First published on Medium.
Starting a conversation with a stranger could be daunting, if you are an introvert like me.
I find myself hesitating, and wondering what’s going through others’ minds, even before I go up and say, “Hello”. Sometimes being too harsh on myself, I scare away people whom I have just met. I’m not really sure how it happens. Perhaps the silence.
As an introvert, I always try my best tostrike and maintain a conversation. The key phrase here is: “I always try”. Probably one will gain more life experiences, growing up? I began to realise that conversations with strangers have the potential to go much deeper, than they actually should.(That’s because I don’t even know them, right?)
1.Smile and Break the Silence.
Silence could be awful. It might be pretty weird too, because the two of you are just sitting in the same spot, for an extended period of time. (Tension intensifies.)
My acceptance to strike a conversation with strangers gradually increased over the years, as I also want to learn more from others. There’s this moment of growth, somehow? And this become easier along the way, or could turn into a habit, as long as we always try to do it.
Friends shared that the trick is to react quickly with a conversation starter like, “Hello” or even “Hi” and just smile sincerely. Even if there was an awkward silence, learn to accept it. That’s probably because both parties are thinking, which is a good thing, isn’t it?
Any tips could still go wrong, somehow, but I always believe that a genuine smile could always work its wonder!
Interaction with strangers once helped me to reconsider my goals and get back on focus. There there, that’s the moment of truth — conversations with strangers go much deeper, because they don’t know me. They give wise advice, and perhaps share the painful hard truths. And it’s a valid learning pointer!
Each time someone trusts you with a detail about themselves, nod and smile, then be curious enough to ask for more. You will be amazed by how this piece of information opens up your mind! And keep them coming.
I remember a quote an elderly man whom I met at the wet market once said “Any phase in our life doesn’t end, until we learn something from it”, and I guess, in our short acquaintance, I did learn a lot. It was fruitful. And I was thankful that he was the one who started a conversation with me by saying, “Hello, young lady. Have you had breakfast?”, and he rambled on to share about his beautiful morning with his infectious laughter.
The human connection is what makes life so amazing.
Cherish every learning moment, even a quick conversation with a stranger - it’s the simple things that often go overlooked.