So Im a pretty introverted person, but when I moved out to study about a year ago I initially met a lot of new people. Mostly at parties and other social events arranged for students to get to know each other. However after these initial social events when the semester started, I saw a lot of people at campus that I had previously spoken with briefly but hadn't made a strong connection with either. A lot of the time I was unsure whether or not to say hi when I saw them, and many times it ended with me just awkwardly avoiding them. I found that if you see someone you've talked to before with saying hi when you see them, it gets very hard to make friends with them later. Sometimes I also experienced people I had talked to just walking straight past me like I was a ghost. The whole thing affected me a lot and I ended up spending most of the year in my apartment avoiding going to campus if possible.

I also find it difficult to know how to react in situations where you see someone but they're too far away for you to say hi directly (verbally).

How do I deal with these kinds of situations?

  • 2
    This question is very broad. I personally am not voting to close it, but I think that it will be voted to be closed. If you could make it more focused, I think it can be "salvaged" as it is a useful skill to develop. May 20, 2018 at 21:49

4 Answers 4


If you have already previously spoken with someone, I have seen no harm in saying a "Hi". 'Hi' is only supposed to be a greeting, an ice-breaker. There's absolutely no harm in going up and saying "Hi. I am XYZ. Remember, we talked at the party? Bla bla bla". At best, you get a new friend. At worst, they will just coldly ignore you and move away.

The second scenario isn't bad. There are tons of other people you can talk to. Don't get worried about their reactions. If they are at a large distance away, you can try going nearer to them or just smile if you can't speak directly. Again, they will either smile back or ignore you. Either way, you tried to communicate. They chose not to in the worst case. Again, just go with it. At some time, this process will surely work.

I have had difficulty speaking with people freely myself but once you get comfortable with a few, it's then easy to strike a conversation with people. You don't need to be afraid or worried of their reactions. Remember, Success lies after overcoming fear.

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    it could be worth noting that you have nothing to lose in this situation. If they ignore you after you said hi, you are at the exact same point as before. Also, you could remember which people who ignored you and just stop greeting those.
    – kscherrer
    May 22, 2018 at 14:46

Considering the type of culture your university is trying to promote (arranging events for students to get to know each other), it sounds perfectly acceptable to say hello to anyone who was at those events.

What worked for me at college was to wave or nod hello to anyone who made eye contact with me. Depending on how close they are and how much in a hurry I was, I would add a quick acknowledge type of greeting:

Nice seeing you (name, if you remember)

Be prepared to some people not waving, nodding or greeting back, they are dealing with social anxiety too, just shrug it off, whomever wants to be a friend will come around.


Nobody should react badly to someone saying hello even more if you already talked to them.

If they do react badly - by ignoring you for instance - it means they’re not people you want to hangout with. So don’t worry about it.

Actually there is high odds that they are thinking exactly the same thing :

Should I say hi ? Does he remember me ?

When you feel too shy to start the conversation, a smile / a nod can be a nice alternative. It can be also a good opening for them to come and talk to you.


It's always good to say 'hi' to people that you have met in the past. I find it especially kind and by seeing the impact it has to me when other people do it to me, I regret not doing it more often.

If they are too far away from you you could always say 'hi' using your hands. It's a polite and nice thing to do.

I usually keep it simple like 'hi man! great party yesterday' (I try to remind them how they know me) and continue walking my way smiling unless they engage more into a conversation. If they ask me something too or continue the conversation, then I might stay a bit to talk. Sometimes people don't even remember me (because for example they were drunk at the party) but I don't care. I consider my way of life saying 'hi' to the people I know.

Have in mind that it is not a defeat to say 'hi' and not receive attention or a reply. It happens to everyone and you know you were kind enough to do it. Have in mind that other people might be thinking the way you are thinking so being the brave guy to say 'hi' makes you seem nice. If they don't react at all then it's their problem.

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