Break the ice and start a conversation.
Talk about what you have in common at that moment.
Even if you’re somewhere that you’ve never been before with a group of strangers, there are bound to be commonalities. For example, if you are all at the same location, you can ask questions like, ‘How do you all know the host?’ or ‘It’s my first time here… is it always this rowdy?’
Share balanced opinions.
Keeping the goal in mind of beginning an interaction—what happens when you run across someone whose views don’t line up with yours? You will be seen as an unpleasant person, as most people cannot separate a civil disagreement with a personal vendetta.
Stay away from potentially sensitive topics.
Avoid talking about things like religion, politics, race, gender politics, or other divisive issues. You can bring them up, but don’t offer your opinion on them until you gauge how the other person reacts, if at all. You can start with safe topics like weather, current events, common personal experiences, etc.
Note details and provide your own.
Mentally catalog their details from aspects like hometown, occupation, hobbies, and other personal information that appear to excite your conversation partner, and return to those in times of doubt or impending silence.
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