How to Be More Outgoing By Playing "I Spy"

Eye megaphone cartoon.
Playing games with your mind can sometimes help you to be more outgoing. Getty / Erhui1979

I spy with my little eye somebody who is outgoing!

There is plenty going on at a social gathering for the shy person to be anxious about. Wondering how to appear social snowballs into a fear of looking awkward.

As you look for someone to engage in conversation, you step back into the shadows and quietly observe those around you, waiting for the right opportunity to sneak out or to be rescued.

You glance nervously around the room and start noticing details: an unusual frame hanging over the sofa, the beagle with a purple collar running around, or the number of pretzels left in the snack mix bowl.

These details, though seemingly mundane, can make great conversation starters with anyone.

Playing a silent game of “I spy” and chatting about the discoveries can make you more outgoing.

“I spy something gold...”

That unusual frame is worth examining. You wander over for a closer look. There are two people engaged in conversation nearby. It is not impolite to interrupt with an innocent question about the frame's origin, contents, placement, smell, or whatever!

From there, a new conversation forms, involving all three parties. If the two talkers are not interested in involving a third, social cues will make it apparent. They will answer the question politely or not at all and return to themselves.

In that case, it's on to the next round.

“I spy something purple...”

There is that beagle again.

Interest in pets is an easy way to be more outgoing, at least toward the owner or other pet lovers.

You give the dog a pat on the head, find his owner and ask his name, breed, age, whether he sheds, if he likes water, and where his purple collar came from.

Pet parents love to brag about their babies so this is a guaranteed successful start to a conversation.

“I spy pretzels...”

Lingering around the snack bowl will surely attract somebody hungry, and you will already know his snack preference.

This is a surefire way to learn more about the snacker and ask about other snacks he enjoys, recipes for home cooking, local restaurants that serve great food, and events that feature food.

As a basic human need, food is something we can all relate to, whether we do or do not enjoy that particular dish. The possibilities are endless!

This game is a fun way to come up with interesting topics for discussion during social situations that could be otherwise awkward for a shy person who has trouble contributing to conversation.

These are only three examples of conversation topics; however, any of the three could launch into full dialogues and even budding friendships.

The reason folks harp on the weather for small talk is that it is affecting everyone all the time.

“I spy” identifies immediate details that are worthy of discussion due solely to their presence and how they affect those in the vicinity.

You can start a conversation with one spied detail and slowly roll into new details and new conversations.

This practice is perfect for developing a more outgoing personality because it requires no invention at times when anxiety may be high.

With time it becomes easier to initiate conversations about any topic at all.

It is refreshing for everyone to have something to discuss other than the weather. If all else fails, you could simply engage another participant in a rousing game of “I spy!”

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