You’re single and wanting to mingle, sounds easy, and for some people it is. But for many of us it’s the most daunting prospect that can be thrown our way. I’ll tell you the moment it would get me, approaching a party or bar, during the walk up my pulse would start to race like a whippet after a rabbit and I would seriously consider turning back.

This trauma was only topped by actually walking inside and being faced with a sea of strangers, all seemingly chatting to each other in little cliques that looked impossible to penetrate. Now one odd ball would take pity on me and strike up a conversation, with no way to get out of it I’m stuck to him all night and lost any chance of talking to the many great people I could have met.

If you’ve found yourself nodding with any of the above situation then read on to the 10 best ways to talk to strangers and meet better people.

1. Take the pressure off yourself

You’re going to have a great time. On the scale of things, going out is going to be better than staying in alone, even if you don’t meet that dream girl/guy of your dreams. Go out with no other expectations than this, fun is to be had. You’ll have a little drink, catch a few laughs and meet some great people. Anything other than this is a bonus and without too high expectations you may relax a little.

2. Arrive early and catch that worm

I know it’s cool to be fashionably late but if you’re playing catch up on established conversations and tipsy levels, it can be harder to integrate. Arrive at the beginning and meet others as they arrive, the early ice breakers are always simple “did you find the place ok?” “have you travelled far?” You also have the chance to meet the best people before they are snapped up 😉

3. Have an arrival plan that’s smooth as butter

Whether it’s putting your coat in the coat room and getting your first drink, or touching up your lipstick in the bathroom. Get your arrival done in style and with confidence. This is the hardest part and giving yourself a few moments to acclimatise will help you ease into the evening.

4. Take a look around for the people you’d actually like to meet

Don’t end up stuck with the first person or group you met. Have a little browse around the room and find out who’s there. Where you see someone you like the look of, let’s say at the bar, get your drink next to them, this is an easy way to start a conversation while you’re waiting.

5. Talk to lots of people, of both sexes

Even if you thought the first person you spoke to is great, be sure to talk to lots of other people. Not only are the odds in your favour the more people you meet, but breaking rapport with someone when the conversation is going well, makes you seem intriguing and that first person will be keen to catch up with you again and chat some more.

6. Have a get out of jail card

This is a little trick for getting out of conversations you are tired of, without looking rude. Introduce another person into the conversation and slide out. It’s a simple trick and works every time. Turn to the person to your left and ask their opinion on whatever you’re talking about, once they are talking say “excuse me” and slip away and meet someone new J

7. Give compliments and be good at receiving them

If you’re ever stuck for an icebreaker or conversation starter, try giving a compliment. People are never going to mind hearing how nice their jumper is or how much you admire their necklace. If you think ahead you can wear something noticeable that has a little story attached (feel free to have poetic licence here) then when people compliment you, you have an automatic story to tell that makes you look really interesting.

8. Don’t worry about the competition

That hottie is going to be in demand but don’t let that put you off. Use no.7 and slide into a conversation with the member of your own sex. For example, you see a great guy but a lady is already talking to him. Saddle up and give her a compliment, join in the conversation while making yourself seem effortlessly charming. Men you can do the same thing but rather than giving the other man a compliment try complimenting the host on a great choice of venue or something similar.

9. Make future plans, real ones

It’s so easy to leave a party with high hopes of reconnecting with at least one of the people you met, but come the morning it seems like a bit of an effort. So strike while the irons hot! If you’re really getting on well with someone make immediate plans. Talk about somewhere you plan to go, an exhibition or restaurant, hopefully they will show an interest and you can suggest they come along. This is a simple way to touch base with them or them with you, on finalising these plans and making them happen.

10. Do not leave early or bore off

There’s always someone who has one drink and decides it’s not enough fun for them or not the right crowd for them and goes home early. Well I tell you who didn’t have fun and that’s them! Don’t let this be you, push a little past your comfort zone and stay out late, warm into events and give the night a real shot. You can often find a positive perspective and giving the whole thing a bit more of a chance; can turn your whole night around. You don’t have to actually fancy anyone in the room to have a great time and you never know, that special someone might not have read this and they might be arriving late.

I hope you try some of these if not all of them in your next social engagement. If you’ve been inspired to get out and about amongst other singles, why not RSVP to a fun event and take your luck off line by joining this great group.

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