By Frankie Hart, October 31 2019 —
It’s late, and you’re just about ready to hit the sack, until — what was that? You swear you just saw something move in the corner of your vision. You try to shake it off and just head to bed, but then you hear a mysterious noise. You creep around until you discover the source. It’s a stranger, brandishing a knife! This is so embarrassing, you weren’t prepared for guests. These tips will help guide you through this awkward encounter.
Politely request that they step aside:
You weren’t expecting company at this hour, and you’re not wearing pants! Giving them a simple, “Excuse me, I just need to change into something more modest” will set them at ease about your (lack of) attire. Once you’re able to slip by them to change, you’ll be in a much better position for pleasantries.
Diffuse the tension:
Talking to strangers can be daunting, and small talk can be an absolute nightmare. The best way to properly start this exchange is an icebreaker. If you’re feeling nervous, maybe they are, too! Surely they’re just as aware of this awkward situation as you are — identifying that can be a great way to skip through the rigidity of small talk. Jokingly ask, “So, do you come here often?” This is sure to receive a laugh, sending you on your way.
Ask them questions about themself:
A great way to get to know somebody is to ask them big, open-ended questions about themselves. Trivial and surface-level questions such as “what are you doing here?” and “why are you holding a knife?” are conversational deadends to avoid, as they have short answers and lead nowhere. Asking about their interests is a great starting point, as it opens up the conversation without getting too personal, too fast. The last thing you want is for them to feel like you’re being invasive. Ask what podcasts they listen to!
Gently end the conversation:
It’s always nice to get to know people, but before this conversation you were, in fact, just heading to bed. Start to throw in cues here in there to suggest that despite the fun you’re having, you should be turning in for the night soon. Offhandedly mention, “I’m getting kind of sleepy,” and yawn intermittently, but in a way that conveys that you are interested in continuing the conversation at a different time perhaps, just that it should pause for the night. Once you find a natural pause in the conversation, close it out by saying, “Well, it’s been great meeting you, but I should really get to bed. We should do this again, soon.” This will balance your need to sleep while making sure you don’t end rudely — you didn’t do all this work just to leave a bad impression.
Exchange contact information:
Make sure to swap numbers or add each other on Snap, and maybe send them a pleasant goodnight-message after they leave. Maybe the next time you meet up, you can talk about establishing boundaries, but for now, you can rest easy knowing that future work will be built atop a solid foundation of a relationship.
This article is part of our humour section.