Conversations are the building blocks of relationships. As important as body language and eye contact and all that good stuff is, you can't really get to know people without talking. Now, if you're a normal functioning human being, chances are you know the basics of having a conversation. But very few know that art behind it, the tiny things you can do to really excel. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. Today, we're just going to look at step 1. So without further ado, here's how to start conversations with people you don't know.
~An important thing you have to remember is that you are not, I repeat not, opening. This is not game, leave all that terminology~ ~at the door. You're meeting people, not running game~
There are a million and one ways to start a conversation with people. At the same time, there's really only a few ways to start talking to people. When you meet someone for the first time, all you really have in common is the situation you're in. You don't really know anything about them, they don't really know anything about you. All you know is that both of you are in the same place at the same time, whether that be in a store, on the street, or at the office. So pick out something interesting about the environment, particularly something they are doing or looking at. Try and make it fun and playful, you want to come off as someone who simply wants to share the love. Here's an example.
[I was in a Hollister store and there was a sales girl folding clothes. I knew from experience that sales girls are hard to game, but I was in a talkative mood. She was folding pairs of bright colored skinny jeans. I walk up, pick up a pair of lime green skinny jeans and ask her with a wink "Alright, admit it. I make this work." She laughed, and we started joking and talking.]
Another tactic is very similar. Notice something interesting about them, either what they're doing or what they're wearing. People love talking about themselves, so asking a question right off the bat is always good. More on that later.
The best way to learn how to start conversations with people is practice (specifically, practice with people you won't have to see again). It requires a lot of social instinct, and if you don't have that it will sound slightly ackward and forced. Do not get discouraged if it does. Very few people can get it right off the bat. Just remember, you will never see these people again. There is no pressure.
An important tip for when you practice talking to strangers is this...smile. Always be smiling, laughing, being playful. It sends off subconscious signals that will make your audience more receptive