How to Make Conversation with People You Just Met

cyt conversation just met
Written by Paul Sanders

I’m about to help you stop wasting valuable opportunities to meet interesting people, by sharing with you my experience about how to know if you’re talking to a potential friend, and how to make conversation to kick start a friendship.

How To Know If You’re Talking to a Potential Friend

If you’re in a room full of people, it becomes important for you to figure out whether you’re chatting with a potential friend or just someone you’ll never see again. If you’re in an environment where you could talk to anyone, then that makes you want to talk to the right people.

cyt conversation just metHere is a checklist that will help you figure out if you’re dealing with a potential friend:

Do they focus on the same level as you?

Here, you want to know if they have interests that are compatible with yours. If you don’t care about what the latest app is, it’s not a good idea to try and make friends with an app store fanatic. Some people like mainstream music, brands, news, and films, while others prefer sophisticated and rare things. You need to stick with people who are at least a little like you because, in this case, opposites do not attract.

Do they have the same aspirations as you?

As you talk to someone new, try and figure out where they are heading. For example, some people seek more stability and security in their life, others seek adventure, discoveries, and thrill. It’s a good idea to stick with people who want the same things as you. Otherwise, it’d be hard to support each other on your goals, if you ever become friends.

Do they have room for new friends?

This depends on your friendship style: if you like to have both casual and close friends, then you can even be friends with people who have enough close friends, and who can have a great number of casual friendships.

If you’re only interested in close and meaningful friends, then do know that not everyone has room for that, as it takes more time and commitment. That’s why you should be a little more patient in order to find people who are ready for you.

Things to talk about to turn a stranger into a friend

If you’ve found someone that you think could be a great friend for you, then you may wonder what you should talk about so they realize how interesting you could be, as a friend.

The way I see it, the exact topics or things to talk about doesn’t matter that much. What really matters are the feelings, or vibes that you set out. I’m not talking about magic-powder or fairy tales, here is exactly how to set the vibe right so you can make friends with someone new:

You Must Prove You Can See The World Through Their Eyes

Here, your imagination will help you. People love to realize that you can imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. As you’re talking to someone about their situation (relationship situation, career, life stage, etc.) imagine that you’re in that situation and ask questions from there. If you can do that, they’ll see that you can really understand them, and that’s a great point for you.

You Must Prove That You’re Usually A Good Company (To Others or To Yourself)

This is easier than it sounds, because all you have to do is describe how you get along well with other, by mentioning your friends or your partner. If you don’t have any friends worth mentioning right now, you can prove how good of a company you are to yourself. You do this by just talking about how you enjoy doing what you do, or how much you trust your ability to overcome your current challenges.

You Must Prove That You’re Altruistic – A Giver

People like to hang out with givers. As they tell you about what’s going on currently in their life, try and find ways you can help them. You can either, introduce them others who can help them, or simply mention a resource, or a book that can help them get what they want. This proves that you’re a generous person that can give, and not someone who’s just trying to get-get-get.

The Rest Of The Story

I recommend you hurry up and get on my Free Social Skills Newsletter to read other tips on how to make friends, where to go, what to do, and how to express yourself in a way that let others see how much of a cool person you can be. Pronto!

See you there!
-Paul Sanders

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders's Get The Friends You Want teaches you how to:
Overcome Shyness & Loneliness ; Master Conversation & Social Skills ; Make Friends & Build a Social Circle.
Start here. >> Free Social Skills Newsletter


  • A really informative article. Its true that starting a conversation with a person you just met could seem difficult as you don’t know whether that person is friendly, has similar preferences like you, needs a friend like you etc. But it is necessary to put your right foot forward if you wish to be friends with the new person in your life! At you will find effective ways to make friends easily and maintain a health relationship!

  • “Do they have room for new friends?”

    I think for most people the idea of allowing other people into their vulnerable world is scary and most would lean on the side of NO!

    But if we able to shift our perspective to the notion of being surrounded by loving people who want to support you, the idea of new friends is a no-brainer!

    Thank you for this great post! @GrowthGuided

  • Paul,

    I love your points on the ways turn strangers into friends.

    As a naturally, “shy” guy that is trying hard to reform and become more extroverted and easy in social situations I think you get some great tips here. Some of these I’ve tried, and others I haven’t, but they seem to be spot on ways for making new friends.

    Great advice, thanks


  • I always enjoy your post Paul – I think you’ve got some great strategies – especially for us introverts. I’d never thought of assessing people for friendship potential before – that’s actually really freeing! Thank you

  • I get a buzz from short spontaneous conversations with people. Don’t often have the desire to be ‘friends’ beyond the friendly chat. To be honest after work l’m often focused on relaxing, not engaging people in deep meaningful conversations or relationship building. I may be missing opportunities. Particularly if what I’m missing is opportunities to make myself and others feel good. Thanks. You’ve provoked something meaningful.

  • It’s great that you mentioned thinking if that person is “friend potential”. It’s better to have a few friends that are the right ones, than lots of the wrong ones. Also, a simple tip I try and always remember when first meeting someone – Smile.

    • Hey, Josh,

      Thanks for your little tip, here.

      Definitely, smile at people when you just meet them. If you want to delight people even more, smile as you make eye contact with them. IOW, don’t be smiling all the time, but when your eyes cross with people, do so.

      It makes people get that it’s directed at them, and they naturally tend to see you in a positive way.

  • I am so bad at meeting new people. I find myself running out of things to say. Ill try out your advice, Maybe it will help.

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