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84 Intellectual, Deep Conversation Starters & Topics to Bond with Anyone

If you’re tired of having shallow, boring discussions with people, then you can try these deep conversation starters to make conversations a lot more interesting!


Does it seem like having a deep conversation is a lost art these days? It sure does to a lot of people. If you want to inject some more life into your conversations but aren’t quite sure how, then you need our deep conversation starters.

We’ve all been there. You meet someone for the first time, or perhaps you’re on a date, and you really can’t think of anything to say. You’re wracking your brain for deep conversation starters so that your convo doesn’t fall flat, but you end up coming short of anything interesting to bring up. Your mind goes blank. [Read: 25 great conversations starters for when you’re drawing a blank]

The silence seems to go on forever. You’re willing them to come up with something scintillating to talk about, but they seem to be just as out of ideas as you. [Read: Tongue-tied? Here are 35 brilliant conversation topics]

Awkward, right?

Being able to hold a conversation is such an important skill set. Awkward silences will never do anything good for you. But as with any skill, it’s something you have to practice at or learn more about before you can get any good. That just means you’ll have to continuously make an effort to have great topics ready to go. [Read: How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex].

So, don’t accept any more awkward silences. No more wishing someone would walk in and save the situation. What can you do? 

You can use this list of deep conversation starters, which you can fall back on at any time, and boom! Instant deep and meaningful conversation to impress anyone. [Read: 40 funny conversation starters to make people laugh]

Why should we have deep conversations?

Having deep conversations isn’t about being smart, nor is it about being pretentious. It is actually about happiness. 

Deep conversations revolve around substantial topics. These things can be current events, philosophy, and more. [Read: Meaningful topics that ignite a deep conversation]. You don’t need to be a genius, on the honor roll, or even book-smart to discuss these things. But, studies have shown that having these deep conversations actually makes you happier. 

Most conversations are characterized as small talk or substantial. But on average, more than half of us are talking about TV shows or the weather, topics that are considered ‘small talk,’ over deeper topics. But when we fill those talks with deeper topics like the character growth of a TV character, not the steamy make-out session, we tend to be happier. How about that? [Read: Psychology Today | Why we need to have deeper conversations]

Another reason to have deep discussions is that they can help you connect with people.

There’s nothing better than really connecting with people. Not only do you get to know people on a much deeper level, but you’ll often learn more about yourself in the process.

Connecting with others is such an important part of socialising, too. Those of us who feel lonely often don’t have the ability to really feel like we’re a part of something. [Read: Steps for emotionally connecting with someone]

When you talk to people about meaningful things, they become meaningful to you. Having those connections can also make your life a lot better and happier.

How to start a deep conversation

As you probably know, some people are just more naturally deep thinkers than others. So, the first thing you should do is try to assess the other person’s interest in having and holding a deep conversation.

If someone only talks about themselves or the same topics over and over, then they might need a little push to talk about something more interesting. But don’t worry, it can be done. [Read: 20 revealing questions to get to know someone better]

You should start out slowly and with more simple topics. For example, if you ask them something like what they would do if they won the lottery, that would get them excited *as it would for anyone*. That way, you won’t scare them off.

If you start out with something too heavy, like their political affiliations, the meaning of life, or the origins of the universe, they might give you a blank look and just mentally close down. So, start it out with fun and light questions. 

You can even make the fun and light questions deeper as the conversation goes on.

For example, with the lottery question, you can ask questions about why you think some people go and blow all their money or why they are selfish and only use it on themselves. [Read: 20 funny get-to-know-you questions to bond with anyone instantly]

You can always take any question deeper. All you need to do is keep asking probing questions to get them thinking about other aspects of the deep conversation/question at hand.

How to make deep conversations less intimidating

You might think it’s a lot of fun to have a deep conversation, but not everyone feels that way. Some people feel intimidated by it, especially if they’re not used to thinking about anything on their own.

But you can use these deep conversation starters with anyone as long as you don’t make it intimidating. Here are some ways you can do that. [Read: Conversation games – 15 best talking games for fun and lots of laughs]

1. Make it fun

Because some people don’t like digging deep into their minds to think about anything complex, you will have to make it fun for most people. Don’t start with anything too deep. Make sure it’s a fun topic that anyone would like to think about and talk about. 

2. Try using pop culture as your jumping-off point

Instead of directly asking about their values, you can try to use anything in pop culture to use as your jumping-off point for deep conversations. 

When someone is asked about who they are as a person, they can become defensive. But if they are asked what they think about a crazy celebrity, they will be much more eager to share their opinions. [Read: Stop Googling – 16 pop culture sex terms you need to know by now]

3. Start with light questions

As you have guessed by now, you want to keep it as light as you can, especially in the beginning.

When you do this, you can gauge their reception to the questions and then adjust the conversation accordingly. If they seem really interested in the conversation, then you can slowly make the questions deeper and deeper as you go on.

Deep conversation starters

Whether you want to find deeper meanings in your conversations or want to dive deep into some exciting thoughts, there are a lot of deep conversation topics you can use.

Of course, the type of question you ask depends on the person you’re speaking to.

If it’s your boss, it’s probably not the best idea to ask them to tell you about their most embarrassing moment; instead, ask them about their goals or something professional. [Read: The 15 highs and lows of dating someone smarter than you]

However, if it’s a crush, you can afford to be a little cheeky. Perhaps ask them one of the more searching questions on the list.

So, here’s a list of deep conversation starters so you no longer have to endure another awkward silence again.

1. Extraterrestrial life and whether or not it exists

2. Space programs and if there is a secret space program we don’t know about

3. The meaning of life

4. How do you all feel about working the majority of your life?

[Read: 17 ways to be a citizen of the world while living at home]

5. What you’d do if you had almost unlimited financial funds

6. Whether or not you think there will ever be peace on Earth

7. Thoughts and theories on evolution

8. Thoughts on religion and its role in society

9. Highest and lowest points of your lives

10. What you’d do if you were given only one more day to live

11. Things you wish you could accomplish before you die

12. Your biggest fears

13. Values you think everyone should have

[Read: The golden rules for evolving to become a better person]

14. Do we truly show anyone who we really are?

15. Spiritual beliefs

16. Whether or not ghosts and spirits are real

17. Are humans better at destruction or creation?

18. Do you think humans will be the end of the world?

19. Do you think human nature is mostly good?

20. What’s the biggest problem with humans?

21. How would you sum up the human species in 3 words?

22. What’s the scariest thing about the human species?

[Read: Sex demons – Historical excuses for deviant sexual behavior]

23. The importance of honor and what it means

24. The ever-escalating changes in generations thanks to technology

25. Whether or not people have a moral obligation to help others

26. The issue of homelessness in advanced societies

27. How much is a year of life worth?

28. Are certain lives more valuable than others?

29. The escalating rate of mental illness and the causes of it

30. What you’d like to be remembered for in death

31. The colonization of other planets

32. What will most likely bring the extinction of life to Earth

33. Crimes you think should be legal

[Read: How to be cultured in an age obsessed with social media]

34. How the justice system can be improved

35. The most destructive emotion

36. The most beneficial emotion

37. Your thoughts on working for what you earn

38. The drawbacks of technology to society

39. How much control we really have over our futures

40. What life would look like had electricity never been discovered

41. Your different political affiliations and why you believe what you do

42. Personality types and the advantages and disadvantages of being an extrovert or an introvert

[Read: INTJ relationship – 15 things you need to know to decode them]

43. Trivia – you can incorporate a game like Trivial Pursuit if you want

44. The afterlife – whether you think there is one and what it looks like if there is

45. Reincarnation and whether or not you think you have had past lives before

46. What is your favorite era of history and why? 

47. Conspiracy theories and if you think that any of them are true and why

[Read: Shocking sex cults – Crazy facts that you need to know]

48. Analyzing deeper meanings of movies to see if you have the same opinions about it

49. The news – there is always something interesting to talk about in the news, whether it is good or bad

50. Love languages and which one you like to give and receive with

[Read: How to show someone you love them with their love language]

51. Climate change and whether or not you think it’s real and/or damaging to the planet

[Read: How to be more socially conscious]

52. The economy and what you think causes inflation and other factors

53. Different cultural practices around the world and what you would like to try

[Read: Common issues in cross-cultural relationships]

54. Patriarchy, feminism, and the equality between men and women

[Read: Marital traditions – Their not-so-sweet origins and our modern choices]

55. Creation and how you think the Earth, human beings, and other creatures were created

56. When do you think there will be a cure for cancer, and why do you think they haven’t found one yet?

57. Do you think Bigfoot is just a mythical creature, or do you think people actually have seen one?

58. Why do you think that the rate of autism has skyrocketed in the last few decades?

59. If you could go live on Mars in a colony, would you go? Why or why not?

60. If you caught a family member selling drugs or doing something else illegal, would you turn them in?

61. What is the most dangerous thing you would do for free? What if someone paid you – how much would it take for you to do it?

[Read: How to explain your anxiety to someone you love]

62. If someone cheats on their spouse or significant other, do you think they should be forgiven or not?

63. If $1,000,000 accidentally ended up in your bank account, would you report it to the bank or just keep it?

64. Could you go and live off the grid by yourself with no water, electricity, or other people around? Why or why not? 

65. What are your main goals in life? 

[Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

66. If you died today, what regrets would you have about your life? 

[Read: How to not give a fuck: Your guide to giving less fucks and enjoying your life]

67. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy? 

68. Who is your hero, and why? 

69. What is your biggest fear? 

70. If you could go back to your childhood, what advice would you give your younger self? 

71. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? 

[Read: 15 conversation starters for the shy and socially awkward]

72. Describe your perfect day

73. Which celebrity did you love when you were younger?

[Read: How to get to know people, open up and make new friends]

74. What do you think about …*news story of the moment*

75. What items are on your bucket list? 

[Read: How to be fearless: Set aside fear and live your life]

76. What is your most cherished memory? 

77. How would you prefer to die? Quickly without warning or slowly over time?

78. If a cure for cancer was found, but it would kill 10% of the people who took the treatment, would you want it released to the public?

79. Do you believe in euthanasia? Why or why not?

80. If you had a time machine, what part of history would you go back to and why? What if you couldn’t come back? Would you still go?

[Read: Funny conversation starters – 40 lines to instantly fit right in]

81. Would you allow a surgeon to amputate your little toe if someone gave you $1,000,000? If not, is there any amount of money you would take?

82. Would you rather be blind, deaf, or completely paralyzed?

83. What do you think the world’s countries could do to achieve world peace?

84. To what extent is knowledge power, and to what extent is truth power? And what’s the difference?

Do’s and don’ts for deep conversation starters

If you can’t have a conversation the right way, no topic will save you. These are just a few tips that can help you learn to read the room and engage in the discussion, so you leave a positive impact.


1. Listen intently

You really can’t have a decent conversation unless both people are listening. The whole point of a discussion is to be able to comment on what they said.

How can you do that if you’re thinking about what you’re going to do when you get home? [Read: Ways to be a much better listener]

None of these topics will thrive unless you’re able to listen to what they’re saying about them. So instead of just nodding along as if you’re listening, actually listen. Hear what they have to say and digest it.

2. Understand where they’re coming from

One of the best ways to have a great discussion with these deep conversation starters is to put yourself in their shoes. Even if you don’t get why they feel the way they do, try looking at it from their perspective.

Everyone has different trains of thought when it comes to complex issues. Their upbringing or even current lifestyle can impact how they feel about different topics. [Read: Ways to be less critical and more open]

You really have to make an effort to understand so you can reply accordingly.

3. Get multiple people involved

Don’t just grab one person and hide away in a corner while talking to them. These topics may be meaningful, but they’ll be even more valuable if you have multiple people discussing them.

So make sure multiple people get involved with it. Pull a few people in and ask for their opinions as they walk by.

They’ll stick around, and before you know it, the entire room will be talking about the topic you brought up. [Read: 100 juicy, sexual questions to ask friends and have a fun, naughty time]


1. Interrupt

This has a lot to do with being a good listener in general. You can’t just stop someone from getting their point across. People get passionate about meaningful topics, and you may get worked up.

You have to remember to let people finish their point before you go ahead with yours. Let them get it all out, or you’ll just end up interrupting each other, and nothing will be accomplished.

2. Argue

Instead, you can just politely disagree. [Read: How to resolve conflict – 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

These are pretty deep topics. You’ll get into some heated discussions if you don’t agree about something, but you can’t just start fighting with people. Some of the best conversations are disagreements.

The difference is when both people know how to converse while disagreeing. It’s all about keeping your mouth shut until it’s your turn and really taking in what they have to say. Then come back with your point of view with some details to back it up.

3. Have a superior attitude

The only way that having deep conversations will be enjoyable is if neither of you thinks your position is better than the others. Thinking that you know everything or that your opinion is better than someone else’s is the wrong attitude to have.

Remember, this is supposed to be a fun way of getting to know people better. It’s not a competition or battle of wills. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so just embrace your differences.

[Read: Easy ways to avoid a first impression catastrophe]

Being able to pull out some deep conversation starters can turn a stale night into something to remember. These are some ideas to keep in mind the next time you find a discussion falling flat.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...