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Starting Conversations W/ Strangers  
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 916 times:

Anyone have tips on ways to start conversations with complete strangers, for example the hot female who happened to sit next to you -- or even the just a random guy in the seat next to you on a 2 hour flight?

I can usually judge from the "Hi how are you doing?" weather the person is open to conversation or not, but I don't have the slightest clue how to turn that into a real conversation. Once the conversation gets moving, it's not a problem it's just that initial 'hump' -- I've have some really great conversations with people next to me on flights but either they instigated it or somehow we just stated talking.

I'm becoming desperate in my singleness, and I've come to the conclusion that a large part of my problem is the fact that I can't just walk up to a person, esp. of the opposite gender, and start a conversation.

Tips appreciated, flames unnecessary -- and be aware that I failed "Hidden Curriculum 101" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_curriculum) so I just don't get (yet) some of the subtleties of human interaction...

Lincoln


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 905 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
I'm becoming desperate in my singleness, and I've come to the conclusion that a large part of my problem is the fact that I can't just walk up to a person, esp. of the opposite gender, and start

I have the exact same problem...



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 899 times:

I always start by just greeting them with a "how are you?" 'how ya doin?" sort of thing.
then I just lead the conversation on from there. Ask them where they are from, what they are doing wherever your at, and so on.
I've met some really interesting people doing just that.


User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3066 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 885 times:

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 2):
I always start by just greeting them with a "How are you?" "How ya doin?" sort of thing. Then I just lead the conversation on from there. Ask them where they are from, what they are doing wherever you're at, and so on.

Copaair nailed it: The trick to getting anyone talking is to get them talking about their self.
The trick to keeping them talking is paying attention to what they say and asking pertinant questions about it while never giving a dissenting opinion of your own.  Smile



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2867 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 880 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 3):
The trick to getting anyone talking is to get them talking about their self.
The trick to keeping them talking is paying attention to what they say and asking pertinant questions about it while never giving a dissenting opinion of your own.

I must try that when i call my roommate for the 1st time sometime. If you ever try riding long-distance trains and eating in the diner by yourself, you have a plenty of opportunity to learn how to, although I have always sucked at it and I guess never did it right.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 878 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Anyone have tips on ways to start conversations with complete strangers, for example the hot female who happened to sit next to you -- or even the just a random guy in the seat next to you on a 2 hour flight?

Easiest way for me is to find some common ground to comment on, saying something funny about it, or asking an open ended question that doesn't require a yes or no answer, such as asking for their opinion. A lot of people are put off by asking personal questions right off, so finding something going on around you to get the conversation going will make you appear less like you're just being nosey.

For instance, the last time I was on a red-eye, I was in the window seat and there was a guy in the aisle seat with no one in the middle, even though the flight was nearly full. As the door closed, we both kind of glanced at each other with that "aren't we the lucky ones" look, and he actually started the conversation by asking if I was just going to Atlanta or further on. He turned out to be an interesting guy who was flying on to South Africa where he had business.

If the only reason you want to talk to someone is to tell them all about yourself or rant about something, they'll get bored quickly. Remember that it's conversation, so you shouldn't just be asking question after question, without offering up something of your own. If you're at ease with yourself, the other person will usually be at ease with you as well.

Some people just don't want to talk, and that should be respected.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9304 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 861 times:

My advice?

1. NEVER start with "hello, how are you doing"

2. if interjecting or stating something, state a fact, not an opinion or an observation.

3. if starting a question by asking a question, such as asking for directions or something, ask the question but then state something about the area you -might- be familiar with. that they they know they are not dealing with a total idiot.

4. don't stumble on words.

5. never ask anything personal ... such as are you married, are you single, is this your boyrfriend. never volunteer that information about yourself, either.

6. don't go out of the way to compliment. starting a cheesy conversation and then going for a stupid compliment is a good way to come off as a douche or a tool.

7. bend the truth if ncessary. or lie. completely come across as someone with a clue and that you are an "interesting" person to talk to. if you're just a college student, you're here on a "uh, research assignment" for class. if you can get away with it, it's your first time going somewhere, or you "just moved to the area."

8. leave out the dweeb details. (not to sound harsh) don't tell someone you're "on a mileage run" or you're "here on a layover specifically so you can go spottiong." don't offer technical performance specifications on the airplane you're on.

9. if it gets to "that point," you were in a long term relationship for a while, and that ended, but you were dating someone for a bit and that casually ended about ... two months ago (that's a good number).

10. avoid sports, politics, and religion. in that order.

11. be prepared at any time to get nasty and throw down if it becomes a failed attempt at any time. remember, you have the power of being a strong black woman.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineCaptainJon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 861 times:

What about in situations where you aren't there that long? I was away on business and I was purchasing something at the mall, and while the cashier was assisting another customer her computer crashed. I asked what happened, --blue screen of death? She said yeah come over and look. So I did and then when she rebooted, it crashed again so I made a little (and dumb joke)--she giggled and in the end I got my item and I left. When I got back in the car I realised I should of asked her out for drinks. Or something, but she was still assisting another customer (since she checked me out after her computer came up rather than the other people that were there first).

I feel like such an idiot.  banghead 


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9304 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 856 times:

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 7):
When I got back in the car I realised I should of asked her out for drinks.

no. you shouldn't have.


you have been handed, though, what is called a "Gawk Pass." next time you are at the mall, you are more than welcome to walk by and intently stare in, see if she even recognizes you. if she waves at you, then you're fully entitled to stop in on your own accord and strike up a conversation. but even then, don't even ask her out for drinks. you have to do your homework first. she could be 17 for all you know.

the rule of any Mall Crawl is five visits/run-ins before asking someone out unless they ask you out first.

[Edited 2007-06-20 06:50:36]


Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineCaptainJon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 851 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 8):
no. you shouldn't have.

Hmm... Why not? At least grab a bite for dinner or something? I know of people that asked girls out like that and got married.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9304 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 845 times:

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 9):

as mentioned above, there are rules to the Mall Crawl.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineCaptainJon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 843 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 10):
as mentioned above, there are rules to the Mall Crawl.

ah... thanks... i feel better now.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 8):
she could be 17 for all you know.

and damn good point too.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9304 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 839 times:

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 11):
and damn good point too.

yes, btw, if you ever hear the words from a female of "well, my last job was at the Baby Gap...."

red flags should go up immediately.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 837 times:

If gavin were straight he'd be mackin' broads 24-7.
he'd be collecting more cherries than Ms. Pac Man
great advice my friend.

[Edited 2007-06-20 07:02:17]

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 815 times:

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 7):
When I got back in the car I realised I should of asked her out for drinks.

Craigslist's "Missed Connections" section  Wink



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 811 times:

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 14):
Craigslist's "Missed Connections" section Wink

The Rants and Raves section on Craigslist is the best.


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 801 times:
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Quoting STLGph (Reply 6):
is this your boyrfriend

If you are trying to chat up a woman who is with someone you have more balls (and less brains) than me!



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 801 times:

Quoting Andz (Reply 16):
If you are trying to chat up a woman who is with someone you have more balls (and less brains) than me!

I walked up to some guy and his girl one time and told him his girlfriend had a nice ass. He just stared at me. He wasn't willing to do anything, but it was funny.
I've done a lot of crazy things come to think about it.


User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 796 times:

If you're doing this to meet a girl, just ask

"Hey there sweetie, do you swallow?"

or perhaps go "Well hello lips, legs, breast, and ass!" (Quagmire)







If she gives you a disgusting look, slaps you, or calls the police, I'm sorry, but it was never meant to be.

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 14):
Craigslist's "Missed Connections" section

There's always some very interesting stuff on that site.




-NWA742


User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 792 times:

Or you could walk up to a woman with big breasts standing alone and say "how are you guys doing?"
That one always works.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 792 times:

I missed out on a great opportunity last October...

I'm Lebanese and I was invited to this cultural party/event/whatever you want to call it on campus by some friends, so I went to it. I'm not much of a dancer, but when the dancing started, these two beautiful Arab girls were standing around near me for an extended amount of time. They were pondering what to do just like I was, until this Arabic song they recognized started playing and that's when they walked away.

Now that I look back, I wonder if they were trying to get my attention...

I must say, I really regret that I didn't talk to them. I could at least have struck up a conversation when they recognized the song...



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 787 times:

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 19):
Or you could walk up to a woman with big breasts standing alone and say "how are you guys doing?"
That one always works.

 rotfl 

Now that I've heard this, I'm going to try it just for fun.




-NWA742


User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 784 times:

Quoting NWA742 (Reply 21):

Now that I've heard this, I'm going to try it just for fun.

There's more like that. You'd just have to drive around town with me for a while.
It'd rub off on you.


User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 780 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
I'm becoming desperate in my singleness, and I've come to the conclusion that a large part of my problem is the fact that I can't just walk up to a person, esp. of the opposite gender, and start a conversation.

Welcome to my world. Shyness sucks unless there's a third-party icebreaker.

However, I'm reminded of the classic TV series "Night Court," in which Judge Harry Stone would often introduce himself: "Hi, I'm Harry ... but, aren't we all?"  Big grin

What a way to introduce yourself, lol.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
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