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Trouble talking to strangers? Script it out

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in Admins,Office Management

How many of us are secretly terrified of having to strike up a conversation with a stranger? It’s a skill that some are seemingly just born with while the rest of us falter.

Try this the next time you’re in a situation where the choice is either to stand awkwardly in a corner or go up to someone and start chatting: Have an opener all set to go. Scripting your first sentence will take the pressure off. Here are some go-to first words; notice that many of the examples express curiosity, which people respond to more than talking about yourself.

  • “How far did you have to come to get here today?”
  • “So, what do you think about this food? What’s the prize winner so far?”
  • “What would you normally be up to if you weren’t here today?”
  • “Is this your kind of weather, or are you planning an escape from it?”
  • “Feel like telling me the secret to having a good time at a function like this? I bet you have more experience with them than I do …”
  • “This reminds me of my high school reunion—ever been to one?”

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