Have you ever wondered how come some people, when they enter a room where they literally know no one (save for the host, maybe), five minutes later they are already friends with half of the entire floor? There are actually people like this, and to many introverts and socially awkward penguins this is a skill that is desired more than the garden of Eden.
So, how do you actually make friends in a room full of strangers?
Hint: it doesn’t involve a lot of sweating.
1. Condition yourself to be cheerful and non-threatening before entering a room.
photo credit: Helga Weber
Before leaving your house be sure to condition yourself. Leave your house happy and confident, because today you’re going to make friends and have fun!
Don’t wear anything too restrictive, you would want to be comfortable in your clothes. You know what? Wear your favorite shirt and pants!
And when you finally enter a room full of people you don’t know, be calm and just walk around, look people in the eyes and smile when they maintain eye contact. Smile at people who smile at you, maybe add a nod here and there. Just seeing people smiling and nodding at you is already a great way to start your day or evening.
Do not, under any circumstances, look down avoiding people’s gazes. Don’t be a beta.
Before settling in on one corner, be sure to have a firm idea of how the place looks like. Walk around, check out people, maybe eavesdrop a little, and move on and find that one spot where you’ll build your empire.
2. Find the most quiet person in the room.
photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg
Look for that quiet guy or gal in the room, that person who appears to be uncomfortable because he/she’s got no one to talk to. You are like that person! The only difference is you are now loaded up with tips on how to actually make it work.
Be a friend to someone who is in need of attention (or is trying to get out of that place because they can’t seem to “do it”). Be a sweetie, approach someone, and talk.
Find that person and just say hello, ask what’s up with them, the usual questions.
3. Ask them questions about themselves.
photo credit: CASSIANIUS
People can’t stop talking about themselves. Everyone loves talking about themselves. Capitalize on that. Ask them questions about themselves, do they have pets, where do they want to go next for summer, what places have they been to, what are their interests, and the likes.
Usual questions that are great conversation starters are:
- ask them from where or how do they know the host of the party
- ask them about a place they want to go to for vacation
- general interests like sports, TV, movies, books
Never ever ask about work and religion!
4. Genuinely have fun!
photo credit: Éole
When you tap your feet with the beat of the music and crack a laugh with your new found friend, people around you will notice that you are having fun. And hey, they want to have fun too! In this case, they might just as well join you because they are curious of what’s happening. “Oh, look at these guys, maybe we can join in on their fun?”
It has happened to me several times before and I can vouch for this. Especially in a room of strangers, you can make friends by just starting a conversation with one person and by having fun. People will gravitate towards you — that is if you haven’t been pulled by someone else’s gravitational force first (which is also great!).
Once you feel that you are having fun and people around you are experiencing the same thing, just feel it and flow with it. You know that you’ve achieved your goal for the night (or day).
photo credit: vwynx
If you are an introvert like me you know the hardships of being surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people you don’t know, all seemingly talking to one another and having fun with an inexhaustible energy supply. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to have fun.
A simple hello, a text message, even just a wave takes a huge amount of effort. And a single “hi” won’t come out without forcing yourself to say so.
I’m not saying that you should cast away your true self and wear a mask just to have fun, all I’m saying is that in order to get what you want — in this case, to make the most out of the situation you are in (room full of people) — you have got to act a little and let it flow from there on. Go back to tip number two. That’s the person you want to talk to, but as many introverts don’t start conversations unless absolutely necessary, they tend to not notice each other, that there is someone like them in the room.
So, act a little.
Act being confident and you’ll be confident.
Most people are nice. They just want to have fun the same as you do. But not everyone is willing to kickstart the fun and that’s where you come in.
You now know what to do the next time you enter a room full of strangers!
Featured image by x-ray delta one.