For many people, no matter how long they've been navigating the world as an adult, talking to strangers is HARD. And often, the hardest part is the first step: the introduction.
Sure, the obvious first step is to say your name and ask the other person's. But as soon as that 3-second exchange is finished, what happens?
If both people are even the least bit awkward, the conversation will fall utterly flat. Both people will stand and stare and be stuck silently pleading for an end to that agony.
So it's a good idea to be stocked with a planned approach. It'll take some practice to implement, but its paramount to develop some kind of strategy to prevent awkward lulls or sudden conflict.
A recent Reddit thread compelled plenty of ideas for such a strategy. But be warned: many took a tongue-in-cheek tone.
random44325 asked, "What is the best way to introduce yourself to new people?"
A Flipped Approach
"I typically start off with a question about something that is going or some compliment. Small talk I use to introduce myself rather than to make a move first."
"A good move requires good foundation. Good foundation requires a good introduction"
Very Specific, Very Unhelpful Advice
"Hold up your hand as if or a handshake and then, as soon as they lift theirs a bit to reciprocate, lift both your hands as if you were going in for a hug the whole time. Awkwardly make them switch between handshake and hug a couple of times as you close distance, before committing to the hug."
"Then kiss them on the cheek, as they pull back, try to awkwardly get another two kisses in European style."
"Now just maintain eye contact while biting your bottom lip and you got yourself a friend for life there buddy."
Fake It Til You Make It
"This may sound kind of lame and corny, but it's the only thing that make introductions better for me."
"I force myself to assume the other person is going to like me. I'll say inside my own head, 'Of course this person is going to like me, because I am inherently likeable.' Something about this mantra hijacks my brain in a way that always makes the situation go smoother."
Makes it Sound So Easy
"In a relaxed, friendly way, tell them your name and ask for theirs. Then, with a smile, say that you're happy to meet them."
"If they seem receptive, ask them something about themselves - like where they're from. Make it easy for them to talk and encourage conversation by keeping topics easy and of mutual interest."
"Forget their name in 5 seconds apparently. Been doing it for years." -- TooKayEEEToo
"5 seconds? Don't even listen when they tell it to you." -- Der_geneaologist
"honestly why does this happen? I feel like there is some sort of automatic-forget mechanism in my brain whenever a new person tells me their name, no matter how hard I try" -- allofwhatyousought
Well It Would Show You Were Listening
"I generally just say 'hi, I don't think I've met you before,' then give my name and ask them a bunch of questions about themselves until someone else comes and joins us."
"Then I repeat back every single thing that they said to me in order to 'introduce' them to the new person. Freaks everyone out every single time. Would recommend."
A Couple of Funny Images
"Interpretive dance!" -- StanMarsh02
"Pocket confetti." -- Jean-Claude-TransAm
"I hiss at them and then keep distance. Proceeds to screeching if hissing is not effective." -- lorcankasai
Suppose it Narrows it Down....
"Hi, I am (insert name here) and I am not a nazi. That will certainly make people remember you." -- meme_me_Alone
"tried this at the secret neo-nazi convention in my town, didn't go so well." -- BooRocknRoll
"Nothing But Love"
"Stare deeply into their eyes, stick your tongue out and say in an unnecessary loud but not yelling, 'Waaazzzzzz Uuuuppppp.' Nobody will do nothing but love you." -- robbob9000
"Michael Scott 101" -- Prakrit69
"This jawn actually works in Philly" -- teknikless
Don't Forget What You Want Out of It
"Try to relate to them. There's no use becoming friends with people with no shared interests, find out what they enjoy." -- razor_234
"On top of this, read their outward appearance for cues regarding their interests or even just praise an item they're wearing that you really think is nice (ie. hey nice TOOL shirt you have)."
"This is a sign that the conversation will lead to a lengthy one as you two probably share the same interests"
"The venue is very important, as people with similar goals tend to congregate, intentionally or unintentionally. In a bar that shows Giants games in NY, the people at the bar will most likely be Giants fan, the people who show up at an anime convention will obviously like anime and related stuff, the people at an airport bar on a Monday morning will most likely be businesspeople and so on." -- zahrul3
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