How To Meet People
written by Cameron Brtnik
T0P 5: How To Meet People
Let’s see, what to do today… Go to work? Check. Pick up groceries on the way home? Check. Make dinner and put the kids to bed? Check. Read at least one page of that book I’ve had on the go for six months now… Sleep. Where in this whirlwind schedule of yours did you make time to meet people?
It seems the “art of meeting people” is lost on us. We’re too busy staring at our glowing, soothing screens (I know I know cliche, but also true). Too busy planning our artful escape off the elevator full of sweaty people we spent the entire ride trying not to make eye contact with. Too busy worrying about our home lives: I gotta talk to the husband, I can see Sophie’s going through some issues, when’s the last time I saw the dentist? Internal monologue that really wears us down mentally and physically. “Outside people” are seen as a threat to our own existence: “Don’t talk to me bub or you’ll screw up my mental grocery list.” But you know what’s fun? Getting outside your thoughts, and striking an “uncomfortable” conversation with your worried-looking neighbour in the elevator. Also chatting with that person behind you in the line at the grocery store as you’re paying for your Coffee Crisp. I guarantee at least one of you will leave the conversation feeling better about the world.
Without further ado, here’s my Top 5 Techniques on “How To Meet People and Break The Ice!” (or HTMPABTI)
1. Breaking The Ice – Don’t be shy; Approach people and you break the ice. Don’t open with the usual, “Hey, how you enjoying this party?” Rather offer something:a party trick, a funny anecdote, a compliment, or a corny joke. Once you become a person of value, this “just a second ago stranger” will be actually be interested in meeting you. Now go and Google “corny jokes.”
2. Keep the Conversation Interesting – Be outgoing, friendly, funny, gregarious… But don’t just talk about yourself (nobody likes a bragger…except other braggers); Bring up current news stories, talk about how you both know the host, share an embarrassing story, but most importantly ask questions about them!This person will be (happily) shocked that a stranger is so interested in getting to know more about him or her. Remember: Knowledge is power, and power is half the battle! Or something like that…
3. Ask Questions – Show you’re interested – I know I just stated this above, but it’s worth repeating. One way I engage people is not by telling them about me (although if they ask I will tell them) but rather by asking about them. Not just the usual: “What’s your name? What do you do? Have you been here before blah blah blah…” That’s interesting but not really engaging. Rather ask, “What are your interests?” See if you can bond over a common interest ie. sports, politics, your shared obsession in D&D. This is sure to keep the conversation rolling – at least until you tell them your nickname for the stuffed teddy bear you sleep with every night.
4. Name Game – Remember the person’s name! This is difficult (I do not now why it’s so difficult). My technique? I repeat the person’s name throughout the conversational least four times so I remember it. For example: What’s your name?”Daniella. “Pleasure to meet youDaniella. Daniella, do you enjoy waterskiing?” I’ve never been… “Haha that’s great, I can just picture you on a pair of skis on the lake like, ‘HeyDaniella! You have to be facing the boat!’ Well Daniella it was a pleasure chatting with you, how can we…” That was four times. It seems excessive when you read it, but it’s really not and she won’t even notice. And when you call her by her by her name at the end of the conversation, she’ll be impressed you actually remember it! Not like the last couple douchebags who didn’t and then expected to exchanges socials. Bam you win.
5. Keep In Touch – Rather than blatantly asking,What’s your phone number or Instagram?(this can feel intrusive especially if you just met) ask,”How can we continue this conversation?,”and let them offer their contact. A bit of reverse psychology for you!
Bonus: How to Remember a Name
- Repeat their name at least four times throughout the conversation.
- Think of a person you know with the same name who has a similar personality or hobby.
- Rhyme their name with something you’ll remember ie. Mike likes to hike, Suzy likes to drink boozy…
My Reading List:
- The Game by Neil Strauss (Don’t knock it till you read it! Useful for men and women)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and a passionate advocate of meeting strangers cbrtnik.com