The Power of Approaching People
Majority of us do not approach other people. We are happy being in our own bubbles, content with our smartphones and headphones. I used to be the same way. But then, I realized that I had to overcome this barrier and know how to approach if I had to succeed in my social and dating life. I hated it when I saw a gorgeous girl in the grocery store but never made the move to go talk to her. Later, I would spend time wondering about her and beating myself up that I should have gone and started a conversation with her.
I firmly believe approaching other people and starting a conversation is a big life-skill everyone should master. What stops us from approaching other people? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s fear: fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty. Approaching strangers also means stepping outside your comfort zone.
The biggest fear that we have among those is exposing our true selves and dreading that we will be rejected. This fear stops us from having so many interesting conversations, potential friendships, professional and/or personal relationships.
Has it ever happened to you that you see the same person every day, maybe during your public transport commute or at or around your workplace, but have never even spoken to him/her? Today, go to him/her, smile and say ‘Hi’. Nurture the curiosity within you, and make it a point to deepening those daily invisible relationships that we all have with the people around us. It’s worth it!
Below is a list of some easy ways you can approach someone:
- Give compliments: If you see a guy wearing a hat that you really like, let him know.
- Ask people questions: You can always ask people questions, random or specific. They can be good conversation starters. Once in public transport, I asked a person if he was going for the big event that was happening in town. He enthusiastically said ‘Yes’, and we ended up having a long conversation, where I was simply asking questions and he was doing most of the talking. He thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and had a big smile on his face.
- Be genuinely interested: Do not force or fake curiosity. If something or someone piques your interest, start a conversation. You can either compliment or ask a question about the thing that caught your eye.
- Comment on the situation or event around you: Just say something about the weather or the event/party that you are in. I would suggest making positive remarks and being optimistic rather than spreading negativity and what issues need to be fixed.
- Smile and say ‘Hi!’: If you have a severe case of social anxiety and/or are extremely shy, just smile and greet the person. Chances are the other person would be a social butterfly and will start and lift the heavy weight of the conversation with you.
Approaching people anytime and anywhere is like a superpower. Once I crushed my fear of approaching people, it felt as if a new world opened to me: a world that not a lot of people get to experience.
Random conversations are a great avenue to learn as well. Through other people’s life experiences and behaviors, we can pick out valuable lessons and incorporate them into our lives. I have learned tons of things about people, culture, and humanity in general through the conversations I’ve had so far. And I look forward to gathering many more lessons in the coming future.
In order to live a life of depth and meaning, conversations play a huge role. The more conversations you have, the better you understand people and life in general.
To be honest and fair, it’s a mixed bag out there. Sometimes you may have pleasant, life-changing conversations whereas sometimes you may only get a few words out of the other person or even get badly rejected. Keep smiling and keep going, you never know who you will meet next!
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