How to Mingle
All of us at one time or another experience the fear of meeting new people . We don’t know what to say or how to approach a stranger and get a conversation going. Listed below are a few do’s and don’ts, plus some simple ways to start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Try some of these techniques today. You will be pleased with the results. The more you practice the better you’ll become and the less fearful you will feel.
- If you are at a party, wedding or any social gathering, introduce yourself with a firm handshake and good eye contact. A good thing to ask the person you just met is "How do you know the hostess?" or "How do you know the bride?"
- Before you attend any social event you might want to skim the headlines of your local newspaper or The Wall Street Journal or USA Today. You can bring up the headlines and ask people what they think or know about the topic.
- Pick safe general topics to discuss and try to avoid topics like religion or politics. These topics can bring out a lot of emotion for some people and that might be too much for a first meeting.
- Humor is great but NEVER tell off color jokes or jokes that poke fun at a certain race or nationality. Laughing at yourself or one of your own life experiences can be entertaining for others if done without foul language or insults to others.
- If you accept an invitation to a party it is a good idea to bring a small gift to the hostess or host of the function. You can be confident knowing that you have done something special. A gift like a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or something homemade makes a wonderful hostess gift. The gift should not be expensive and should not require any action or work on part of the hostess.
- When attending a function where you don’t know anyone ask the host or hostess to introduce you to one or two people to get you started. After that it is up to you to introduce yourself to others. If you are introverted or feeling shy you might ask your new acquaintances to introduce you to some people they know.
- Ask questions that show interest in others. Remember people enjoy talking about themselves and like it when someone shows interest in who they are and what they think and feel. Don’t make the mistake of just talking about you. Also don’t act like a know it all. Even if you know a lot about a subject it is best to ask others about their thoughts and opinions.
- Before leaving a party always make a point to find the host/hostess and thank them for inviting you. You don’t have to say goodbye to anyone else or announce your departure. When you know how to leave a function gracefully it is sometimes easier to attend the function and to stay.
Remember: The key to good mingling and meeting new people is to show interest in them. Smile, be enthusiastic and maintain a positive attitude. No one wants to be around a negative person that complains about others or life in general. Do your mingling The Positive Way and you will be very pleased with the results. Socializing will be fun and rewarding and not a painful experience. Enjoy!
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