If you feel dread when you have to talk to someone new, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with this, but even more so when they meet someone they have little in common with.

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Did you know that we imagine that we’re going to run out of things to say much more quickly than we actually do?

A 2014 study showed that people tend to ignore each other when using public transport, as opposed to looking for common ground. It’s thought that people do this because they assume that their communication attempts will be rejected. It’s also thought that people believe that others won’t be very interested in talking to them. 

The fear of being rejected by another person is so large that people often fail to communicate with others. Many people think that more than 50% of strangers would refuse to talk to them. In reality, just 5% of people refuse.

Talking to Someone you Have Little in Common with

When talking to someone you have little in common, with assume that you’ll find the other person interesting. When you assume this, you’ll be more open to talking to others. 

You should also realise that it’s ok not to have anything in common with someone. This does not mean you won’t get along, it just means you need to be more curious about their life. 

Be a Good Listener 

Being a good listener can make a world of difference. People like to talk about themselves. Listen carefully to the person talking and ask them follow-up questions. 

Prepare Yourself for Differing Views 

If you find yourself talking to someone who has different views, don’t try to prove you’re right. Instead, try to establish a connection with them. Side-step away from that particular subject if you can. 

If, for example, you’re talking about climate change, side-step by talking about the worst storm you remember, or how you’re happy you don’t live somewhere really cold. 

Expect Good Things 

Prepare for a different view but expect good things. When you talk to someone new, you can expect your mood to lift. Those who talk to someone they don’t know are happier than those who don’t. 

Remember, everyone is human, they have their likes and dislikes. Some people might not want to talk because they’re shy or they have things on their mind. This is ok. 

If someone does want to talk to you, listen to them. Find your common ground if you can and always be nice. 

Sooner or later, you’ll find it much easier to talk to someone you don’t know. 

 

We offer mental health help in Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline. Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk