Do you want to get better at making friends ? Do you want to connect more deeply with others socially and at work ? Do you want to be the kind of person who everyone wants to connect with ?
If so here are some practical tools that can help you strike conversations with others, deepen connections with family & friends and develop stronger bonds with your work colleagues
- Be genuinely interested in others – Everyone has an amazing life story. Where they are born, what their childhood was like, what did they want to become when they wanted to grow up, what hobby or interest do they follow in their spare time. Ask them about this, sit back and listen to them tell their life story. This genuine interest in knowing and learning about others is a foundation skill. Start by practicing it with the people closest to you and then expand it to friends and colleagues. It can often start with something like this – “ I noticed …., I was very interested to find out about…., did you ever ….., how was your childhood ……” etc
- Ask interesting questions – Key to get conversations going is to ask interesting and open ended questions that lead to broader conversations. Some examples that you can use with anyone to spark a rich conversation. What was your high and low of today / this year /last year ? Ethical Dilemmas – If you get a big bonus but it came at the cost of someone else getting sacked would you ? You found 200$ on the street – what would you do with it ? What were the most fun and wild things you have ever done ? Lights on or off ? Did you ever get into a physical fight ? Ever fail an exam ? Whats your view on…any interesting current topic ? What were all your nicknames and why ? Who inspired you the most in life ?
- Seek Advice – Everyone loves to give advice, even on topics we know nothing about. So go ahead and ask advice on topics that the other person may know things about. Pets, finance, travel, health – everyone has views on something or the other. Ask about them. Ask about the favourite advice they ever got from someone ?
- Role Play – Everyone has fantasies to be a hero or star in movies or do something incredible. Bring them out. If you could star in a movie what role would you play ? If you could star in a circus what role would you play ? Whats your favourite line from a movie ?
- Celebrity Interview – Do an interview celebrity style. List out a bunch of interesting questions that you might ask a celebrity and ask your friend or colleague or even a stranger. The world is coming to an end and u have 1 month – what will you do ? Whats the most dangerous situation you have been in ? Whats the Hardest thing you have ever done ? If you could live in any era in history where would you like to ? Ever broken any bones ? What do u hoard ? What is it that no one knows about you ? What can you keep eating ? If you were PM for a day, what would you do ? How long have you gone without a shower ?
- 3 Second Rule – When you see someone you want to talk to , in 3 seconds go and say something. Anything. Hello, hi, whats up, how are you – all work. As long as something comes out of your mouth it’s a job well done. This simple act of acting triggers us to connect with others without allowing our inner critic and judge to prevent us from stopping. Practice it and see how it feels.
- Smile – The most powerful weapon to turn strangers into friends. Practice smiling. You can. Imagine you are a airline stewardess and you have to smile at everyone. Try it. You will get better at it overtime and invite others to smile back.
You can make friends out of strangers. Begin today.