How to Start a Conversation and Build Your Confidence

How to Start a Conversation and Build Your Confidence

Do you find it difficult, if not impossible to start a conversation with someone new? Maybe with people you know, but don’t know well enough to talk to?

People often say they don’t have the confidence to start a conversation with someone. Fortunately, that’s rubbish 🙂

As a human being, you start conversations every day. Usually though, it’s with people you’re close to, not strangers.

I’m willing to bet, the real issue is approaching people you don’t know. So, what I’d like to do today, is give you some ways to smooth the process of approaching strangers.

Let’s get to it!


Reasons to start a conversation with a stranger

A lack of self-confidence can often be traced back to previous experiences where someone made a comment or took an action that affected your perception of yourself. Over time, these things might be internalised and accepted as truths, and that influences how you shape your life and make decisions.

It’s like they planted this little seed of doubt in your head, and over time, it grew into a whole tree that’s now casting a shadow over everything you do.

You start to think you’re not good enough or can’t do certain things. It’s like you’re carrying around this invisible backpack filled with bricks, making everything seem harder than it should be. And what do you do then? You retreat into your comfort zone – the place where you feel safe and there are no surprises.

Chat with a strangerBut here’s the thing: stepping out of that comfort zone, even just a little bit, can make a big difference. Think of it like dipping your toes in the water before you dive in.

For example, to start a conversation with a stranger might feel a bit awkward at first, but really, it’s just a small, manageable step into the unknown. And it’s much easier if you can manufacture a way to get a quick escape if you need to.

Do it right, and you’ll have the option to retreat back into familiar territory if necessary. It’s a way to gently push your boundaries without feeling like you’re in over your head.

If you can learn to start a conversation with a stranger, it’ll open up doorways to other things you didn’t think you could do…

  • Speak at meetings
  • Make friends at your child’s school, or the sports club, etc.
  • Ask for a discount at a flea market, or a boot sale.
  • Ask for a better deal on insurance, mobile, or internet charges, etc.

I’m sure there’s lots of ways, that if you could just start a conversation with a stranger, you’d get many benefits.


What’s the best way to start a conversation?

To be honest, you don’t have to start a conversation. You just have to approach a stranger and start talking.

  • For example, you could go to the supermarket and ask one of the sales assistants where you might find a particular item.
  • You could open your front door to the postman and ask them how their day is going.
  • If you have a Dog, try talking to other Dog walkers. Pet owners love to talk about their pets!


Are there any techniques I should know?

Start a conversation
About the only important thing to remember is to act friendly. So, how do you do that?

Step 1: Start with eye contact:

A casual gaze for 2-3 seconds should be plenty to show your interest. But, prolonged eye contact can make some people feel uncomfortable, so don’t overdo it 🙂


Step 2: Smile warmly:

As you prepare to approach a stranger, make sure you smile a warm, genuine smile.

If you feel a bit nervous about smiling at a stranger, try to think of something familiar that brings you joy. This’ll help your smile appear more genuine and welcoming.


Step 3: Relax your posture:

Try not to tense up your muscles. I know this might be a scary time, but if you feel yourself becoming anxious, take a few deep breaths and shake out the tension.

That’s really all you need to remember when you’re about to make your approach.


Conversation starters

All that’s left now, is working out what to say to the stranger you’ve approached. Here’s a few ideas to get you going:

  • Is there a coffee shop around here?
  • Do you know of any local spots for grabbing a quick bite?
  • I love your shoes!
  • You have a fantastic smile!
  • I like your shirt!
  • I love your outfit!
  • etc.


Final thoughts

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can see that approaching someone you don’t know needn’t be scary: As long as you behave in a friendly manner, the worst that will happen is they ignore you.

And, if you start by talking with someone who expects to have someone speak to them, like a shop worker, for example, there’s very little risk.

Start small and simple, then work your way up. As in all things, small steps hold the key to great successes.




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