How do you appraoch people you don't know?


Active member
I feel like this is one of my biggest issues.

Even in the event of an emergency, I feel like I would fail at being able to approach a stranger for help. It is almost like a double edge sword. I know it isn't a big deal and it is easy but when I go to do it, for anything really, I feel sick to my stomach. I don't even like talking to people in stores when they are ringing me up.


Well-known member
you work in customer service? hmm.. perhaps that's not the job you should be getting into if you do and you're feeling so horrible. I'd say it's good to think of everyone like they're a person just like you and try to do things in the way that's more relaxing to you
I understand how you feel, because I used to feel the exact same way. The thing is, it's hard talking to people when you don't know what to do or say when you go up to them. Then you start feeling all weird and awkward until you just want to run away.

It's okay. It happens.

What really helped me was observing others. I took note what the best conversationalists say and do when they approach people, and you start to notice a pattern. They all have similar habits that seems to win people over.

They do things like flash their eyebrows and smile as they approach. And then they introduce themselves, "Hi, I'm Mark. What's your name?" They compliment and get a conversation going out of the compliment, and they have all these subtle but very effective skills that makes their conversations great.

I wrote an article where I go over the most important habits and ideas when it comes to talking to people. Read it here: How To Socialize

Tell me if it helps at all, but I hope it does.


Well-known member
Depends on context. If it's an emergency, you just yell help. If it's your mailman, you ask him if it's been a busy day. And so on.
If it's about starting a conversation, I am not very strong at it but if they speak Russian, I would just say 'Hi, I overheard you speaking in Russian', the person usually smiles, I had the occasion to do this twice at my university, because Russian speakers are so rare, that I never think twice and always jump on the occasion.

I am going everyday to the library this week, had the occasion to approach some guys : *A group of girls, to kindly tell them to lower their voices (I was sad to notice that the other ones didn't even have the decency to ask them politely to shut it, they either made noise with their chairs, cleared their throats or downright shushed them)
*A guy I recognized from a meetup, we became friends since.

If I need something from people, I am rather direct, I apologize and ask them what I want, you need to ask yourself the following : Am I courteous enough? Do I really need to ask this? If yes, then go ahead! (I am not talking about striking a conversation with a pretty girl what time it is, it's a rather blatant way to ask for romance)

Just think about asking away, the sooner you get this over with, the better, if this is unpleasant I mean.
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Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!
Staff member
From behind.

I don't. :bigsmile:

If I am forced to - in an emergency or some other necessity - I will almost always apologise before I start saying what I need to say them.

Because I feel insignificant and I have no right to be imposing on their time - even if they work in the public service industry.

So even if I am in the Emergency Room of a hospital I would say "I'm sorry, but ...................."

Having a low opinion of yourself always makes you feel like you don't deserve to talk to someone who you consider a more worthier human being than you are.