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How to start and maintain a quality conversation with a stranger?

How to start and maintain a quality conversation with a stranger?

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By Povilas S on Oct 23, 2020

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Benevolence is key

by Dragan Otasevic on Oct 23, 2020

Povilas S a month ago
I'll put on a bird costume next time I will want to chat with a stranger :D No, but really, this is a good idea, not only to imply benevolence as you point out but to make your own day more playful and joyful. This way you won't even need to start conversations yourself I suppose :D Although there are two sides to it because people might just think you are a nut if they won't find a rational reason why are you wearing it, so benevolence is a slippery thing in this contex :D Also including some charismatic/fun accent in your outfit might be useful and less dramatic.
Darko Savic a month ago
You could dress like a bird for science to test your hypothesis. Then approach a 100 people in the costume and another 100 without it:) This would work for you on several levels:

1. you would have a genuine reason to dress like that
2. rejections would hurt less because it's science and every result is ok

The title of the research paper could be "The big bird strikes (a conversation) again"🙂
Povilas S a month ago
Darko Savic😂
By the way I've done something similar ~10 years ago. I walked around asking people "Is this a dream?". The results were that around 30% said either "I don't know" or that it is:)

Spontaneous acts of good

by Juran K. on Oct 24, 2020

I speak if I have what to say

by Anja M on Oct 25, 2020

Start by writing (texts, chat) to the person

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 26, 2020

Povilas S a month ago
I agree with what you say and even more so because I'm the type of person who prefers texting over speaking, exactly because of what you said - you have more time to think about what to write, but that's one of the reasons I created this session - I would like to advance in the opposite direction and even more so with strangers, cause that's interesting and challenging:) So by a conversation I meant real-life conversations, I indicated that in the description of the session, but of course this might be a broader topic and for some people, advice on any kind of quality communication might be useful:) The interesting thing here is that some people really prefer speaking over texting. They even say they dislike texting, you can even make that into a bit humoristic sorting of people into two categories like with "cat person", "dog person", - "texting person", speaking person". Put some more categories and it's a start of a new personality assessment test:D

Confidence, feelings, and card games

by Martina Pesce on Oct 26, 2020

Povilas S a month ago
I found the approach with direct personal questions a bit hard to imagine to work in a real-life situation. There should be some kind of building up to it at least. You can't just approach a person and ask: "What was the last time you cried?". If there's no natural building up to that, then you would have to introduce yourself as doing some sort of social experiment or something. A much more natural way is to start a simple improvised conversation and if you see that a person is not into talking, there's no need to continue, but usually, you can guess this in advance from their sight, body language, etc.

You can simply say a compliment that you really mean, maybe you like their style, element in their outfit, etc., and this could be a good starting point. So no need for small talk, but also going straight into those types of very personal questions isn't a good strategy either in my opinion. It might be a good strategy with someone unfamiliar in a familiar setting, like a person you like and think they might like you too in a common party, but even in that case there should be some introduction into that, like a get-to-know-each-other game or an honesty challenge, etc., just it might go much more smoothly. But definitely not directly with a completely unfamiliar person on a street or in a coffee shop.

Also about confidence, I don't think you need that much confidence. You need guts to try and start the conversation, that's for sure, but if you need to pull it all the way through with your own effort then maybe it's not worth it. People will see that you want to talk, you are brave enough to make the first move, that you are afraid but still doing it and that's maybe even better than being very confident because they'll see you're honest and vulnerable human just like them.
Darko Savic a month ago
The 36 questions to fall in love is a pretty cool collection👍
Shubhankar Kulkarni a month ago
Martina Pesce I like the suggestion of "showing vulnerability". It is true and works most of the time. It is significant on its own and I suggest converting it into a separate suggestion.

Body language and some patience

by Antonio Carusillo on Oct 26, 2020

Povilas S a month ago
My interest is how much of the body language (like the wide-open eyes vs blinking, for example) we already sense either consciously or subconsciously without having to analyze it with our intellect. Because the involvement of the mind in trying to understand body language is kind of counter-intuitive to me - you might simply distract yourself from the actual sensing of the body language which is (I guess) natural to all of us.
Antonio Carusillo a month ago
Povilas SYes definitely we grew up learning - by experiencing them - the body language. However, it is also true that - at least personally - in some situations we are so focused about one task ( like coming up with the best opening sentence ) to forget about the rest. Like when you watch straight but you are actually lost in your thoughts so you actually barely see what is in front of you. So, in my case, I have to force myself to pay more attention such details.

Simple honesty might be enough

by Povilas S on Oct 29, 2020

Shubhankar Kulkarni a month ago
That is a good idea! I like it when people take me on face value - understand what I say the way I say it. But not everyone thinks that way. Some people enjoy the subtlety with which you can come to the point. Some people like to know more about the person than what they have to offer. Some people just want to be impressed. We then need to come up with all sorts of beating around the bush without sounding stupid.
Povilas S a month ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni "need to come up with all sorts of beating around the bush without sounding stupid" 😂 That is the definition of human communication:D

to start: breaking in someone else conversation

by Martina Pesce on Nov 03, 2020

to start: preventing the threatening instinct

by Martina Pesce on Nov 03, 2020

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