How To Speak To Strangers In Public

What Not To Do When Saying Hello To Someone

From the most awkward to the most casual greeting.


I know that everyone has difficulties saying hello people we see public, myself included. I figured I would compile a list of things for you do when you see someone in public and how you should correctly say hello to them, without being weird.

1. Don't ambush them or attack them/body slam them 


I did this the other day to one of my friends when I saw him standing across the road. We had this brief moment when we just kind of ran at each other and body slammed each other and just walked away. I would not recommend doing this to someone unless you know them very well because otherwise they might punch you.

2. Don't yell at them from across a big room or a field


I would not recommend doing this because it could be potentially embarrassing for your friend or whomever you are calling over. This could be bad to do to someone who doesn't like to have attention called to them. This could also cause the person to ignore you and not say hi back which would embarrass you.

3. Don't call them by a weird nickname in front of people who don't know you or the nickname


This could again totally embarrass them and you, which if you do this in front of people you don't know very well, could make the rest of your interactions super awkward. This could make your friend mad at you for sharing a secret nickname with the rest of the world. It also makes you seem weird and like you don't know their correct name.

4. Don't do something weird when you say hi to someone you don't know very well


For example, don't act like you've know them you're whole life. You should definitely act like you've known them for a long time because that makes people feel comfortable around you, just don't make it uncomfortable.

5. Don't wave like a maniac when you see them across the room 


You should definitely wave to someone you know, but you shouldn't wave your arms around like you are a bird or like you have no control of your arms.

6. You shouldn't act like you don't know someone if you do know them 


Something you should not do, is ignore the people you know because then you make things awkward between you two. You should say hi or wave or just acknowledge them. Don't be weird.

7. Don't call at them using a bird call 


This can make things awkward if they don't know it's coming and they won't usually know how to respond.

8. Don't try to hug someone you don't know very well especially when they don't want a hug


This can make for some awkward interactions and some people don't like to be touched. Make sure that the person knows that you want to hug them before you do so you don't accidentally get punched.

9. Don't do the handshake/hug thing


This is a very confusing thing that happens when you first meet someone and it can be weird and then you just end up hugging a fist. Don't hug a fist

10. ​DO​ be normal and do normal things


You should shake someone's or hug them when it feels right. You should wave if you know them. The most important thing to remember is to use good eye contact.

Popular Right Now

21 Things You Say To Your Roommate If You Two Are Practically A Married Couple

Until I made this list, I didn't realize how absurdly close my roommate and I were. #sorrynotsorry

Let's be real: you and your roommate have said these things at least one to each other.

1. "Can you turn the light off?"

2. "We probably shouldn't go out for dinner again...right?"

*Complains about not having money* *Spends $8 on Chipotle three times a week*

3. "I always pick where we go"

This is a fight you have with your roommate almost every day when you're roommate is as indecisive as mine.

4. "Do you have my keys?"

5. "Can you pick me up?"

6. "Is it hot in here?"

7. "Does this outfit look stupid?"

The answer is usually yes. No offense.

8. "Can you throw this out for me?"

9. "Can we get ice cream?"

10. "I need coffee."

This text is usually sent when you know your roomie is out running errands... errands you know are near a Starbucks.

11. "Can you tell me what happened?"

12. "Are you asleep?"

There have been times where I couldn't tell if you were asleep or dead... and I had to say this out loud to check if you were alive.

13. "Check your DM's."

*Cracks up in the middle of nowhere* *Catches a weird stare from your roomie across the room*

14. "Can you plug this in for me?"

15. "Can you pick a movie?"

Another instance where "I always pick" happens.

16. "Look at this girl's Instagram."

*Chucks phone across the room at roommate*

17. "Can you call me?"

18. "Can we meet up?"

19. "Can you help me find my phone?"

*Tries to leave the house to do something* *Loses phone* Every. Time.

20. "What should we do tonight?"

*Tries to get ready to do something fun* *Ends up staying in for another girls' night*

21. "Why isn't everyone as great as us?"


Cover Image Credit: Juliarose Genuardi

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.


Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

Related Content

Facebook Comments