What to Say When Meeting Someone For the First Time

What to Say When Meeting Someone For the First Time


It can be quite a nervous time when you are meeting someone new and often people can wonder what they should say. It doesn’t matter if it is a date, a new work colleague, a business meeting or someone you meet in a social situation, you can find yourself stuck for what to say when meeting someone for the first time. However, all of these situations offer you opportunities to strike up a conversation and begin a relationship on good terms.

The greeting

The first thing to do when meeting someone is to smile and greet them, telling them your name. A smile will relax you as well as making you appear friendly and open, so the other person also relaxes and feels more happily disposed toward you.

You should say your name (probably just your first name unless it is a business situation). Again, this relaxes you and the other person because it makes you appear open and it connects the two of you. It doesn’t matter that they may well forget your name later; you made yourself appear open to them.

Use the situation

You have met together for a purpose, whether that is a meeting, a party, or whatever. You can find some connection between you to talk about in that. If you are at a company meeting you could ask how long the other person has worked for the company. Or at a party you might ask how they know the host.

Beyond that, you could use your physical surroundings to find something to talk about. So you may ask about the other person’s journey or remark upon the decor etc. Ask their opinion about something and show that you are interested in what they think.

Keep it light

Keep your comments light and positive and you should get a response that is also in the same manner. Don’t voice any particularly strong opinions until you know the person better as it is possible you could offend them. Keep controversial conversation topics for a later meeting.


You have reason to be confident when meeting someone for the first time because in this situation they have never met you either. You are equals, both in the same position in that respect.

Even though you have to be a little careful not to offend people, don’t feel you need to put on an act. It is the real you that you need the other person to connect with and to like if you are to have a lasting and positive relationship so that is what you should present to them.
Use your manners

Even if you have offended someone on a first meeting, you can rescue the situation so there is no need to panic about it. Simply apologize and let it be known that it was not your intention to cause offense. If people can see that your apology is sincere and that you meant no offense, the vast majority of people will be fine with your apology and not hold a grudge against you.

Don’t outstay your welcome

If you are meeting someone for the first time, you may well want to keep the meeting quite short, or at least work out some kind of exit strategy if the meeting is not going well. Often, this is simple; all you have to do is say that you need to go talk to a friend you have just spotted across the room.

Be sure to thank them for their time in speaking with you and leave on good terms so they are left with a good impression of you and the door is open for you to go back to talk with them again.

So, what to say when meeting someone for the first time should be light, open and friendly. It should not probe too deeply into personal issues nor disclose too much of yourself. It is enough to smile and be open and interested in the other person and make light conversation about the situation that brings you together.

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