Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

How do you react if a stranger talks to you, especially at uni? watch

Announcements
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by whyumadtho)
    Apparent origins and some more pictures on this Facebook group. :P
    Hahaha... this is the one I was trying to find:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...521317&theater
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by strawberry)
    Had none of that at all. No attempt to make small banter. Like I said, just inquisitive stares and then occasional stares over the night. I don't expect us to be best friends, obviously, but NO attempt whatsoever NONE? It was 3 separate student parties in the same venue at the same time on NYE ... I was extremely surprised that I didn't meet anybody new. Even when they heard my accent, there was no interest at all.

    10 days in the UK and I was ready for the US again.
    Did you actually say anything to them or did you just expect them to talk to you? It does work both ways, you know.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Cicerao)
    Did you actually say anything to them or did you just expect them to talk to you? It does work both ways, you know.
    I smiled at the ones who stared, no smiles in return. If you don't smile back at me, you're sending me signals that you're not approachable, hence I won't approach you. I know well enough that it works both ways, so I did MY part and got zero feedback. I hope I didn't look weird ... because I know I checked and I looked pretty normal NYE lol
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by strawberry)
    I smiled at the ones who stared, no smiles in return. If you don't smile back at me, you're sending me signals that you're not approachable, hence I won't approach you. I know well enough that it works both ways, hence I did MY part and got zero feedback.
    The smiling rule for approaching is a myth that's been made up on TSR (I'm almost certain, anyway).
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sil3nt_cha0s)
    The smiling rule for approaching is a myth that's been made up on TSR (I'm almost certain, anyway).
    Oh you, always coming to my rescue. :sexface:

    Wait, no. I hate you. Begone, child!
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by strawberry)
    Had none of that at all. No attempt to make small banter. Like I said, just inquisitive stares and then occasional stares over the night. I don't expect us to be best friends, obviously, but NO attempt whatsoever NONE? It was 3 separate student parties in the same venue at the same time on NYE ... I was extremely surprised that I didn't meet anybody new. Even when they heard my accent, there was no interest at all.

    10 days in the UK and I was ready for the US again.
    sounds to me like you were unlucky either in the people you met or the parties you went to. Were not all as bad as the impression you seem to have got.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well I cant say I have particularly extensive experience, but when I was in Oxford for my Uni interviews in December (being an international applicant), and also spending about 10 days in London I did notice a few things that might be relevant.
    Firstly, I can very well recognize the brusque, unfriendly attitude you mention, encountering it numerous times when I was there. In shops for instance, people virtually ignore you, and shop assistants will often fob you of if you try and engage in any kind of small talk or banter. However, I also realized that people with this attitude are not necessarily trying to be rude, or even indicating that they don't want to talk to you, but merely giving a reaction to a social encounter that they aren't particularly familiar with. If you give people a little time to warm to you, and get over an initial mistrust, they can actually be very friendly underneath. I remember trying to strike up a conversation outside my college at the start of interviews with a girl who had evidently just arrived, and getting little more than a contemptuous grunt in return. By the end of the 4 days of interviews however, we were actually fairly good friends, and she turned out to be quite lovely.
    Conversely I also had completely opposite experiences, of people who were literally the friendliest I've ever met, such as randomly hugging me on the street having never spoken to me before, so not all English people are the same.

    Secondly, I found it helps if you approach groups of people rather than individuals. I remember very well that people were much more friendly and welcoming if I approached a group of them rather than tried to talk to them individually, which seemed to make people go on the defensive somewhat
    There is a system of social etiquette for conversation, particularly between different sectors of society that I haven't really managed to work out yet ( but you can tell quite quickly if you make a social faux pas, as a sudden awkward silence seems to descend upon the conversation, and believe me, I made some terrible ones) and if your a foreigner people don't quite know how to talk to you, or where to place you in the scheme of English society. Talking to people in groups takes the pressure of any individual to make sure they are saying the right thing, and being around their friends etc can make them far more relaxed than being on their own.

    Thirdly, the English (or so I found) stereotype people quite quickly, so if your from the United States, don't act like the stereotypical brash Yank, or you will get quickly pigeonholed as such (I am a kiwi but I don't really act like the typical Kiwi bloke.)
    Hope this makes some sense
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by whyumadtho)
    Apparent origins and some more pictures on this Facebook group. :P
    I have nothing constructive to add to this thread, but there are some cruel comments about that baby!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I usually present my crucifix and shout "Get back you vile fiend of the pit"!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's to do with luck as well... if you aren't gelling with a particular group it's unlucky but it can happen. There's plenty more people out there. And for approaching said people, it very much is a case of knowing the 'rules' as it were, which you pick up from spending time here, I guess.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Do you mind when strangers start conversations with you, or talk to you? What about if another student does it at university, and even if they are the same gender as you and you are straight?

    I'm finding it awkward because I don't know what the boundaries are in the UK. I'm American and back home it's pretty normal for everyone to just talk to each other, even in a shop the strangers or even the workers will be really friendly and start talking about life. At college (university) in the US, students will also randomly talk to you, even if it is a guy starting a convo with another guy... It's a pretty different atmosphere to the UK.

    Over here I've found most people to be pretty unfriendly. Even with people on your own course they aren't that friendly or welcoming.. I've still got my American way of doing things, so just naturally even when outside I do sometimes make friendly comments but reactions were most of the time negative, they wouldn't say anything rude back, but you can tell by their facial expression and body language that it was an uncomfortable surprise to them.

    So I don't really know the boundaries in this country as to what is considered normal. Back home most people are pretty friendly and it's REALLY easy to make friends actually, and I don't get dirty looks for saying hello or any other comments to strangers. :rolleyes:
    Depends. Scottish, Irish and Northern English cities are a lot more open and friendly than Southern English cities. Reason being theres just so many people in London.. and a lot of people working there are commuters. Thats from my experience at least.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    They're pretty friendly round these parts, in my experience. It's not rare for somebody to strike up a casual conversation at a bus stop, at the uni computers while we're waiting for them to log on, taking the dog out for a walk, etc. Usually starts with a comment about the weather, heyhey Brits! :top2:

    Oh and this is in the North of the country, if it makes any difference. I'm not sure it does tbh, but that's just me.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    its cool mate
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    It's that damn old British reserve, I've got it, hell we all have it.
    If someone started talking politely to me I would not be offended though, nor would a lot of people I know. The difference is that British people generally find it harder to go up to a stranger and start randomly talking.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    As a Canadian, I’ve noticed that English and Americans tend to make friends differently:

    1) American way: Meet someone and immediately treat them like they are a good friend. If you guys get along you remain friends, if not you simply fade them out. It’s an easy way of testing potential friends quickly.

    2) English way: Start off by keeping some emotional distance between you both, and open up as you learn more about the person and can confirm that you get along together.

    Both are perfectly valid (I personally find the American way easier) but it can be very difficult for North Americans because we interpret the English way as being unfriendly when it is not.
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by polarbare)
    As a Canadian, I’ve noticed that English and Americans tend to make friends differently:

    1) American way: Meet someone and immediately treat them like they are a good friend. If you guys get along you remain friends, if not you simply fade them out. It’s an easy way of testing potential friends quickly.

    2) English way: Start off by keeping some emotional distance between you both, and open up as you learn more about the person and can confirm that you get along together.

    Both are perfectly valid (I personally find the American way easier) but it can be very difficult for North Americans because we interpret the English way as being unfriendly when it is not.
    oh i can't rep you today but yea this seems true to me (except i find the English way easier less opportunity for hurt).

    edit
    and it's really not that difficult when you realise what's considered more acceptable by each, if you do make mistakes with this in the UK i find it has to be serious for it to be held against you.
    oh also in case anyone says anything i do mean English. what i've said might become my opinion of other UK places but I've not spent enough time in the other UK countries to make such a broad generalisation.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Do you mind when strangers start conversations with you, or talk to you? What about if another student does it at university, and even if they are the same gender as you and you are straight?

    I'm finding it awkward because I don't know what the boundaries are in the UK. I'm American and back home it's pretty normal for everyone to just talk to each other, even in a shop the strangers or even the workers will be really friendly and start talking about life. At college (university) in the US, students will also randomly talk to you, even if it is a guy starting a convo with another guy... It's a pretty different atmosphere to the UK.

    Over here I've found most people to be pretty unfriendly. Even with people on your own course they aren't that friendly or welcoming.. I've still got my American way of doing things, so just naturally even when outside I do sometimes make friendly comments but reactions were most of the time negative, they wouldn't say anything rude back, but you can tell by their facial expression and body language that it was an uncomfortable surprise to them.

    So I don't really know the boundaries in this country as to what is considered normal. Back home most people are pretty friendly and it's REALLY easy to make friends actually, and I don't get dirty looks for saying hello or any other comments to strangers. :rolleyes:
    Im English, from South London, and I feel similar to you in the sense that I actually like to talk to people randomly but you dont always get very good responses. I understand that some people feel uncomfortable because theyre not used to it but I dont agree with how some people on this forum are justifying why its okay to rudely dismiss or assume someones weird because they start a conversation with you.

    I personally think a person who can start a conversation with anyone is someone with good social skills and probably a nice person. This should be admired. The tendency to turn your noses up at such people is something that in my opinion people should be ashamed of.

    I want to come to America now.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    This has only happened to me once. I was coming home on the train from a university open day. The guy opposite me started talking, next thing I know we are having a full blown conversation. He was really cool. I never got his name or details though

    If you think you are the guy I'm talking about, give me a PM
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    There is also the factor that in England, in general, the higher the social class of the environment in, the less friendly it is.

    Go to a posh area and nobody knows their neighbours or chats to people in the street that they recognise from their area but in a more average area, people tend to get talking more easily.

    I often wish that this country was more like the US in respect of people being more socially outgoing and whatnot. In some places here, people would think you were a wierdo if you went up to them in a pub and said "Hi, I'm Jake22" or whatever. British people seem to only be able to socialise with strangers if they are put into a framework where they feel expected to do so e.g. in the context of university - societies and in their halls of residence.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12969922

    a reason as to why we in the uk are a bit reserved?

    lol at this statement What on Earth makes a man say "you look lovely"?
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 12, 2011
Poll
Do you like carrot cake?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.