Fortunately, by taking steps to keep your personal information private, being cautious when it comes to interacting with people you meet online, and ending communication with people who threaten you, you’ll be better able to safeguard yourself from predators.
This means anything you say is more likely to feel right (within sensible limits). But gentle, not too probing, questions show you're interested (and people find interested people interesting).
To help you feel this relaxed confidence when starting a conversation, check out the free audio session at the bottom of this page. Asking someone about themselves gives them the opportunity to help the conversation get going.
If you ever feel afraid to start conversations with strangers, put the following ideas into practice and ramp up your conversation-starter self-confidence even with the most dour of people. Start by asking them about themselves as connected to the situation. This is fine as some kind of opener, but the conversation could end there if you don't take heed of the next tip.
Before approaching your victim - sorry, target - no, err, imminent conversational partner, don't keep nervously looking at them as if they are a small pool at the bottom of a huge dive you're about to take. You're not 'taking the plunge' or risking everything; you're just being sociable. In this way, you initiate conversation by getting them to speak. If we don't light a fire in the right way, it may not take - and it's the same with conversation.
The good news for introverts is that this means working a room doesn’t require comfort with crowds as much as it requires comfort with yourself.
The problem is that it’s hard to figure out how to get to that interesting part of someone.
"To which a pedantic (and annoyingly bright) seven-year-old might reply: "What, never! "Shyness may have gotten you into the habit of always waiting for the other person to start the conversation. Actually, it's not so much what you say - within reason - but how you come across when you're saying it.
How about when I'm forty; at a party or having a job interview? Being totally at ease striking up conversations with new people in social or business settings hugely improves life as you simultaneously have more fun and create more opportunities. Sure, confidently telling a stranger they have a nose the size of Trinidad is unlikely to win immediate friendship however pleasant your demeanour.
But what if the prospect of starting a conversation leaves you feeling weaker at the knees than a jellyfish on stilts? But the fact remains that when you're relaxed and confident, you'll transmit that comfort to the person(s) with whom you're communicating.
Fear, especially unnecessary fear, blocks opportunity. If you've always tended to wait until new people start chatting to you, then it may feel overwhelming to reverse that habit. Well, often they fear saying the 'wrong thing', but what does that mean?
I ignored it until I could do so no longer, until eventually, for what felt like the sake of my sanity, I resolved to do something about it.