My husband broke his wrist recently and had to wear a plaster-cast. To his astonishment, he finds he’s being approached by strangers in the street and on the bus and tube keen to express sympathy for his poor broken limb and get into conversation.
The public anonymity that usually surrounds us seems to vanish when there’s an excuse to make contact. We’re social animals but we are also inhibited by social conventions from reaching across the barriers of this anonymity. Technology and social media haven’t helped in that we increasingly live in a virtual world where we communicate less and less in the real world.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting for one moment that you should sport a fake plaster-cast as a way of meeting a potential partner. There’re many other ways of breaking the ice. A woman in one of my dating workshops said she found that reading a beautiful, antique, leather-bound book on the tube triggered lots of friendly men approaching her, the book being a ready-made excuse to break the ice.
Leil Lowndes, I think it was, who said if you want to get into conversation with people, wear a ‘gizmo’, i.e., anything that is unusual and thus remarkable, even if only slightly. It could be crazy earings, weird trainers or perhaps just carrying a foreign language newspaper, even if you’re not fluent in the language – you can say you’re ‘learning it’!
Do tell me what works for you. And good luck!