Communication is everything. It helps you with work, friends, family and just life in general. Here are some tips for the people who have a hard time talking to strangers.
1) Focus on the person- Make sure the conversation is about the person you're talking to. Sometimes, if you're nervous during a conversation, you start talking about yourself in hopes that the person will relate.
Try asking questions back. If you're talking about yourself, finish that point and then ask "What do you think?"
2) Don't one up- OK, so people do this a lot without realizing. You hear about your friend's vacation in London for a week, and you remember that you were there for a couple months.
Suddenly, the conversation shifts to your experience. You might think you're relating to your friend, but in actuality, you're making their vacation sound like it was nothing.
3) Ask for a favor- Studies show that asking for a favor from someone actually makes them like you more.
This is great for me because I always ask for small favors on the daily. Seriously though, it makes people feel valued when you ask for a small favor.
4) Don't belittle them- This seems obvious but I'm referring to a particular line that you've might have said before. "You've never….fill in the blank." It could be anything like riding a bike or cooking a certain food.
Think about what you're doing. You're making the person feel self-conscious by putting them in a negative spotlight.
You're also giving off the impression that you're in some way better than them. People like when you make them feel good.
5) Let them in the group- So if you're in a group, and someone is trying to edge himself or herself into the conversation, let that person in the group.
You'll be regarded as kind and inviting.
6) Give eye contact- This one is huge. Put your f*cking phone down, and pay attention to who you're talking to. When you have a phone is your face, it's almost like you're giving up on communicating to someone.
If you put your phone down, and give someone your undivided attention, it shows confidence in the conversation you're having.
I'm no expert, but these simple steps have definitely helped me. Take these with you, and be the social butterfly you've always wanted to be.