Talk to a stranger as if he was your uncle

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In the book “How to find a job in 30 days”, I wrote a chapter about the importance of learning how to “break the ice” with strangers.

This article complements the text of that chapter.


Usually, we form an opinion about someone within a few seconds of meeting that person.

Knowing this, talking to someone new can be a very stressful situation.

Luckily there’s a very simple strategy to fight this anxiety.

What’s the trick? Don’t think about that person as being someone unknown.

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Instead of seeing someone that you don’t know as unknown stranger, do what the speaker and author Nicholas Boothman suggests:

“Talk to a “stranger” as if he was your uncle” – someone that would make you happy to speak to and with whom you can be yourself.

Boothman, the author of the book “Make people like you in 90 seconds”, has helped a lot of people become more effective and relaxed communicators.

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It’s an incredible way to make someone feel comfortable when speaking to you; talk to them as if you knew them already“.

This doesn’t mean that you should give details about your love life, which would be completely inappropriate.

Boothman says that to achieve this comfort in speaking with someone new, it is necessary to discover what you both have in common. It can be something as simple as the fact you have the same type of car or are wearing a coat of the same brand.

Researchers suggest that finding common ground it’s a good strategy to make people like us. According the “hypothesis of similarity and attraction”, we all tend socialise with people that are similar to us in some way.

When you find a point in common, it will make it easier to develop a relationship with that person,” defends Boothman.


Source: the original article by Shana Lebowitz on Business Insider.

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