Someone found this blog over the weekend by doing a search for how to make shy people come and talk to you. I thought it would make a great subject for today’s post as I’m shy in real life until I’ve gotten to know someone pretty well.
Take your pet for a walk. I often find it difficult to start conversations with strangers or acquaintances, but that hesitancy disappears when there’s an animal in the mix. I virtually never touch them due how terribly allergic I am to cats and dogs, but I sure do enjoy seeing a happy, healthy little creature out and about with their human. Telling someone that their pet is gorgeous, smart, or well trained is a great ice breaker.
Compliment them. Speaking of compliments, people often welcome them as well. I generally praise what someone has created – a book; a song; a clever joke; a beautifully decorated cupcake – instead of stuff they only have some control over such as their appearance. There’s less of a chance of them taking that compliment the wrong way. Also, everyone has at least one talent if you search long enough.
Ask open ended questions. For example, what are you looking forward to this summer? That kind of question can be interpreted as specifically or generally as someone wants. They could talk about that blockbuster they can’t wait to see or they could mention something far more personal if they chose. I usually like talking about stuff that isn’t your typical small talk, but I also appreciate having the option of keeping things lighthearted and non-specific if I choose.
Talk about what you love. I’m never going to be the kind of person who enjoys watching sporting events or drinking beer, but I still get a kick out of hearing why other people find that stuff so entertaining. You can learn a lot about someone by listening to them talk about their passions and interests.
Be kind. I find it much easier to open up and chat with kind people. We might not talk about a lot the first time they talk to me, but the second and third conversations can be much longer and more interesting if I walk away with a good first impression of them. I really dislike it when people try to pull me out of my shell the first time they meet me. If they let our interactions evolve naturally instead, they’ll get much more out of me in the future. From what I’ve observed of other shy people, I suspect that a lot of them are the same way.
Now I want to hear what’s worked for you! Let me know in the comments.