If you’ve ever seem someone who looked interesting at a bar or out with friends, you’ve probably heard your friends say, “Just go say hi!” But that’s easier said than done. In this day and age, it’s hard to figure out the best way to approach someone without coming across as either awkward and weird or creepy and intrusive.
Long gone are the days of bad pickup lines like asking someone if they fell from heaven. These days, the best ways to start a conversation with someone you don’t know yet are a bit more personalized. Here are five examples of pick up lines that’ll help you approach someone you don’t know yet.
“Do you need help with that?”
Offering help is a great way to strike up a conversation and, you know, just generally be a nice person. See someone at the grocery store who needs help with their groceries? How about someone who just bought a round of drinks at the bar and could use a hand carrying them to the table? These are good times to offer help then introduce yourself. A simple, “Is there any way I can help out?” along with a smile is a simple kind way to say hello. Even if they say no, it’s a good way to practice approaching others.
“What’s the best place to get ____ around here?”
Asking for a recommendation for coffee, an Italian restaurant, ramen, ice cream, a beach spot… you name it, is a great way to start a conversation. If they’re even the slightest bit interested in you back, they won’t brush off an innocent question like that. If you’ve lived in town forever and already happen to know the best place in town to get coffee, make it a challenge see if you can spark a debate about it.
“I love your ____.”
Shoes, style, jacket, bag, laugh, picks for the jukebox, etc. Giving a compliment that’s genuine and kind is a nice way to approach someone. If they respond with a thank you and then ignore you right away, you know they’re not interested. But if they respond with a, “Thanks, I just got them,” or a flirty smile, ask a followup question and see where it goes.
“Can you help me out with something real quick?”
Whether it’s a question over which member of the Avengers is best or if you’re in the grocery store and need help reaching something, asking for help is a great way to break the ice. The key is, keeping the conversation going after.
“How was your day?”
Yup—another simple statement. But this can be more effective than you think. If you spot someone waiting for their friend at a bar, sitting next to you on the train ride home with their headphones out, or in line at the grocery store at the end of the day, they may be in the mood to talk to a friendly stranger. Listening, smiling, and asking follow-ups also help.
The best way to approach a stranger is to make sure you’re friendly and open, but never pushy. In doing so, you might create an awkward situation for both of you. Instead, you want to be observant, make sure there’s a positive aura around you, and find little opportunities to get to know more about someone. You don’t need a fancy line or a trick to start a conversation, just genuine interest and the bravery to approach someone you don’t know.