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Five Steps to Meeting New People

by Sadie Peterson

Whether you’re moving to a new city, a new job, or just want to expand your social circle, these five tips can help you meet new people wherever you go.

1.Talk to Everyone – after years of watching a friend meet people easily everywhere he went, I realized his secret: he talks to everyone. I don’t mean just the cute mail guy, or the girl walking her dog. I mean everyone. Whether it’s the older lady crossing the street, your new apartment manager, or the drug store clerk, make it a point to say something to everyone you pass. You never know when you might have something great in common.

2.Smile – A smile is the best way to let people know that you’re open to talking to them. Particularly if you find it hard to start a conversation, a smile can help you get the other person to start the conversation.

3.Have something to say – Okay, I know it’s corny, but you CAN talk about the weather. No matter who you are or where you are, there’s something to say about the weather. Living in sunny San Diego, I usually say “It’s gorgeous outside today – wish I were out there!” or something along those lines. This lets people know that you like the outdoors, and that you’ve got a positive attitude. This works whether it’s raining (gee, we really needed this rain), snowing (wow, the skiing will be great this year), or cloudy (it’s nice a cool out today!). Don’t want to discuss the weather? Discuss a current event. Read up on the latest celebrity trial, natural disaster, or scientific breakthroughs, and you’ll always have something to say. In line at the grocery store, you can always comment on the magazine cover stories.

4.Ask Questions – You’re new in town, take advantage of it! Ask people where the best sports bar is, which museum to visit first, or where to find the perfect margarita, and you’ll get the ball rolling to meeting a new friend.

5.Compliment, compliment, compliment – You should never do this if it’s not sincere, but a compliment is always a great conversation starter. And, it starts the conversation on a positive note, so people are already responding favorably to you. Tell the waitress her shoes are great, compliment your neighbor’s car, let a clerk know she’s doing a great job.

About the Author
Sadie Peterson has helped hundreds of people meet new friends. Her website, http://www.aroundtownsandiego.org, helps members meet each other and explore San Diego.
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