Meeting new people is exciting, but you may feel like you’re not equipped to carry on an interesting conversation. If your go-to topics are the weather or a sports team you care little about, it’s time to move on to better small talk. The best conversations happen when your questions are fresh, and always saying, “How’s your day going?” won’t cut it.
Whether you’re a bubbly person who has run out of things to chat about or a shy individual in need of an icebreaker, you can get people to open up with a few unforgettable questions.
Make friends quickly no matter your age, place or creativity by leaving tired topics at home. Revamp your conversational skills with these 10 small talk topics.
1. What Is the Most Important Skill Every Person Should Have to Succeed?
If you’re meeting a person in a different line of work, this question can spark an interesting discussion. Finding out how people view work ethic and other values helps you dig deeper into your friendship because you can catch a glimpse of how they see the world.
2. Which Day Would You Pick If You Could Relive One Day of Your Life?
Each person’s past shapes them, and with this question, you can find out a significant part of their life. Whether it’s a turning point or simply a pleasant memory, you’ve opened up a chance to talk about the moments that define a person.
3. What Is Something You’re Obsessed With?
Some conversations are difficult to navigate, but talking about your favorite things is easy. Finding common interests helps people bond, and if you’re both passionate about the same hobby or TV show, then you’ve taken a big step in your friendship.
4. What’s Your Default Comfort Food?
Everyone’s tastes are different, but you can form an immediate connection by chatting about dishes that you love. Sharing about the snack that makes you feel better when times are rough can lead to an enjoyable talk.
5. Where Was Your Favorite Place You’ve Lived?
It’s possible that the person you’re talking with has never moved, but most people have at least moved once in their life, even if it was only down the street.
According to Gallup, in 2013 about one in four American adults reported moving within the country in a five-year span. If your new friend has never moved, ask them about their current home.
6. What Would You Put in a Time Capsule?
When you’re nervous about striking up a conversation, a useful trick is to ask them about themselves. From pet peeves to accomplishments, people can go on and on about things that are special to them. Ask what object is special enough to them that they’d put it in a time capsule to dig up years later.
7. What Book or Movie Changed Your Life?
Stories from a person’s life can contribute to a conversation, but stories from movies and books also reveal new facts about a person. Many people have emotional connections to films or novels, so ask how they became different because of one.
8. How Have Your Goals Changed During Your Life?
Making friends as an adult can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask about how your friend’s direction in life shifted to see how they became who they are today.
Maybe they’ll share their kindergarten dreams with you or why they changed their major four times in college. Jobs, family and interests all fluctuate, so figure out what early goals have gotten them to where they are now.
9. What’s the Best Compliment You’ve Ever Received?
A positive word from a mentor or spouse can turn a dismal day around, and some compliments stick with you for years. Most people quickly forget about flattery and insincere comments, but when someone genuinely praises you or your work, you feel appreciated. Help someone recall a kind remark by asking about a memorable compliment.
10. What’s a Surprising Talent You Have?
You could go years without knowing your coworker is an amateur juggler or your friend loves to bake. This question can help you find out unknown quirks about someone.
Strike Up an Interesting Conversation Today
Beginning a friendly conversation can lead to fun discussions rather than awkward ones. Improve your talks with anyone you run into by adding in unique small talk topics.
Rather than dreading a boring conversation in the elevator, you can look forward to trying out these questions.
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