How To Talk To New People: Approaching And Starting A Conversation With Someone New

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated April 4, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many of us wish to meet new people but aren’t quite sure how to do so. You might meet people online through websites, apps, chat rooms, or video games. It may also be possible to meet new people in person at coffee shops, grocery stores, churches, and other locations. Once you’ve met a new person, working on your conversation skills, seeking common ground, and reading body language may help you get to know them. If you have a hard time interacting with new people, you may wish to consider online therapy as a tool to help you become more comfortable with socializing.

Do you find it challenging to speak to new people?

How to meet new people

Meeting a new person digitally can remove some pressure from the situation. If the conversation gets awkward or goes awry, you may easily leave it behind and connect with someone else if you’d like. However, it may be more beneficial to challenge yourself to stay in the conversation and try a simple "I'm sorry, I misunderstood you. Let's try again!" Countless apps and websites may help you connect with people locally or from other parts of the world.

Websites and apps for chatting online

Utilizing chat sites and apps can be an excellent way to make new friends, but it's important to exercise caution. Engaging in online chats may give you a sense of instant gratification, making you feel like the perfect stranger chat partner is just a click away. Remember that online chat essentially eliminates the challenging part of meeting people in real life, connecting you with others who also want to engage in conversation.

Whether you meet someone through a chat service, chat rooms, or in person, it can still take time to truly get to know them. It's wise not to get too wrapped up in the process and give yourself enough time to understand others, rather than disregarding potential connections in pursuit of something better.

Chat rooms for making new friends

When it comes to chatting online, you might opt for a chat website based on a topic that interests you. Having a common interest can help break the ice, and there are often free chat sites and message boards for a wide range of subjects, from creative writing to parenting to travel. Even if you believe your hobby or interest is unique, you're likely to find a stranger chat room or online community centered around it.

Video games

Another method to connect with strangers online is through video games. Numerous games offer a chat site or forum where you can talk to fellow players at no cost. Engaging in random chat as you tackle new challenges and defeat adversaries together may lead to forming lasting bonds with completely unknown people.

Meeting people in person

Though connecting with strangers online is an option, many people still prefer to meet people organically at places like coffee shops, bars, hostels, churches, universities, or volunteering experiences. Approaching female strangers in person might feel more challenging than initiating a text chat, but it can also be more fulfilling. By opting to talk to strangers offline, you might accelerate the getting-to-know-you phase, and instinctively determine whether this person is worth investing more time in.

Getty/Luis Alvarez

How to speak with new people

After you have met a new person, what happens next? Here are some tips you may wish to keep in mind when you are first talking to this new person.

Master the first impression

It's natural for people to judge based on appearances. To create a positive first impression when engaging with female strangers online or in person, consider projecting the image you desire through your attire, posture, and body language. This isn't to say you should pretend to be someone else, but feeling confident in your presentation can help you be your best self. Approach the conversation with calm confidence, start chatting, and offer a friendly smile.

Craft a memorable message

When initiating a conversation on a chatting website or random chat site, consider starting with something more engaging than "Hey" or "What's up?" To stand out from the crowd, send a genuine message, like a compliment. Prepare a few conversation topics to kick things off, and the interaction may flow naturally. For instance, ask about their favorite restaurant or discuss your own dining preferences.

In general, it's wise to keep the conversation positive when meeting random strangers. Sticking to light, uplifting subjects set the right tone from the beginning.

Discover the art of conversation

When engaging in stranger talk or chatting in stranger chat rooms, consider actively listening instead of solely focusing on crafting your response. Active listening can be key to fostering meaningful conversations, as it allows you to ask relevant questions and create strong connections. It's easy to get caught up in our own replies when attempting to connect with strangers girls or others, which can be off-putting.

Remember, you don't need to say the "right thing," and there's often no perfect response. The crucial aspect is being genuinely present and showing genuine interest in what the other person has to say.

Seek common ground

An entry point into a memorable conversation can be common ground. Interests, hobbies, and passions are often natural fodder for conversations. Eventually, you might hone and deepen your relationship by discussing differences, but it can be best to start with commonalities. 

Read body language

In a conversation with a stranger, it may help to be sensitive to body language. Crossed arms, a lack of eye contact, and other "closed-off” body language can signal a lack of interest. If this happens, it can be best not to attempt to force a connection. It can also help to be cognizant of your own body language and try to keep it open so that the person you’re speaking with doesn’t assume you don’t wish to interact with them.

Online therapy may help you improve your conversation skills

If you’d like to improve your conversation and communication skills but aren’t sure how you may wish to consider therapy. However, you may find traditional face-to-face therapy intimidating, especially if you feel nervous when speaking to new people. If this is the case for you, online therapy could be an excellent alternative, as you may be able to speak to a licensed therapist through a phone call or written messages if you are not comfortable with video chat.

Research has shown that online, online cognitive-behavioral therapy can be quite effective in treating symptoms of stress and anxiety, which are often involved in challenges with communication. An online therapist may also be able to teach you helpful communication skills.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Do you find it challenging to speak to new people?


Meeting new people can be challenging at times. There may be many ways for you to meet new people, whether you'd prefer to do so in person, at a coffee shop or other public location, or online via a website, app, chat room, or engaging in video calls. There can be many methods of getting to know new people as well, such as seeking common ground, reading body language, and employing your conversation skills. If you find it challenging to communicate with new people, online therapy may be a helpful option for you.
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