How to Attract People at Parties in Shanghai

Don’t play it cool

Making subtle eye-contact for three hours and then feeling sad when someone else starts talking to that person you like, doesn’t make sense. Start the conversation! “Hello” usually works just fine

Don’t do the list

“How long have you been in Shanghai?”
“What do you do?”
“Where are you from?”


Try asking interesting questions. Or weird ones.

“Do you like penguins?”
“Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?”
“In less than 30 words, can you explain the workings of the Argentinian political system?”

Have a wing-man / wing-lady

Captain Jack (Latino)Captain Jack Sparrow

Hunt in packs. Don’t feel nervous about starting conversation with that good-looking person, by yourself. Mingle and walk around the party with another friend, so you are in a group conversation when it starts up.

Have a back-up get out

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Sometimes it doesn’t work. You start a conversation with someone, to quickly realize that they are boring and/or strange. Have a line ready to quickly leave the situation and move on, so it doesn’t get awkward.

“Oh sorry to intterupt you, my friend finally arrived!” … and exit.

Don’t hope for too much at first

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People at parties can be nervous, tired, or not their usual selves. If you have a great five minute chat with someone and then it kind of slows down and you run out of things to say, don’t worry

Get their WeChat and tell them you’d love to speak to them later. It might be nicer in a one to one conversation.

But be careful about a second meeting

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If you meet someone nice at a singles party, and you set up a second meeting, keep it casual, at night, in a bar, with friends. That way you can judge if there really is a ‘click’ there.

Meeting one to one at lunch on a working day won’t be a nice, relaxed way to see what the other person is really like.

Have fun!

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You look the best and most natural when you are enjoying yourself. If all else fails you’ve still got your friends to continue the night with afterwards!


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Categories: Expat Life, Play


Foreigner in Shanghai


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