Here’s a familiar situation: You’re sitting on the bus, bored out of your mind, because there’s no one to talk to. Well, that’s not entirely true- there are other people on the bus as well of course, but you don’t know them, and you might be feeling awkward about starting of conversations with random strangers. So, you’re feeling shy? Don’t. Here are some tips and methods you can use to strike up conversations without the situation getting too awkward- you might even make a friend.
Be observant. The girl next to you on the bus is wearing a pin on her lapel. What is it? A random bauble? A Football/soccer club’s fan club member’s badge? Or do you recognize the legend on her shirt/ back pack? The insignia on her cap? The music blasting from her IPod (despite the earphones)? Bingo. Perfect conversation starter. Compliment the pin, ask her where she got it. Simple questions. Work best. Asking people about their interests is often the best place to start since that is an area most people will love to talk about. And you never know what you two could have in common.
Remember how they say that the first impression is the last impression? Well that brings us to Be courteous. Good manners go a long way so mind your Ps and Qs. Don’t push for answers. Smile. Offer to help a fellow passenger on the bus. They will remember it, and will be more inclined to talk to you and respond favorably. If you’re new on the school bus and someone’s asking questions, be nice. Answer back politely and again- remember the smile.
If you’re asked for an introduction on the bus, be polite and clear. Don’t mind if people are being nosy- their curiosity means you’ve caught their attention, and for a new student, this would be the perfect time to make good impression and make friends.
Be calm. Relax. We promise no one will hate you if you don’t think what you’re saying sounds exciting or interesting enough. Making friends on the bus is no different from making friends off the bus- those who are paying attention and are nice will probably be the best friends off the bus as well, and they wouldn’t care less if you don’t tell them about how many cars you own or where you went for your last vacation or even if you didn’t go anywhere at all. So calm down and be honest. And again, smile.
Pick their brains. So you’ve exhausted all possible conversation starters while sitting on the bus? Step outside the box. Are you at a tourist location? New at school? Ask them what they know about it. If you’ve gotten your schedule yet, ask them which classes they’re taking. Don’t push it! Again, courtesy and genuine interest will help you out more than anything else.
We’re sure you’ll find these tips helpful for making new friends on the bus or at least get you through your journey! Confidence, good manners, and that winning smile will help you on your way to making friends on the bus. And if you don’t get the first time, don’t worry. Chalk it up as a learning experience. Good Luck!
Sources and Citations