How-To Break the Ice in Any Situation
Date Posted: July 24, 2014
Sometimes, the most meaningful conversations and memorable life lessons are results of strangers crossing paths. Whether you’re starting a new job, attending a party or being held hostage by a broken elevator, it’s good to have a few tools that will help you effectively communicate and connect with anyone who comes your way. Even if you’re not looking to make new friends, being able to socialize with confidence will inspire others to do the same, creating a pleasant environment for all (just remember, there’s a fine line between being confident and cocky – don’t be the latter).
It doesn’t matter if you’re the shyest person around or the most outgoing – knowing how to break the ice in any social situation comes in handy for all types of people. As a fan of ecigs, you may even experience curious strangers approaching you with questions and comments. Do they use any of the following tactics?
• Smile: The simple act of smiling at someone is actually quite powerful. Most people will automatically smile back and you’ll both experience a mood-boosting feeling of social acceptance. Just don’t flash a friendly grin at the shady characters hanging out in dark alleys…
• Laugh: Make a joke, comment or snide remark about something going on around you. Nothing breaks the ice better than sharing a good laugh. Are your wisecracks not resonating with your audience? Just take a puff from your electric cigarette and move on; not everyone has the same sense of humor.
• Introduce yourself: As soon as a conversation takes off in a good way, introduce yourself. The rest of your exchange will feel like less of a first encounter, making it easier to reconnect if you choose to stay in touch. (Tip: repeat your new friend’s name after they introduce themselves. It boosts your chances of remembering their name and has the added bonus of making them feel like you’re really paying attention.)
• Be honest: Most people react positively to a compliment. If there’s something nice you want to say to a stranger, say it. Maybe you were inspired by some guy’s outfit in the coffee shop and once you heard him articulately order your favorite iced latte, you decided he could be someone you want to know. Tell him – it may be the start of a meaningful friendship. And if he blows you off, he’s not worth any more of your time.
• Ask questions: From the ordinary to the ridiculous, you can start almost any type of conversation with a question. Find out how someone’s day is going, ask them if they have any pets or if they’ve heard about a recent bizarre news story (stay away from politics!). You can have some fun by asking if they’ve ever believed in mermaids, what’s on their bucket list or if they think aliens really exist. Just don’t ask questions you may not want the answers to. Seriously.
• Vape: Pull out your e-cig and you may become a human magnet; curious onlookers will approach with their own icebreakers, trying to get a piece of your vapor action. Even though e cigarettes have become more common, they’re still fairly new devices and non-vapers are usually quite interested.
Remember: Even if you’re the friendliest and most interesting person in the world, you won’t get along with everyone you meet, nor will everyone accept your attempts to connect. Don’t let it bother you – those folks have their own sets of issues…
We’ve all been in situations where we have to socialize with people we don’t know very well. How do you break the ice?