Zen Habits has a nice writeup today of tips for overcoming your shyness and learnign how to make it easier to interact with people when you meet them. A lot of them are quite basic (introduce yourself, ask questions, show interest in others) but there were a couple of really good ones. Resist the temptation to show off was a good one, but this was my favourite:
Be Generous. I’m not talking about buying drinks or a meal, but rather being generous in your opinion. It is all too easy to judge someone who says the wrong thing or acts a little differently from what we expect. However we have all had days when we make a terrible first impression by making an off joke or just saying the wrong thing because of nerves or a simple slip of the tongue. If you reserve judgement and spend time making that person comfortable you will not only spread some good karma around but will earn their eternal gratitude.
It's so easy to say something dumb when you're nervous or not sure what to say to someone, so the above advice really rang true.
So do you have any tips for making it easier to meet people or strike up conversations? Leave them in comments please!