Fact: you are part of a socially-networked, mobile-optimized, hi-tech, low-emission, gluten-free world. So while living as slaves to our screens, when do those dream serendipitous meetings get a chance to happen? Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to have every Chuck, Jim, and Mary on the street interrupt us and come a-chatting, but unexpectedly meeting cool people is the best.
Allons! These moments don’t have to be lost on the modern age! It’s all about giving new potential friends or dates an opportunity, so here’s how to be more approachable, every day.
1. Clothes speak louder than words.
Literally wear your heart on your sleeve - common experience is the easiest conversation starter ever. Remember that shirt you got at the Phish show last year? You know, the really heady one where Trey totally melted your face? Well friend, put that bad boy on, and you’ll quickly realize you weren’t the only blissed-out phan in attendance. And don’t forget your incomparably unique college experience that only your fellow alumni understand. Or your baffling life-long devotion to the Cleveland Browns. Next time you fetch groceries, go to the bank, hunt for your escaped cat, or retrieve takeout because you forgot you can’t cook anything worthwhile, throw on a garment that speaks to something you love - you may find yourself happily bonding with someone new.
2. Smiley face!
If you suspect that your natural countenance could possibly be described as “venomous” or “glowering,” this is one to consider. We struggle with this ourselves - it’s usually unintentional, and only rarely because we’re in a murderous mood. But at the risk of sounding like a Disney princess sing-along, it’s surprising what a difference a smile can make. While acting like a cackling clown may scare others, maybe just try a slight upturn in mouth corners. Not only will it project an attractive positivity and optimism to others, but you’ll actually be happier and less stressed as well.
3. Slow your roll.
Being a one-man stampede rarely leads to relaxed conversations. And sure, we’ve all been late for work and had to go full marathon for a few blocks. But this often goes beyond occasional tardiness, and becomes power-walking everywhere for no reason. Next time you walk somewhere (and don’t have a commitment), take a moment to admire some architecture. Peep a creative window display. Saunter through a farmer’s market. You might notice some other (potentially cute) people doing the same, because bottom line: no one’s going to chase you down to say hello. Unless they are actually chasing you down, in which case, probably go full marathon.
4. Pet more pets.
This is something of an animal lover’s add-on to the previous advice, but we’ve seen it work a thousand times. While you’re strolling instead of sprinting, you may notice more fascinating beasts than usual - specifically, Canis lupus familiaris. Not only are dogs excellent companions and garbage disposals, but they’re the perfect vehicle for striking up a charming conversation with someone new. And actually, also the perfect vehicle for babies to ride around the house, which is something you could discuss with your new friend.
Eyes off the iPhones! Go forth and socialize.