So Apparently my original list of 101 Mingle Tips has not solved all of the dating and social skills problems in the world. There are still a lot of lonely, poorly mannered, and socially uncomfortable people out there. So here I am. Back with more tips for you, as I update my original posts. New information is below the original post.
When starting a conversation with a stranger, one of the worst things we can do is to start out with a comment that immediately excuses ourselves from looking bad. This brings me to my tip for today:
MINGLE TIP #46: DON'T LEAD WITH A CONTRADICTORY COMMENT
A contradictory comment is something like "I don't mean to be rude, but..." or "Don't judge me, but..." This kind of statement usually means that the following comment actually will be something bad!
This kind of comment is usually a bad idea because we are saying that we are afraid of the reaction we will get. It is a mistake to draw so much attention to our concern about the other person's opinion of us. We really shouldn't be caring too much about people's opinions of us anyway, but this is especially true when we don't even know the person.
So, how do we apply this to dating and/or social situations? Here is a list of phrases that should never be used to start a conversation with a stranger:
(1) "I don't mean to be weird (creepy, awkward, rude, forward, etc.), but..."
(2) "I don't normally say (or do) this, but..."
(3) "Forgive me for saying this, but..."
The reason that we don't want to say these things is that they can instantly make an interaction uncomfortable. It's unavoidable. The person we are talking to may not even think that our comment is rude anyway. But by bringing up the possibility that it might be bad, or that we are concerned that it will be something offensive can immediately kill that "just hanging out" vibe that we were hoping to establish.
So, try not to start convos with these or other contradictory comments. Say what you have to say and own it. Let the chips fall where they may. If someone is offended by something we say, apologize if you need to. Just don't go walking around on eggshells afraid that everything you say might be taken the wrong way.
UPDATE: Leading with a contradictory comment makes it look like you are playing it safe. It's best if we stop taking every interaction we have with the opposite sex so seriously. You weaken your credibility when you give yourself a safety net before you even begin. Be bold. If someone doesn't like what you are about, who cares. Move on.
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