Day 331 – I Don’t Wanna… Talk About It

35 – 101 Conversation Starters

I am a bit bemused that the domain “conversationstarters.com” exists. At all.
Talk about a niche market.

Please don’t head over to read the suggestions, because they are frankly not very good. I really don’t see how “Are you a saver or a spender?” is ever an appropriate ice breaker, unless you are at an accountancy convention.

I think there are better ways to approach a conversation than canned openers.

I understand where this solution comes from; shyness can make approaching someone seem the dauntingest thing in the entire universe. What could be more reassuring than a recipe that means you don’t have to overcome your fears? But I really don’t think asking “what kind of kid” someone was contributes much to a solution to that problem.

The topics are rarely if ever the real problem anyway.

And the safest ice breaker remains just introducing yourself. I know… it often feels very dorky. Or at least, it does to me. But there is really no way to misconstrue “Hi, I’m Jerry“. Facts are nice and safe that way.

Next level up is to open with something about the place, event or situation you are in. How well that works depends on how interesting the thing you are doing is. So, now is the time to take up rally racing, skydiving or competitive bear chess. Then again, if stamp-collecting is your passion that’s fine too… you might get a lot of disinterest, but why would you want to connect with someone who is ho-hum about your passion in the first place?

Or otherwise, use an external trigger for the conversation.

I suspect that Cards Against Humanity is a great way to start some morally dubious conversations that leave plenty of scope to segue into more personally interesting conversations. It’s the greatest ice-breaker, because it is really almost impossible to stay silent on the wrongness that game throws out with every round.

So, that’s perhaps the best tip.
Do or see something confrontational.

Just understand that you’ll forever be “burdened” with confrontational friends.
But what else is new…