talking and if possible know each other better. So don’t be too concerned about how well you know about the subject you choose as a tool to break the ice.
Learn to blend and use follow up questions
It is common to start a conversation with someone who is interested in something order than the initial subject you started out with. Some of the best ice breakers will not really amount to much for you unless you apply this tip. Ladies especially will easily open up to someone who knows how to ask follow up questions nicely. It tells her that you are interested in what she is saying. Be flexible and learn to blend with any topic of conversation that comes up. It is not important whether or not you really know about the subject. Sometimes the fear of making a fool of ourselves is one thing that actually keeps us from connecting with people we are really interested in. Just be open and make a contribution to the discussion no matter how little you know.
In addition and as a warning, don’t ask anything personal the first time you talk with someone. More than ninety percent of the times, it is a sure way to set a person off. If you are talking to someone for the first time, then you have not earned the right to get personal with them. Asking him or her something personal will make the person wonder what you are up to. It is somewhat creepy to do that. Also be warned not to go too far with the issue of asking questions. Remember it is meant to be a conversation, not an interview or interrogation.
Be generous with your compliment
It is widely known that women love compliments but men too like to be appreciated in that way. Giving people compliments is sometimes the best ice breaker when meeting for the first time with a person or group of people. Using a compliment as an ice breaker is one thing very few people will be able to resist or ignore. The main reason is that people are usually very sensitive to what others think of their personality, their dressing, and the way they look. It is one reason why some spend a lot of time in the dressing room; to be appreciated. So when next you seat beside a beautiful lady or nice looking guy and want to start a conversation with him or her, remember the power or using a compliment.
However, in using compliments to start a conversation and talk to someone for the first time, be careful not to make it sound like a cliché. For example, there are better, more creative ways of telling a lady how beautiful you think she is than simply saying “you look beautiful”. If she is really pretty, you can be sure that she has heard that same phrase several times from other guys and will see no reason to take yours seriously or even pay attention to it. Come with a better, more creative way to give compliments and you will stand a better chance at breaking the ice and starting a conversation with someone that could actually matter a lot in the long run.
Avoid sounding serious
Learn this golden lesson once and for all. Even the best ice breakers will hardly help you if you are always looking and sounding too serious. People who sound too serious when discussing with someone for the first time are considered boring. That is sure not the impression you want to give a lady or guy you are interested in upon meeting for the first time. Unless you are talking about something official on your first meeting (which is highly possible or probable), avoid sounding serious. This also means picking your topics of discussion carefully. Very few people will be willing to discuss anything serious with you on a first meeting.
Stay on the positive side
People usually go through issues and most often than not, the negative experiences we go through shape the way we reason and our perceptions of life. So when next you meet someone and want to start a conversation with them, don’t be discouraged if he or she sounds negative about almost everything. People who look and sound depressed are sometimes difficult to deal with, but no matter what, you must endeavor to stay on the positive side. For such people, that is what will be most effective in breaking the ice and starting a conversation with them. But remember that everyone needs that positive touch. People generally consider it more appealing hanging around positive people.
Don’t be afraid to sound stupid
If you are too concerned about what impression you give people when considering things to say to start a conversation, you may hardly be able to break the ice. When you approach someone for the first time, it is tempting to want to put up a false image of yourself. Some go as far as making adjustments to their accents and behavior. It is not just a childish way to think but you must also realize that those you talk with can usually tell whether or not you are faking things. No one wants a counterfeit version of you. Be who you are, whether or not people like you should come normally and should be real.
Remember to be very self confident
It’s normal to look at some other person and think “oh how wonderful he/she looks”. However, it is not OK to let your judgment of the way someone looks influence your self confidence negatively. Believe me, even the most beautiful girls or the most handsome boys feel inferior sometimes. But it makes you look stupid and increases your chances of failing at a first time chat when you loose your self confidence. What is even more disheartening is the fact that the people you approach will usually be able to take one look at you and be able to tell that you are not as confident about yourself as you should be. That sets them off to be defensive or may trigger a superiority complex. Self confidence and respect commands confidence and respect from others. So it is hard for some people to believe in you or be attracted to you if you are not confident in yourself.
Get rid of the obsession to please the other person
This is one thing that automatically makes people nervous and causes blunders when they set out to break the ice and talk to someone for the first time. The desire to please the person you are approaching for the first time puts you under unnecessary pressure and even further impresses the notion that the other person is superior to you.
Just come out plain
There are too many tricks and schemes to help you break the ice and start a conversation because you are actually nervous about meeting to talk to someone for the first time. Well, here is a suggestion that would seem awkward for almost everyone who reads it. Just tell the other person you are meeting; “i am usually not great at breaking the ice and talking to someone for the first time, but could I get to know you better? The advantage in this trick is that it will definitely throw 95% of people you use it on off balance. Now instead of you being nervous, the effect is immediately passed on to them. People are usually not ready for anything that just comes forth plain. We expect someone who meets us for the first time to probably go through some type of formal introduction before you two get to talk to each other. But if that expectation is not met, then you are thrown off balance and the person stands a better chance at breaking the ice.
Strike the sympathy cord
This involves starting a conversion by mentioning something about yourself or some other person that evokes sympathy and concern. It could even be an animal, just anyone or anything that is available at the moment and can be used as a topic of discussion. For example you could say “oh my, did you know that waiters are usually underpaid despite the many hours of work and customer attitudes they have to deal with on a daily basis? It does not have to be complicated, just anything that the other person can relate with. Using this trick usually works because people are often interested in what others are going through, even if they do not have the means or interest of helping out. It will be difficult for someone to ignore ice braking statements that evoke empathy.
Ask for a favor
If you ever find yourself in a situation where all other tips already mentioned seem inappropriate (and I doubt a situation like that exist), just remember you have one more option. Ask for a favor from him or her. You can ask him or her to help you hold your baby or bag while you do something briefly, help you get something if you are tied up etc. It all depends on the situation at hand. Whatever seems to suit the moment or opportunity will be just fine. Once you have the person’s attention and hopefully cooperation, you can be sure you have better chances of making use of any other tip mentioned here to continue the flow of discussion. You could go on to ask for his or her name for example, or to comment about the way the other person looks etc. Just make sure you take advantage of the opportunity ask for a favor and let it count.
Summarily, talking to someone for the first time could be a bit of a challenge but it does not need to be a mystery for you. You may have to go out of your way sometimes and do things you are totally uncomfortable with, but I guess that is part of the price we have to pay to meet great people and build relationships that last.