On meeting strangers
You should be meeting more strangers. Strangers are scary, smelly, often have lopsided feet, and more than anything, have a lot to offer you. Whether you are sitting on a bus, picking up your mail, getting a cup of coffee, or sitting in your house watching TV while secretly watching what you neighbors do, the strangers in your life have a lot to offer you.])
Talk to everyone and anyone.
I mean everyone. You would be very surprised how much the people you casually talk to can offer you exactly what you need. Once you talk to your first stranger, you will be on your way to learning more about the world. Through talking to strangers, you can learn about different careers, life struggles, current events, and occasionally a new cookie recipe. When your standing in line for groceries, getting a cup of your favorite drink, or sitting alone quietly. You can simply start a conversation with “hello, my name is _____” (please don’t actually say ‘underscore-underscore-underscore-underscore". Fill in your name instead). Another effective method is joining conversations that have nothing to do with you. While you feel like this is totally unacceptable and disrespectful (it mostly is), occasionally its a great way to get past all the awkward conversation and get straight to the point (“I love chocolate chip bacon covered whiskey dipped cookies too!”) From there you can take the conversation anywhere.
Break all the ice.
Global warm that shit. Start by being as intrusive as possible, so as to learn about the persons personal life. The sooner you can break the ice, the sooner you can have a new friend. Don’t worry that you don’t know anything about this person. Did you hear a word that sounds vaguely interesting? Does the person have really well hemmed pants? Maybe you want to know whats in the bag they are carrying (“So whats in the bag?”). Take them off guard with a question they wouldn’t expect from a stranger. Find a commonality and make some personal association to its relationship to you. (“Nice novel on ax murdering. I love ax murdering…”).
Make it easy to get in touch.
Get a business card. Have a portfolio website to show off. Make your twitter handle easy to pronounce. Stop using that email address you made in 2001 and make something that doesn’t have the . By talking to strangers and asking them what they do, you will naturally start up a conversation. (Unless you just creep the person out and need to run away out of fear. If you run away, don’t worry. They can’t judge you because they are still trying to figure out what just happened.)
But seriously. Go talk to a stranger. Go make friends with someone on the street. Jump in a taxi with someone, even if you’re not trying to go anywhere. And start making friends.