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Awkward Silences: How to Feel Comfortable with Your Rideshare Passenger

From a young age, you have loved getting in the car and going for a drive. Being out on the open road relaxed you, and it still does. Naturally, turning your love into a paid gig sounds like a prime opportunity. The idea of working eight hours in a cubicle is the equivalent to you of being trapped in a cage. Speeding down the road, taking people where they need to be, helping them to get where they need to go feels much more satisfying.

After you’ve compared auto insurance quotes with CoverHound to make sure you get the coverage you need to be a rideshare driver, you start your new job. Somehow, it’s not quite what you had imagined it to be. In all honesty, taxiing strangers from place to place feels a little awkward. How much do you do you talk to them? Do you say anything more than hello? What if they want to talk? What do you do?! Social situations can be awkward, particularly with people you don’t know.

To kill the awkwardness, here’s a few things to do:

Talk about the weather. When in doubt, talk about the obvious: the weather. People tend to divide the weather into one of two categories: good or bad. You can discuss the latest storms that have hit your area, or the beautifully breezy sunny days that afforded everyone some quality time outside. This has the potential to lead to more conversation, like the discussion of gardening or allergies. Organic conversation is when topics come up on their own, you’ll just need to start it off.

Ask open-ended questions. If you ask questions that require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply, you can keep the conversation moving to prevent awkward silences. Open-ended questions you can ask without asking the rider to reveal too much personal information include:

− Any fun plans for the weekend?

− How’s your day going?

− What do you do for a living?

− What kind of excited adventure are you off to today?

Remember, keep the questions professional. Passengers can become uncomfortable if asked where they live in town or if where they’re traveling to is for work or pleasure. Because you are a stranger to them, they could mistake these innocent questions as you trying to learn more about their habits. This may read as paranoia, but it’s better to keep the distance.

Offer to turn the radio dial to their favorite station. Everyone has different taste in music, and the program you might be listening to could be aggravating to your passenger. Imagine hating German techno music and having to listen to it for a two-hour car ride. Keep in mind, however, that the rideshare passenger could ask you to turn the dial to a music station that you dislike.

Be comfortable with silence. Some of your passengers won’t be interested in talking at all. Do not take this personally. Things will only feel awkward if you try and press your passenger for conversation that they aren’t interested in having. You should greet them, ask how they are and mention the weather. If they offer only glib responses, they don’t want to talk. Take this time to enjoy the quiet drive!

And remember, to be the best rideshare driver you can be, look for an auto insurance package that’ll protect you and your traveling office. CoverHound is here to help.

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