There were men & women from most of the countries one often hears of. But there was nobody as young as me. As I sat next to my mother, I looked at cameras flashing in a dimly lit atmosphere, as the guests shared humour (I'm sure of great sense), and sipped on to their elixir. Across the table where three men (definitely surgeons), from foreign lands. Spain or Brazil or Mexico I guessed in my mind. She (mother) was not unaware of the boredom I had been facing so she told me to ask them about their nations myself. I'd rather put a bag on my face and be all antisocial than starting a conversation with doctors so great. Now she took it to herself and greeted the three men. She introduced me to them as they introduced themselves. She asked them where they were from. Mexico, Spain & Spain. Not bad, I thought. She told them I had been guessing their native lands, and was quite close. Then, she had to leave. Conversations with strangers were always a terror for me. But, I was amazed at how those doctors made me feel so comfortable and I just had to give up my silence. We talked about our nations and they invited me to pay them a visit some time.
That evening changed my perspective towards people. Being older, more educated or richer doesn't make a person simply superior. And that is what gives me confidence. But, not everybody experiences such incidents. Most of us, we're bound to believe that we're introverts. Talking of my friends, subjectively, each one of them believes that he just can't talk to new people. And so, the majority of people you will ever meet, will present to you with The Introvert's Shield.
Unless a glass of wine does it's job, it's hard to get any words out of an introvert's mouth. You wouldn't quite understand what always got them from speaking out. Silence is golden and that's their rule. That's the shield you'll have trouble piercing through. Basically, their neuronal connections reach various areas of brain that makes them think, overthink, analyse & thus choose the information that comes out of their mouths. To talk to a person who speaks less than you, you need to understand their mind. What has been stopping them from expressing? What makes them so uncomfortable? Mind you, each one of us has infinite thoughts at one point and we choose what comes out in front of whom.
To start with, you NEED to know why they choose to remain in their cocoon. You meet somebody for the first time, they hesitate. They don't know you. So, stating the very obvious, introduce yourself in a way that fills them with confidence, in the politest way possible. Don't boast about your achievements, save them for later when they start opening up. Expecting a meagre response, now is the big deal, reassuring the person that you're here to LISTEN and that you are interested in learning about them, their experiences, and almost everything. Enthral them in the conversation by narrating your own related experiences.
Now that you both are on the same page, you may talk a little about your achievements. The person will now be interested in talking to you about things he wouldn't have said before. And you also managed to preserve your modesty.
To be the person, everyone remembers conversing with, be the person you'd love to talk to (here, 'you' should include universal ideas). Motivate them for something they've been trying to do, SMILE often, don't shy away from laughing. A cheerful person is always welcome, everywhere, anywhere.
Share your deepest thoughts and you may even get more inputs that influence them. Closing of the conversation should always express your willingness to talk more in future.
Some tips you may want to follow-
1. Appearance- your clothes & your demeanour have already decided who you'll be talking (and how much), once you enter. Take it as an opportunity to attract the best.
2. Not everybody enjoys flirting, to an extent it may be mood-lightening but, stop where you think there's no equal response to it. Or you'll have hard time filling the comfort gap.
3. Eye-to-eye contact- to make a person feel comfortable look calmly into their eyes with occasional gazes into the surroundings. This keeps them captivated. And so they don't feel nervous while talking, seldom look at other parts of their face.
4. Gestures- while talking, use gestures corresponding to your words. Make sure they don't go extravagant. Just a little wave here, a little curious brow rise there. This will not only keep them interested, but also provoke them to speak more.
5. Name- call them by their name throughout the conversation. This is one thing that boosts them with confidence & builds a sense of trust.
6. Observe & Listen- get your senses to work and let them be your weapon. Understand the words, their depth, their mere mention.
I may not be as sure to get you a date or a business deal, but this will definitely help you leave an impression on whoever you meet. The better you understand a person's reason for hiding things, the easier it'll be for you to tackle them. Make them realise that you value their thoughts. And that nothing they say is insignificant.
Amidst all this, don't forget to be your true self.