We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. We approach someone with the goal of talking to them but we just can’t, for the life of us, think of something to talk about. You really want to have a conversation with them, but you just have no idea where to begin. That’s when knowing some good conversation starters would come in really handy, right?
Sure, you could go with, “Wow, this weather is crazy, right?” But that’s just the most overused conversation starter out there and it actually makes things really awkward.
You can only say so much about the weather, after all. No, you need more good conversation starters up your sleeve. [Read: Easy ways to avoid awkward silences during a date]
Conversation starters are really hard to think of in the moment because there’s usually so much pressure.
It’s difficult to walk up to someone you don’t know and attempt to have a meaningful conversation with them, especially if they weren’t expecting it or you’re making all the effort. But the truth is that most meaningful conversations take place between people who know each other well.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible, though. Even if it might be difficult and a little nerve-wracking at first, you can start a great conversation with a stranger as long as you have some good conversation starters like these ones up your sleeve.
And here’s the thing, good conversation starters act as social lubricants, easing both parties into a mode of comfort and openness.
The initial awkwardness or tension can be cut through by employing the right opener—just like an artful pick-up line, but far less cheesy!
The concept here is akin to what psychologists call the “halo effect.” If you kick off the conversation with something intriguing or delightful, that positive first impression often sticks around, making the subsequent conversation flow more smoothly.
But let’s not forget the power of reciprocity! It’s a basic tenet of social psychology. By initiating a chat and showing interest, you’re encouraging the other person to reciprocate that enthusiasm.
Good conversation starters create a give-and-take right from the beginning, and once you’ve got that reciprocity, you’re golden.
Also, good conversation starters often tap into the “mere-exposure effect“—the idea that familiarity breeds fondness.
So, using a conversation starter that may link to a common human experience can give the chat a head-start.
In short, good conversation starters are important to know because they are a way to break the ice and make a quick impression. Once you wow them with a great starter, the conversation will flow. [Read: 30 random questions to ask a guy and break the awkward silence]
Before we get into any specifics of which good conversation starters to use, you should first understand a few guidelines to help assess the situation and choose which conversation starters to try. Whether it’s a first date or a regular conversation with a stranger, these tips will help:
Much of the time, a person’s surroundings can either tell you a great deal about them or can help you think of something to talk about.
Whether it’s their t-shirt with a specific band on it or what they’re watching on the TV at the bar, you’ll find something to talk about based on where they are and what’s around them. [Read: Do couples always have to like the same things?]
Body language can also tell you a lot about whether someone is enjoying the topic of discussion or not. Someone who is facing you, holding eye contact, and smiling is probably enjoying and interested in the topic and also talking to you.
On the other hand, a person who is facing away from you and isn’t engaged very much most likely doesn’t care about it. [Read: Lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]
When you’re starting a conversation with a stranger, you can’t just dive right into talking about someone’s worst fears.
If you really don’t know them that well, you should start with something light that, depending on whether it’s going well or not, you can delve into deeper.
Just don’t talk about stuff people tend to have very strong opinions about, such as politics. This can help avoid a clash and argument, and also guarantee your chances of having a successful conversation.
If however they do ask you something that you think will cause a head-bashing tournament, just move away from it and swerve to a different topic.
Moving on from the last point, unless you met in a religion-specific environment, like a church or a religion-specific dating site, try to avoid these topics.
You may both have the exact same beliefs but that’s not really important on the first date. Second date? Absolutely. But the first date is about establishing if you have a connection. [Read: Meaningful topics that ignite an intellectual conversation]
If you’re really unsure about how to start a conversation with someone you don’t know, then just be yourself and show them how much you like yourself.
Never underestimate the power of having a lot of confidence when making a conversation. If you love yourself, they’ll also end up liking you.
If you’re on a date, then don’t be afraid to let your flirty side out. First dates aren’t about being all proper and reserved, so if you like them or are attracted to them, don’t hide it!
Let them know you’re interested *if you are* and the flirting can also help keep the conversation light and fun. [Read: The 30 best subtle, obvious & really sexy flirting tips for girls]
No one likes being stuck in a conversation, so if you think it’s naturally petering out, let it. Also, if you’re going off topic from what you have planned, that’s perfectly fine.
Just let the conversation progress naturally; you may then find that you don’t need any starters at all. [Read: How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex]
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some great conversation starters that’ll help land you a fantastic first discussion with someone.
1. Have you read any good books lately? [Read: 30 most romantic love quotes from books and literature]
2. What’s something about yourself that you never want to change?
3. So, what do you like to do?
4. Is your job something you enjoy doing? [Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]
5. What’s a strange habit that you have?
6. What person, dead or alive, would you want to meet, and why?
7. Do you come here often?
8. So what’s your story? [Read: How to talk about a past relationship with your partner]
9. I noticed you like _____. Could you tell me about it because I don’t know a lot about that
10. Have you been to anything like this before?
11. So, tell me about what you’re working on right now.
12. Who do you know here?
13. Have you seen the latest trending video about _____? [Read: Love trends that are taking the internet by storm]
14. Do you have any funny obsessions right now?
15. What’s the best way to waste time, in your opinion?
16. What’s something that’s really popular but annoys the hell out of you?
17. Do you have any pets? [Read: Tips for couples who are planning to get a pet]
18. If you could have just one animal as a pet, what would it be, and why?
19. How would you describe your perfect weekend? [Read: 15 reasons why you should travel at least once a year]
20. Do you have any tattoos?
21. Do you have a reoccurring crazy dream?
22. What’s the most annoying habit someone can have? [Read: Dating behaviors that are extremely unattractive]
23. Are you still friends with anyone from elementary school?
24. What’s your favorite season? [Read: 20 perfectly romantic winter dates and breaks]
25. Do you like thunderstorms?
26. Are you a big coffee connoisseur?
27. What’s one thing that’s always fun for you? [Read: 20 questions to ask on a first date for the best conversation]
28. If you could live in one place forever, where would it be?
29. Have you ever been on an awful first date? [Read: Little things that are sure to turn off your date]
30. Do you like movies or TV shows better?
31. What were you like as a kid?
32. Do you have any cool or embarrassing nicknames? If so, where did they come from?
33. What’s your biggest goal right now?
34. 5 years ago, would you have expected yourself to be where you are today? [Read: Life questions to help you visualize your future]
35. How would your friends describe you?
36. Do you have any pet peeves?
37. What does your ideal free time look like? [Read: Signs you’re compatible with the one you’re dating]
38. What was your favorite childhood cartoon?
39. What’s one thing you want me to know about you before leaving today? [Read: 18 signs your date really likes you on your first date]
40. What flavor of ice cream do you wish existed?
41. If you had a personal mascot, what would your mascot be?
42. Time freezes for everyone but you for one day. What do you do?
43. What does your own personal hell look like? How about your own personal heaven?
44. What’s the most refreshing thing on a hot summer’s day?
45. What is the craziest, most outrageous thing you want to achieve? [Read: 50 crazy and impulsive things to do with friends you won’t ever forget]
46. Do you have a favorite shirt. If so, why is it your favorite?
47. What piece of technology would look like magic or a miracle to people in medieval Europe?
48. What song always puts you in a good mood?
49. What smell brings back great memories? [Read: Old love letters and memories – keep or throw them?]
50. Do you have any siblings?
51. Are you more outgoing or shy?
52. What were you like in high school?
53. Are you in a relationship?
54. Do you think aliens exist?
55. Would you walk naked for 5 blocks in New York City in broad daylight for $500,000?
56. What have you done that you’re most proud of?
57. Are you thinking about a career change?
58. What are your mom and dad like?
59. Do you think the Illuminati exists?
60. Who do you think really killed JFK?
61. What’s your favorite movie? [Read: 40 best uplifting, inspirational movies to stir your soul & supercharge your life]
62. What’s your favorite book?
63. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?
64. Do you stalk people on social media?
65. What’s your favorite holiday? [Read: Top 12 alternative destinations for romantic breaks]
66. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
67. What’s your biggest strength?
68. What’s your biggest weakness?
69. If you could have dinner with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
70. Who is your hero?
71. If you won the lottery, would you quit your job?
72. Do you believe in ghosts?
73. If you could make a voodoo doll and hurt anyone in the world, would you do it?
74. If your baby was accidentally switched in the hospital and you took home the wrong child, but you found this out a year later, would you want your biological child back?
75. What do you think of psychics?
76. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
77. Do you believe in soul mates? [Read: 36 soul secrets to find your soulmate, draw them closer & meet them soon]
78. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
79. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you’d change about the world?
Have you ever heard of LovePanky.com? If you ask them this and they have heard of us, then they’ll have loads to discuss with you about all our amazing content that they can relate to. If they haven’t, then you have something great to introduce them to.
[Read: 60 more get to know you questions for a new romance]
Remember that not all conversations have to be boring and cliché. These good conversation starters will save you when you get tongue-tied, and may even help you get to know each other on a much deeper level.
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