Do you find it easy to talk to stranger?

@scheng1 (24950)
Singapore
January 21, 2011 9:35pm CST
Some people have the gift of making small talks wherever they go. My mother happens to be one of those people. Even when she takes public transportation, she will talk to the person sitting next to her. After just ten minutes, they would talk as if talking to close friends. I do not find it naturally to just smile at anyone, say hello, and then start a conversation. I find it very awkward to talk so naturally to stranger. What about you? Do you find it easy to talk to stranger?
4 people like this
29 responses
@stanley777 (7177)
• Philippines
13 Nov 11
No, not at all. I only talk to strangers when I need to ask them something important. I am not really good with small talk and I am a bit shy to ask sometimes. My wife is quite the opposite though, she loves talking to some strangers especially when she is waiting in a line.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
13 Nov 11
Hi Stanley, generally women are better in making small talks than men. I think it will be very funny if your wife is very shy, and you are the one talking about kids, and gossips about the neighbors. I hope your wife can make use of her gift. She can be a very good telemarketing person, or those counselling jobs that help people solve personal problems. It is a waste to have such gift, and then use it to gossip.
• Philippines
16 Nov 11
That was a good suggestion but what I know of my wife is, she only talks on impulse especially when she knew the answer. She could talked for hours expressing her views and opinions to a subject but not for counselling or about sales talk job.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
17 Nov 11
Oh my, you must have a few pairs of ear protectors at home. I wonder why you never go deaf since your wife is such a passionate speaker. I think she will outlive you by a few decades. It is funny how those who can talk nonstop always live longer. I think we have to get scientists to look into that. Once they can prove that talking leads to longevity, then you can learn to talk as much, if not more than your wife.
@lkbooi (16102)
• Malaysia
22 Jan 11
Hi scheng1, it's easy for me to talk to stranger while waiting in the queue or in the market or hypermarket, or ... if we understand the same language. It's a nice way to kill the monotonous time in the long waiting queue. When shopping we could exchange knowledge gained on the stuffs which we wish to purchase. Some even would teach me how to cook deliciously the vegetable and ingredients I'm trying to pick. Some would tell me where to get the more quality with reasonable price But rarely want to talk to passenger who sit near to me while riding on public transport, especially the ones beside me. I'm afraid that some nagging passengers would keep on chatting and ignore that I need a proper rest in the long journey Happy posting
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
22 Jan 11
Hi Ikbooi, I think you will find it easy to talk to passengers in the public transportation if you want to. I do not normally talk to anyone in the supermarket or public transportation. I find it easier to read a book, even though I keep an ear open for new information. If anyone starts talking about great discount in certain shops, I will take a look if the item is a necessity. Even when I am lost in a place, I try to find my way out rather than to ask for direction.
1 person likes this
@lkbooi (16102)
• Malaysia
23 Jan 11
I live in a village in the outskirt of a small town and majority of the people I come across here are unsophisticated and easy to interact with others. Seems that people living in the rural area are rather simple and enthusiastic and don't have to be alert all the time that there might be someone around in the crowd or public might have malicious intent to take advantage from them. when riding on the public transport in big cities here or in my adjacent country I could see all the passengers engrossed in their reading, or listening to music, or sitting repose with their eyes closed. Showed that they felt reluctant to talk to passengers near to them, as well as didn't give any opportunity to strangers to approach them. Yeah, this is the best way to keep away culprits to take advantage from them
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Ikbooi, I have the same observation as well. I live in a city, since the whole country is a city itself. My mother grew up at a time when there were villages in Singapore, and neighbors could just walk into the house of each other. I think that could be a factor for her being able to talk so easily to strangers. For people of my generation, we tend to avoid eye contact in an elevator. The most we did for those whom we met every day is to nod and smile. Seldom say a hello or hi.
@GreenMoo (11842)
22 Jan 11
Yesterday I sat on a four hour bus journey, and thought how sad it was that the bus was packed yet nobody said a word to their neighbour. What a wasted opportunity to meet a new friend and perhaps make time pass more profitably.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi GreenMoo, I belong to those who never talk to fellow passengers. I prefer to sit quietly, enjoy the beautiful scenary or just read a book to pass time. I do not see it as an opportunity to make friends. I think you will enjoy travelling with persons of the same mindset, and end up making many friends.
@GreenMoo (11842)
23 Jan 11
I did not say that I DID talk to fellow passengers, just that I think it's a shame not to!
@aprilsong (1886)
• China
27 Jan 11
Yes, there are such peopel who got the ability to get familiar with strangers within minutes. They are most exocentric person. To others eyes, it maybe difficult to do this, but they can. I am not that kind of person, so most time i choose keep silent when being with strangers.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
13 Nov 11
Hi Aprilsong, sorry to reply to your message ten months later. i did not get to see it until now. I think some people are just born like that. They are so friendly and so kind that they can talk to everyone. Those who are spiritual minded, and train to be a priest or pastor definitely must have this gift. They need to make others feel comfortable, and they need to talk to strangers to convince them of the wisdom in their religions.
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
26 Jan 11
Hi Scheng! I thought you could talk to anyone. LOL I only talk to strangers when I feel they are just friendly people. I try not to talk to strangers when they want to tell you all their problems from infancy to now and of course none of it was their fault. I can say that there are not too many people I like. I am finding some nice people from writing though. Seems people who write get their problems out without blaming others. They also seem to like to small talk, which is fine with me. Most of them are positive people, like you.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
27 Jan 11
Hi Mommaj, surprise to hear that! I thought you are so good at talking to everyone and making them deaf. Those hungry ghosts are complaining that you even talk to them in your sleep. The worst is that your hands and legs gesture wildly when you are talking. Those poor ghosts got slap left and right! I think your country can send all the prisoners to you. They will hear you talk for 24 hours a day, and then they will beg for mercy. This is even better than the capital punishment oh! After three days, they will go deaf and crazy. After five days, they will volunteer to go to hell! If only Mommaj can write as much as she talks, she can make enough money to buy all the chocolate and gold coins in the world.
• India
23 Jan 11
It's not a good thing to converse with a stranger. However, I would converse with the stranger when I'm attending the interviews.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
27 Jan 11
Hi Anees, talking to a stranger to get information is different. Almost everyone can do that. If you have a problem with cell phone network, you will definitely want to call the customer service, and speaks to the operator. You will never get to know the operator personally. It is the difficulty of talking to stranger in a public place without a motive in mind.
@sunnycool (12737)
• India
23 Jan 11
Surely your mom is gifted ... she can make friends at ease very much like one smiles! I'm not that easy going when it comes to strangers and i seldom initiate a conversation with them.They never get an answer until and unless they poke me lol ... Great day.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Sunnycool, that is definitely her gift. Too bad she uses her gift wrongly. if only she uses her gift for getting a job in sales line, we would be very rich today. It is a pity that she talks about us, instead of the weather. I rather she talks less and let the stranger talks more, at least she can learn something useful.
@Pisces54 (49)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I am like you. I find it awkward to talk or make small talks to strangers. Most of the time my mind becomes blank when I try to find something to talk about. Anyway lately I try to start smiling first when I am with strangers and says hello. Most of the time they respond so that is the start of the conversation. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it is not. But it is worth a try.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Pisces, if it is work related, I find it very easy to talk to complete strangers, since there is an objective to the conversation. However, talking to a stranger in public area is very different. There is no distinct purpose, and the conversation can go in any direction. I prefer to read when I am travelling or waiting, so that I can avoid eye contacts with anyone else.
@yugasini (12814)
• Anantapur, India
22 Jan 11
hi scheng, yes i think it is easy to talk with a stranger,without meeting him how can be he will become friend to us,when i am young i never afraid to talk with a stranger closely,but now i am mostly never start talk with the stranger and if they ask i will complete the task if is not good to me i will stop there itself,if it is ok,i may continue,have a nice day.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Yugasini, you should consider taking up a sales job. I think those salespersons who can talk easily to strangers can make a lot of money, since they like talking so much. I do not find it easy, since I am a rather private person. i prefer to read books when taking public transport or just waiting for doctor consultation.
@veejay19 (3592)
• India
22 Jan 11
I usually do not talk to strangers or go out of my way as your mother does but i am a friendly person and i have no problem if someone whom i have not met before extends the hand of friendship.I am not a suspicious person by nature but careful.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Veejay, I do not find it easy to talk to complete strangers too. If anyone wants to talk to me, I will oblige, as long as the conversation does not turn into too personal matter. Those elderly ones are the ones who are always asking about work, residence and personal things. I always give a polite, short answer, or reply with a question.
• Philippines
22 Jan 11
No i won't find it hard to talk to a stranger, as long as she's a woman, decent looking person, or an elderly one. It's ok if it within a crowd or maybe we are both falling in line to buy something or pay bills. I can just talk civil without divulging some personal information about myself.We can talk about politics, socio-economic issues or health problems.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Lipstick, I think you have the natural gift to work as a salesperson. You may want to consider working in direct sales, or real estate agent. It is easier to make sales when you can build rapport with the customers. I do not find it easy even at the cashier or anywhere else. I prefer to read books, even at the cashier, especially on weekends when the queue is really long.
• China
22 Jan 11
I am not good at making approaches to strangers.I admire some people who feel like old friends at the first meeting with strangers.I think character is the decisive factor.Those who are good at making contact with strangers are people of outgoing personality.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Changjiangzhibin, I feel the same way. I prefer to just read rather than to talk to anyone. In this way, I do not even need to make eye contacts. When I was in foreign land, i would rely on the map, and tried to find my way out rather than asking anyone. It is a bit easier if people approach me and strike a conversation. Even then I get uncomfortable if the stranger starts to ask about where I stay, what job I am holding and other personal matter.
@nishant5n (1067)
• India
22 Jan 11
Confidence! The real thing is confidence. The first thing you need to count to become any "king of conversation" is confidence. Here confidence basically means that you should have some knowledge of your worth, i.e., self-respect, and you should have self-confidence. You should know that you means something, you amount to something, you have some worth, and that is what you need to project and show when you are trying to open a conversation with a stranger you meet. It is only when they understand and decide that listening to you will mean something to them, it is of some value to them, then only they will give their precious time to listen you. But, your self-confidence should be such that it attracts others to get involved with you, but this is more about self-evolvement than personality development. You need to evolve yourself in order to develop communication skills to start a conversation with a stranger. Personally speaking, about me, I had problems with conversations. I had difficulty talking to people if I don't know them very well and if they are stranger to me. I had very bad time in searching and thinking ways and different things to say with people I don't know. To become a "king of talking" I needed to addresses my problem in all respects and in each and every sphere of communication. I needed to know techniques about how to talk to strangers and how to speak in a business setting or in a conference room where there are a lot of strangers. Sometimes, you wants to talk to a person who attracts you when you are traveling in a bus or train, but ends up waiting too long and letting him/her get away. There are some good techniques which can help starting conversation with strangers and they have helped me too and are constantly helpful. Some of them can be summarized in a few points as follows: Critically analyze the environment: In any given situation where you are surrounded by strangers for example a bus, train, or tax just thing why you are there? You are there because of some purpose. You want to travel from point one to point two. Every has purpose like you when they are with you in that particular bus or train. They will also get off that public transport once their destination has arrived. They will definitely get off the bus, train, or subway at the very next stop. You can't and shouldn't hesitate if you're going to talk to someone. Of note is that only a few people wants to have some sort of conversations with strangers on their journey. So, you have to be decisive, but not, at any cost, aggressive. Make eye contact: Making brief eye contact can show the person that you are interested and will then eventually tell you or cue you whether he/she is interested in you or not. You can of course glance at that person, but never stare at her/him. Trying to hold and maintaining the eye contact for a second or two can be very beneficial. Later a few minutes, you can again try to make eye contact for a longer period, maybe about a few seconds to 30 seconds. Observe for reaction, if positive, you can start a healthy conversation with him/her. Your Body Language: Body language plays an important role in public conversation. However, people do not know much about body language, but they are influenced by body language during all conversation, knowingly or unknowingly. Don't ever cross your arms or turn away from the person whom you are talking to. Try to make your self appear open and very comfortable, and exhibit good and adorable posture. Looking at your watch will indicate that you are in a hurry and wants to go somewhere, so don't look at your watch. Ask a question to start a conversation: The best way to start a conversation is to ask a question. But not just anything or any question will do. Ask an open-ended question that requires more than just yes or no as an answer. For example, "How do you get to Taj Mahal? instead of "Does this bus stops at Taj Mahal? Actually what you are asking is not important as you are just trying to start a conversation. Listen attentively to response: Listen attentively to the person's response. Whatever they say in response to your question must be listened carefully as further conversation is based on your listening and paying attention to the conversation. If the person is interested in you, the conversation will probably continue and flow in a fairly natural way. You can also ask for phone number or e-mail address later on. Keep your expressions friendly: When making eye contact and during conversation, keep your facial expressions light and friendly, rather than straight and serious. This will help get get confidence of that person and will encourage flow of the conversation. Be the first to say goodbye: This will leave an extraordinary impression on that person and will show your self-confidence. This will also establish self confidence in both of you and his/her minds. Hope you will not find it awkward anymore and will become a "King of Conversation" in the very near future. Best of luck!
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Nishan, that is a really informative post. Actually when it comes to job wise, I have no problem talking to strangers. After all, in my job in the human resource field, it is about people. Most of the times, the first contact is initiated by the other party, for example job applicants sending in the application form. However, in some instances, we have to initiate the first contact, eg calling up different brokers to quote for insurance policies. However, talking to a complete stranger in public area is a completely different matter. There is no focus in the conversation, just a matter of seeing how things go, and chatting about general thing. I do not find it easy in this sense. I prefer to read books whenever there is a waiting period.
• United States
22 Jan 11
I am a very talkative and friendly person, so I have no problems starting up a conversation with a stranger. I won't get into personal life details, of course, but I will be friendly, say hi and other friendly things!
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Jessiicali, I think you can make use of your gift to work in sales and marketing job, even air stewardess or other front facing job. i am good only for back end support role. I prefer to read rather than to talk, and talking to complete stranger is definitely out. If I really need to talk to a complete stranger, I will. But there must be a strong reason, such as asking for direction.
22 Jan 11
Well my hubby says that he thinks i easily talk with anyone but i think it depends how at ease you feel with a person and if something was said that sparked a interest.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Housechaos, sometimes men have this ability as well. When I visited a friend in the hospital years ago, my friend told me about the patient next to her. The patient was a Chinese, and her husband an Indian. Her husband managed to make friends with everyone in the ward, and gained the trust of the nurses and the doctors. He just had the gift to talk to everyone and anyone. However, the wife was a really quiet and reserve person, even though she was very kind, and had a very friendly face.
@dragon54u (31298)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I didn't use to be good at talking to people but as I grew older I found that it was fun and nearly always make my day better and that of the person I was talking with. Sometimes the person needs someone to talk with or needs to know someone cares--they're lonely or have troubles. Other times it's just nice to pass the time with someone. It's so interesting to talk to strangers, you never know what they will say, where they've been, what they've experienced in their lives. I love striking up conversations with strangers and will do so in lines at the store or bank, in the shopping mall and just about anywhere I go. Meeting and talking to strangers is one of the more pleasant aspects of life!
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Dragon54u, I notice that those who are good at striking up a conversation are the older ones and the younger ones. Children become friends easily. Older folks become friends also easily, sometimes to the extent of sharing age and health problems. However, it is rare for a teenager or young adult to talk to strangers in the supermarket or the public transportation. I rarely see it happening. Even when we meet the same persons going to work every day, we still do not know their names or where they work. Just that we meet them everyday at the same time, taking the same bus or train.
22 Jan 11
I think I can talk easily to stranger. I can feel and easily observe the traits of a person whether he is bad or good. Some say that I'm too judgmental, I may have the wrong interpretation but it is better to assume a trait of a Stranger than giving the full trust to him (stranger).
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Royfelixabrio, in term of having gut feel about people, I have the gift. After all, my job requires it. Most of the times, when I handle job interviews, I can size up a person rather quickly. Even before interviewing anyone, I can judge the character of the person from the resume. However, talking to complete stranger in public area, and not for work related matter is a different story. Since I do not have specific purpose, I do not find it easy to start a conversation with anyone.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I used to work in jobs where talking to strangers was an every day occurence. I have no problem in talking to strangers. You never know when that next stranger will be your next friend.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Sender, if I need to talk to strangers for work related matter, I do not have any problem at all. There is a certain boundary, and we cannot exceed the boundary when it is job related. However, talking to strangers in public area and not for any specific purpose is a completely different matter.
@yogeshdhusa (2212)
• India
22 Jan 11
Its easy to talk, you just have to understand if the person is friendly or not.. i can talk to any one who is ready to talk. But it has a side effect, people remembers me and i forget them, I try to remember where did i meet him or her. My friends still say that why do i talk to other they might harm us and i say "you have to judge person from his first word while talking." happy mylotting
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi yogeshdhusa, I think you are good at customer relation kind of job, even direct sales, insurance sales and real estate. You definitely have a natural gift for making an impression, and gaining the trust of people. I am a rather private and quiet person. I love to read, and I will read at every opportunity. I do not find chatting with people an easy task, and I do not enjoy talking to people just to know where they stay or what they do. I rather spend time reading a thriller, even though I keep an ear open to the conversations around me.
@pipayful (32)
• Philippines
22 Jan 11
I don't have a gift like this,because I only talk to people when I knew him very much. My personality is a little bit paranoid that's why I'm not easily trust people.
@scheng1 (24950)
• Singapore
23 Jan 11
Hi Pipayful, I do not find talking to strangers an easy matter too. In fact, i read most of the time so that people do not just come up and start a conversation. I do not trust people easily, even if they are relatives. I think it is good to check and double check before taking a person into confidence. Some people are really good at saying just one side of the picture. It is only when we talk to more people, then we can see the complete picture.