You never know when an earthquake or tornado will hit. Well, actually you will know about the tornado, but go along with me on this line of reasoning for a bit. This means that at any moment, the people you are standing in line with my become your intimates friends that you share the most intimate revelations with. After all the world is coming to an end, and these folks are the only ones you will have. Or, at least that’s a possibility.
The point is this: don’t treat the strangers next to you like strangers. Treat them like potential friends. Be kind to them. Share tidbits of yourself and you’ll see that, as the lines in daily life increase, you will be surrounded by people who you like to hang out with. If only for a brief moment or two.
This view can also guide you in the use of your device.
You are a new comer to line bonding. You want to start up a conversation with the people around you, but you don’t want to come off as an airhead.
Use very standard opening lines with these people and see where it goes.
Start by stating the obvious, then tell something about yourself and ask a question. This is formulaic, but if a person wants to talk with you, it sends a signal that you are interested in line bonding.
- Start by stating something about the line that you are in, or the environment. It should be very simple, for example, “this line is moving at a snail’s pace. I wonder if they planned it this way.”
- Inject a little humor and a smidgen of sarcasm. Notice that you can immediately place this person on your side. By ganging up against the establishment, you are in essence saying that the line is on the same side. Literally you are, but again, it is important to state the obvious, at least to start.
- Tell a little something about yourself. For example, if it’s a line for a move, mention this: “I saw an earlier movie by this same director and it was awful. But I thought I’d give him another chance.” This reveals a tidbit about you: that you see movies and that you are the forgiving sort. Or, that you are just plain dumb to see another movie by the dud director. Don’t worry about the impression you leave. You have little control over this.
- Ask the person a little something. For example, “Have you seen anything else by this director?” Wait for the response and nod with interest.
- If the line-mate is a line-dud, ie, someone that is in line only for expediency sake and has little interest in those around them, then let the conversation go. Turn to another line-mate and see if you struck a vein.
You’ll notice how dead simple this is. Most people will not even go this far. Remember: don’t reveal your life history, intimate details of your sexual preferences, recent operations, your political party and the like. These topics are OK after awhile, but are taboo when you start out. Your introduction is meant to be low-key. See how the person responds. If they want to talk with you they will.