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Break the Ice
Untitled Document

BREAK THE ICE

Learn Helpful Tips on How to Break the Ice in Social Situations

break the ice, breaking the ice, how to break the ice, conversation starters, tips on how to break the ice, how to remember names, social anxieties, confidence
For hundreds of thousands of years human beings have been dependent on social acceptance for their very survival. Back in the day when we lived in tribes of hunters and gatherers, if you were rejected from your social group, you didn’t just blush- you died.

Even though being unaccepted by peers may no longer doom you to a slow starving death, it can hurt just as bad- and that is why many people choose never to try to get involved socially rather than be cast down with a dirty look.

However, if you can overcome your social anxieties, your life will be made much richer by its human inhabitants, and you will find yourself wondering why you were so shy to begin with. Connecting with other human beings is the most important part of life. Don’t miss out because you have labeled yourself as shy.

TIPS ON HOW TO BREAK THE ICE

Science may tell us we are either born either outgoing and extroverted or more reserved and shy, but there are ways for introverts to become more sociable and join in the party with all the extroverts. Here are a few tips:

BREAK THE ICE TIP #1: No one is anxiety free.

The first thing you must realize is that no one is anxiety-free in a social situation, even the people who strut in like they own the joint, say hello to fifty friends, high-five the bartender and proceed to be the life of the party. These people don’t possess some secret bone that makes them bold; rather they are as shy and scared as you underneath and have just learned to cover it up well.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #2: Talk to strangers.

Your mom probably said, “Don’t talk to strangers,” but you are no longer five years old and subject to kidnapping, so throw that advice right out the window. While you should always use your judgment, 99.9% of strangers are safe to befriend. In fact, that is exactly what strangers are: a big group of people waiting to be your friend. This is how extroverts see the world, not as a threatening group of stranger-dangers, but as a warm welcoming circle of soon-to-be-friends.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #3: Laugh at yourself.

In the process of becoming more extroverted, you will say stupid things, get really weird looks, and in general not be Rico Suave 100% of the time. That is okay, and in fact flubbing up now and then can endear you to people- after all, who wants to be friends with Little Miss Perfect? Personally I’d rather hang out with Little Miss Cake-on-her-Face.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #4: Keep it simple.

“Hey, how’s it going?” may be the only opening phrase you ever need. Remember, you are not recruiting for your next soul mate or friend for life- you’re just saying hi. So say it.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #5: Continue the conversation

Continue the conversation, even if you never said hi. Sometimes just jumping in with “Weird weather tonight, right?” or “What kind of chocolate is THAT?” is easier than going through the whole rigmarole of name, name, intro, etc. Nothing bonds human beings quicker than humor; if you can’t think of a joke, at least give it a smile.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #6: Never ask, “What do you do?”

Never ask, “What do you do?” right off the bat. You don’t want to be defined by your nine-to-five, so save this question for a little further in the future of your relationship. Otherwise you come off as someone with no life outside of your work, or worse, as interested in someone just for his or her financial potential. Which you’re not, right?

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #7: Forgot a name? Don’t freak!

Guess what? Everyone in the entire world is absolutely horrible at remembering names! Just say, “I’m so sorry, I forgot your name. I’m ______.” Chances are they forgot your name too and will feel relieved that you said something. Forgetting names is not a big deal. For tips on how to remember names, go here.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #8: Find new friends.

Modern communities are no longer based on geography or family but rather united by shared interests. What is your passion? What do you love to do? Discover where the people are who share your interests, and you will find it easier to be outgoing naturally. If you despise going out and mingling, maybe you are just going to the wrong places with the wrong people. Put some effort into finding your clan and it will be easier to be extroverted.

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #9: Ignore the haters.

You know those people who are chuckling at you, giving you the evil eye and sending weird looks in your direction? Ignore them. Haters will always be there ready to hate, because deep down they are terrified of getting hated on themselves. Save yourself eons of time and just ignore this entire portion of society, leaving them behind in a slimy trail of their own negativity

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BREAK THE ICE TIP #10: Believe in yourself.

This is the most important part of overcoming your shyness; you have to believe that who you are is worth knowing and sharing with the world. If you are convinced you are a lame and uninteresting person, you will be. If, on the other hand, you are certain that you have something to give the world and have big plans on the horizon, I have but one thing to say to you: “Hey, how’s it going?”

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SEE MORE ABOUT HOW TO BREAK THE ICE

Shilo Urban is a freelance writer who has just relocated to Los Angeles after her previous homes of Seattle, New Zealand, Paris, Maine, and Austin. She is an active member of the West Coast electronic music community and lives to promote the art that she loves and the people who create it.



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