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12 Meaningful Topics that Ignite an Intellectual Conversation

Intellectual Conversation

In the age of Twitter and selfies, sometimes people don’t know how to start an intellectual conversation. But here are some topics to get you started.

Does it seem like having an intellectual conversation is a lost art these days? It sure does to me. I feel like every time I hang out with one of my friends, all they do is talk about their life… and their problems.

In fact, one time I hung out with a guy friend for 4 hours straight. And do you know how much he talked about his life? Three hours and fifty minutes. Yup. I talked about myself for about ten minutes.

And I never remotely get the chance to start an intellectual conversation with him. And even if I do, he goes off on a tangent about two minutes later. But he’s not the only one. So many people do this. So, if you’re as sick of this as I am, you can try to ignite some intellectual conversation with these topics.

12 topics to start an intellectual conversation

Whether you’re like me and are fed up with people who only talk about themselves, or you ARE someone who only talks about themselves and you want to change your ways… here are some topics you can use to start an intellectual conversation. [Read: The 15 highs and lows of dating someone smarter than you]

#1 The existence of aliens. C’mon. Everyone loves this topic! I mean, the movie ET was popular for a reason, right? Okay, well, maybe not everyone loved the movie because of the alien concept. Maybe they just thought ET was cute.

But regardless, everyone seems to have an opinion about whether or not aliens exist. After stating your opinions, you should both give reasoning and arguments for why you think you’re right.

#2 Alien abduction. While this is in the same generic category as the existence of aliens, it’s not exactly the same. But I suppose at least one of you would have to believe in aliens to even start this conversation.

There are people out there who claim to have been abducted by aliens. And quite frankly, their stories are pretty convincing. You might want to Google this one first so you have a lot of material to add to this intellectual conversation. [Read: Sex demons – Historical excuses for deviant sexual behavior]

#3 Political affiliations. I know everyone says to stay away from talking about politics. But really people, you can’t get away from it! Anyone who is on social media knows that people love spewing their political ideologies all over the place.

But, in order to have an intellectual conversation about politics, both people have to be objective and empathetic… especially if they disagree. But it can be quite enlightening and interesting to talk about this topic.

#4 Personality types. Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs 16 Personality Types? If not, do some research on it. I’m sure you know what extroverts and introverts are, but there are also many different variations on it.

And some people are even both an introvert and extrovert at the same time. Those people are called ambiverts. There are a lot of interesting aspects to personality traits that can be discussed in an intellectual conversation. [Read: INTJ relationship – 15 things you need to know to decode them]

#5 Trivia. Okay, I’m terrible at trivia. I loathe Trivial Pursuit because I never know ANY of the answers. But, I do love listening to people who know a lot of trivia. It’s really interesting to sit and talk about random pieces of information that are fascinating.

You could even get a trivia book to brush up on all the facts and sit with the other person and go through it. That will spark some intellectual conversation for sure.

#6 The Afterlife. This intellectual conversation could be really fascinating, or it could be a train wreck – depending on who you are talking to. If you’re talking to a devout Catholic *or devout person of any religion*, they won’t want to debate the possibility of whether it exists or what it looks like.

On the other hand, if you’re talking to an atheist, they might also be pretty firm in their convictions. But it can be a great intellectual conversation if both people are open-minded and want to explore other possible views. [Read: Tongue-tied? Here are 35 brilliant conversation topics]

#7 Reincarnation. A subset of the “afterlife” conversation is the topic of reincarnation. I know the United States is a predominantly Christian country, so it is a controversial subject. But again, if both of you are open-minded and like to explore a lot of different ideas, this is a fun intellectual conversation to have.

Maybe you have had past life memories. Or maybe it’s just fun to talk about which era of human history would have been the most fun to live in. There are a lot of different ways you can take this intellectual conversation. [Read: How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex]

#8 History. Just like the trivia topic, this could be a tricky one for some people. For me, I love history. I love hearing about it and watching TV or movies about it. But, my knowledge of it really stinks.

So maybe you know that someone is a history buff, well, ask them to tell you about what they know. You can turn it into an intellectual conversation by talking about things like whether or not Hitler was mentally ill… or is in Hell right now. The possibilities are endless for how to talk about history.

#9 Conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are always fun to talk about, mostly because there really is no answer to them. There’s only speculation. There are ton you can choose from.

For example, do they think 9/11 was an inside job? Did Lee Harvey Oswalt really kill JFK? Do aliens exist and is the government hiding it from all of us *there I go again with the aliens!* Does the Illuminati really exist and if so, who is a part of it?  [Read: Shocking sex cults – Crazy facts that you need to know]

#10 Analyzing deeper meanings of movies. Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day from the 1990s with Bill Murray? It seems like a silly, funny comedy, right? Well, if you look at it a lot deeper, it really follows the seven deadly sins like greed, lust, and gluttony.

If you don’t believe me, watch it again and you’ll see. There are a lot of hidden and deeper messages in a lot of movies, so why not sit back and pick apart some of your favorite movies and analyze them in an intellectual conversation?

#11 The news. Yeah, yeah, I know. The news is always negative. As the saying goes in journalism, “If it bleeds, it leads.” But regardless, the news is always an endless supply of interesting topics if you want to have an intellectual conversation. I don’t care if it’s a story about cyberbullying or a hurricane that’s about to hit somewhere, there’s always something you can do to analyze it.

Or just analyze news in general. Like, how biased is the media? Are they beholden to one particular power organization? Is there really free speech, or is our culture trying to squash it? There are many angles you can take when talking about the news or the media. [Read: How to be cultured in an age obsessed with social media]

#12 Goals and dreams. It seems like after we grow up, not only do we lose sight of our goals and dreams, sometimes people have told us through the years that they are either dumb or unattainable. So, why not talk about your wildest dreams?

Did you want to be an actor? Or sail around the world? It can also be practical goals and dreams, like how much money you want to have invested in the next 10 years. There are many aspects about goals and dreams that are fun to talk about in an intellectual conversation.

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

If you are craving an intellectual conversation, why not give these topics a try? When you do, trust me, you won’t ever want to talk about social media or taking selfies ever again.

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Dr. Carol Morgan
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...

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