Are you the person at your school who eats alone everyday at lunch? I’m sure it’s pretty awkward to sit alone and eat your food. It’s actually an ancient custom to talk with others while you eat. But, if everyone else is already in their own little clique, it can be tough to break in. But, you don’t have to eat alone at school anymore. Here are three tips to make friends at lunch.
Take the Initiative
Chances are you are not the only person eating alone. But, they’re also waiting for someone to talk to them. So, you can be that person. If you see another person who has no one to talk to at lunch, then go up and actually talk to him or her. If both of you wait to be approached, then neither of you will ever have anyone to eat with at lunch. Just go over and do it. But, make sure the person is at least friendly and open to conversation. Some people actually like eating alone.
Ask Open Ended Questions
If you’re nervous about what to say, just remember you can rarely go wrong asking open ended questions. An open ended question usually involves “how” or “why” in some way. These typically require more than one word answers so they get conversations going.
So, you can ask something like “How are you today?” or “why are you eating pizza today instead of the main lunch?” and so on. If the person won’t say much, then you can always…
Talk About Everyone’s Favorite Topic
And, that topic is: themselves. When in doubt, ask open ended questions about the person. If you know something about him or her already, then you can use that to your advantage. For example, you could say: “I heard you play guitar. What songs do you know?” Another example is: “You really nailed that three point shot last night. How did you get so good at basketball?”
Most people are happy to talk about themselves. And, if they’re friendly, they should continue the conversation and ask a little about you.
Build Rapport Over the Conditions
If you have nothing in else in common with the guy down at the end of the table, you both are at least in school, at lunch, probably eating crappy food. That’s at least something to bond about! You could go up and crack a joke about the conditions. Something like “Those hamburgers probably haven’t been fresh since Miley Cyrus was actually popular” or “the pizza today looks a little like Mr. Saunders’ face” would work. OK, maybe that last one isn’t a good idea.
So, try to branch out and meet new people at lunch. Taking the initiative, even if it’s hard at first, is worth having someone to eat with during lunch.