How to Make Strangers Feel at Ease
What if you have to approach someone cold? How do you get people who might not want to talk to you to willingly give you their attention?
Use a Time Constraint.
This is especially useful when approaching a sexually interesting person!
When you approach that person, tell him/her that you only have a few minutes because you’re headed out the door / have to get back to your friends / whatever.
However, if you sit down next to someone at a bar and just introduce yourself or ask some question, their shields go up. Their reaction will often be something like, “Who are you, what do you want, and when are you leaving?”
When people think you’re leaving soon, they relax.
Of course, depending on how the conversation progresses, you might remain for hours. But your time constraint also gives YOU a good excuse for leaving if the conversation does not go well or if you do not find your counterpart very interesting.
Ask whether they have time.
Research shows that if you ask something if they have time for you makes them more likely to give you time.
Research shows that compliance rates were higher when the requester inquired about someone’s availability and waited for a response than when spoke to that person without inquiring about his availability.
Nobody wants to feel trapped talking to someone they don’t know. People are more likely to help you than you think, but they need to feel safe and in control.
Even if you get all of the above right you can still come off like a shady used car salesman. And that fear stops you from meeting new awesome people.