Top 10 Conversation Starters
We've all been in this situation before. It's a Saturday night and you're out partying with friends at your favourite bar. The drinks are flowing, the music is pumping and everybody's having an awesome time. When out of nowhere you lay eyes on the most painstakingly gorgeous person you've ever seen in your life. Your heart skips a beat as you even contemplate selling your future first born child just for the chance to talk to them. But as you think about walking over and approaching them your mind goes completely blank.
If you're like most people the idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger you are attracted to can cause feelings ranging from mild anxiety to debilitating panic. One of the biggest obstacles in the way of meeting more people and enjoying a healthier love life is not knowing what to say to people we would love to talk to.
The good news is that breaking the ice with people is something that gets easier with practice, and once you get in the habit then it will become second nature. It's also equally acceptable now for women to approach men so if you're a member of the fairer sex and wondering where all the good men have gone, consider taking the initiative and approaching a guy you find interesting from time to time.
There are many different ways to approach someone and none of them are right or wrong, just some work better in different situations than others. So here are ten different conversation starters you can use, find a few that suit your personality and go out and try them.
1. Tease them. Playfully teasing someone is a fantastic way to show that you are a confident person who knows how to have fun with people. Particularly in a bar or club, if you can joke around and tease someone it really makes you stand out from the rest of the people they have been having the same old 'Where are you from? What do you do?' conversation with. Recently I was waiting in line at an ATM and the woman in front of me was wearing a pair of cowboy boots. When she turned around I said, "Nice boots, have you got your horse parked near here somewhere?" She found it funny and I was able to get her number a few minutes later.
2. Direct. I'll never forget one night in a popular club in London when I was talking to two sisters from Australia. There was a particularly good looking guy that every girl in the place was checking out. While there were prettier girls there, one of the sisters snared the guy by striding over to him and saying, "I'm the hottest girl you're gonna see in here all night, what are you gonna do to impress me?" Confidence is attractive to both sexes.
3. Introduce yourself. As simple as it sounds, just introducing yourself with a "Hi, my name is (your name)" is a great and effective way to meet someone. If they respond with a smile then you're off and running.
4. Comment on surroundings. Wherever you are at there is always something going on around you that you can comment on to start a conversation. If you're in a bar, "That cocktail looks great, what is it?" If you're in a bookstore and notice them browsing anything you've read, "That book is great, I read it a couple of weeks ago." If you're at a gallery perusing an unusual piece of abstract art, "What a terrific painting, takes me back to my fingerpainting days in kindergarten."
5. Ask their advice. This is a good one to use for either sex, as all people love to feel that their opinion matters and they are being listened to. If you're in a bar or a restaurant you can ask them, "Where else is good to go around here tonight?" "What's good on the menu in here?" If you're out shopping at the mall, "Hey quick question, do these sunglasses (or whatever item you are trying on) make me look more or less sexy?" (Being cheeky and playful is good).
6. Compliment. If you approach and compliment a stranger then you are implicitly stating that you are interested in them. So if you're confident enough to walk up and say that you really appreciate their sense of style or that you just noticed how they really stand out in the crowd, you will go a long way towards making a strong first impression on that person.
7. Eye contact. Not every ice-breaker you use has to be verbal. Making eye contact with someone is a great way to gauge their level of interest before you go and talk to them. Make sure you don't stare at them though, nobody likes to be gawked at. Just hold their eye contact for a few seconds and smile when they look back at you. A word of warning though, don't just make eye contact with someone all night lest you want to appear creepy. After three mutual glances you have been given permission to approach them, so what are you waiting for?
8. Dancing. If you are in a loud nightclub it's often difficult to hear anyone talk, so dancing is a great alternative if you know how. It's no secret that women go weak at the knees for a guy who knows how to move his hips, so if you have any basic rhythm at all get out on the dance floor and strut your stuff. Dance for a few songs then suggest going to the bar for a drink where you can chat somewhere quieter.
9. Observation. Noticing something about the person that shows any similarity between the two of you is a great conversation starter. I was walking down the street one day when I noticed a beautiful young woman just ahead of me. I was thinking of what to say to approach her when I noticed she had a magazine in her backpack from the same college I used to go to. So by paying attention all I had to say was "Hey, you go to X college, right?" After pretending I was psychic and chatting for a couple of minutes it was only natural to suggest continuing talking over a coffee.
10. Come up with your own. Sometimes the best thing to say is the first thing that pops into your head. A lot of times we censor ourselves from saying what we really want to say because we are worried about how it will be received. The truth is a lot of the negative reactions we envisage only exist in our head; most of the time people are actually happy someone has the confidence to come up and talk to them. Even that cutie you can't take your eyes off is open to meeting someone new so let your imagination loose and come up with your own conversation starter.