select MessageDesc from Message order by length(MessageDesc):
Hi, hi ,hi ,hi, HI, :), hi, Hi, Hi, HI, Hi, Hi, :), Wow, Hey, Hey, Hii, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hi, Hey, Hii, Hey, wow, Heyy, Heyy, Snob (oh yeah that guy!), Heyy, Heyy, sexy, Heyy, Plzz, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hiiii, hello, u wet?, thai?, Hi :), Hellos, Add me, Hey :), I’m new, Hey you, Hayy xx, not bad, be mine, Hey you, whats up, Hello :), Hey sexy, Hey sexy, hi there, Whays up, hey baby, Hey sexy, Hey sexy, Goodbye (wtf?), Hey sexy, Nice ink, Hi there, Gorgeous, Hi there, Hello 🙂
Ok I’ll stop. There’s a lot more but I think you get the point. (By the way, if you get messages like this and you think they’re irritating on an individual basis, seeing them all at once is really something else.)
So that brings me to today’s topic. These are NOT good conversation starters. Biggest reason? No context. I read hi and I start thinking, Why are you talking to me? What is making you want to engage me? What are you expecting? What do you want?!
Imagine you’re walking down the street, and someone comes up to you and just says “hi.” Nothing else. They just stand there waiting, staring at you, eagerly waiting for you to say something. And they’re standing right in front of you too, so you can’t just pretend like you didn’t see them. You could awkwardly reply “hi?” but you have no idea where that’s going to take you. Maybe they want to sell you something. Maybe they’re attempting to kidnap you but they’re being polite about it. Maybe if you say anything at all their next move is to get down on one knee and propose to you.
That’s what it feels like.
But you know what? There’s a really easy way to fix this and it will definitely increase your chances of getting a reply. Just tell me WHY you’re messaging me. As simple as it may be, there had to have been a reason why you wanted to message me. Scrolling through my results I came across some better examples:
- “Love your eyes”
- “Are you a model?”
- “You pose elegantly”
- “You look nice in latex”
Ok, so compliments will win you points too. But, see how these actually have context? I can respond to these. It might just be “thank you” but you’ll get a response.
But wait…one more thing. Don’t make this mistake:
“Hi, I love your pictures!”
“Thank you very much!”
“You’re welcome. So how are you today?”
The conversation will die right there.
If you’ve followed me for a while you’ve probably seen my “how are you?” rants so I won’t get into it too much. But doing this essentially invalidates your first message. You started out with a focused statement, and then jumped right back into a very vague question. I’m back to that feeling of you staring at me. And this time I’m probably going to make up some excuse to run away.
I say I don’t chat much because so many of my messages lack flow. A good conversation has a natural back and forth rhythm to it, where one statement easily leads into the next. It’s not difficult to achieve this: all you need to do is maintain focus and let the conversation build slowly. If you engage me, it’s up to you to guide that flow for the first few exchanges. You wanted to talk to me, so you need to drive the conversation. If you start out with something incredibly open-ended like “hi” or “how are you” it gives me too many options. I didn’t approach you. I probably don’t have anything I want to say. That’s why I often don’t reply.
So just remember: start out simple, maintain your focus, and give me something to work with. Do that and I’ll be happy to talk with you.