Did you know that public speaking is often rated the number one thing people are afraid of? But while getting up on a stage in front of an audience can definitely be nerve wracking, many people find striking up a conversation one-on-one just as intimidating.
Jul 29, 2020 Sometimes, you meet someone, and you just click. You feel like you've been besties your entire life and honestly can't believe there was a time when you didn't even know they existed.
- 250 Deep Questions to Ask a Guy or Girl—Or Really Anyone You Want to Know Better. June 3, 2020 – 6:25 PM – 0 Comments. By Maryn Liles More by Maryn.
- Now you're just somebody that I used to know Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over But had me believing it was always something that I'd done And I don't wanna live that way Reading into every word you say You said that you could let it go And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know.
Maybe it’s the CEO of your company, a new colleague, the guy in the mail room, the girl from IT, or a stranger in the street. Whomever you want to talk to, there’s a way to strike up a conversation. And the best news is that it gets easier with practice.
Try these conversation starters to talk to absolutely anybody:
- Skip the small talk. “What’s up with this weather?” and “How ‘bout them [insert local sports team]?” are as bad as cheesy pick-up lines when it comes to starting a conversation. Avoid tired topics. Every situation is unique, so you should be able to find a unique conversation starter.
- Ask for their opinion. Everyone has one! For someone you don’t know well, start with light subjects like the food, the music, the atmosphere, etc. “Do you like your Margaritas with salt or without? Do you watch horror movies? Do you like this song?” It’s probably best to stay away from really sticky subjects like politics unless you already know the person very well.
- Ask for their advice or recommendations. This works very well when commenting on someone’s outfit or accessories, as in “What a great tie! Where did you get it?” or on the food, as in, “Everything looks good. What are you having?”
- Ask them a question — that’s easy to answer. This is great when you know or find out that a person has expertise in a particular field. If you’re talking to your company’s IT guy, for example, you could ask him whether he’s the guy who installs hardware or software. But avoid asking anyone to explain something super complex or involved; if that’s where the conversation leads, great, but asking a really complicated question up front can feel demanding.
- Comment on the environment. No matter where you are, there are things to comment on: the music, the food, the lights, the guests, and so on. Even if you are stuck in an elevator with someone, you can comment on the music, the speed, the crowdedness, etc.
- Ask for an update. If you know someone a little or know them by reputation, ask for an update on something you know they’ve been doing, for example, “Oh, Mary mentioned you were taking swing dance classes. How’s that going?”
- Ask open-ended questions whenever possible. If your question can be answered with a simple yes or no, don’t be surprised if that’s what you get. Having follow-up questions ready can also help the conversation flow. If you are asking what kind of food they’re having, for example, you might follow up with, “That sounds good. Do you know what kind of wine would go well with that?” Almost everything can be followed up with, “Why?” (Just don’t ask it too many times and end up sounding like a three-year-old!)
- Ask a hypothetical question. These can be great conversation starters, but try to tie them into something happening at the event or in current events to avoid seeming too random. You might say something like, “I just saw this movie where all the laws were revoked for one day. What would you do if there were no laws for a day?”
- Ask about their kids, pets, or hobbies. People love to talk about the things that are important to them. If you know that your boss loves to sail, asking him about his latest trip is a surefire way to get him talking.
Do you have a go-to conversation starter that you rely on in lots of situations? Let us know in the comments below.
I really appreciate that you are reading my post. Here, at LinkedIn, I regularly write about management and technology issues and trends. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click 'Follow' (at the top of the page) and send me a LinkedIn invite. And, of course, feel free to also connect via Twitter, Facebook and The Advanced Performance Institute.
Here are some other recent posts I have written:
About : Bernard Marr is a globally recognized expert in strategy, performance management, analytics, KPIs and big data. He helps companies and executive teams manage, measure and improve performance.
When I broke up with my first boyfriend, whom I loved dearly, I remember sitting across the table from my dad, crying to him about all the reasons I needed to let that boyfriend go. He was, in many ways, a great match for me, but as college came to an end, I realized that we were headed in different directions, had opposite goals for our futures, and his struggle with addiction was something that I just couldn’t handle. But how do you know if you should break up with someone? Through my tears, adamant about just how much I loved him, my father told me, “Sometimes love isn’t enough.” At 22, it’s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, especially when talking about your first love. But I added it to my collection of quotes from dad and assumed that it would make more sense later on in life. And it did.
Since then, the idea that love is not always enough has come up time and time again. I have been in love only a few times in my life, and with each ending of these relationships, it wasn’t about a lack of love, but simply the fact that sometimes you’re just not right for someone. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you’re a match made in heaven. In fact, in some of these cases, it’s better to end it and move on, no matter how much it hurts. Because as Dad said that day, 'Sometimes love isn't enough.'
Anyone You Know
Check out Bustle's 'Save The Date' and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Here are six signs that you shouldn’t be with someone, no matter how crazy mad in love with them you just might be.
1. You Have Different Ideas For The Future
If you want to travel the world and skip the whole motherhood thing, but your partner wants to be a parent within the next couple of years, then you need to say goodbye. When it comes to the future — kids especially — no matter how much you love your partner, it’s not something on which someone's mind can easily be changed.
2. You Have No Sexual Chemistry
Do You Know Anybody
I once loved someone so much that even the mention of his name would have my heart pounding out of my chest, and I’d begin to tremble. But as much as I did love him, our sex life was just, oh, how do I put this nicely … horrendous. But in loving him so much, I was willing to overlook it for far longer than I should have.
Study after study has proven that sex is a necessary component in a healthy relationship. I’m not saying that it has to be great all the time, but you and your partner should at least have a decent amount of chemistry between you. Sure, you can have a loving relationship without sex, but as sexual creatures, why would you want to?
3. You’re Constantly Sacrificing Yourself For Them
Does Anybody Of You Know
Relationships are a partnership. Or at least, they should be. If one partner is giving more than the other — whether it be financially, emotionally, mentally, or even around the house with chores — and no amount of communication has remedied the situation, then love can’t save it either. You can’t spend the rest of you life picking up the slack of someone else, no matter how much you love them. You’re supposed to be their partner, not their mother.
4. You Can’t Function Without Them
Civilization 4 warlords. Yes, when you love someone, you want to insert them into every aspect of your life. But there’s a fine line between 'want' and 'need,' and when the 'need' outweighs the 'want,' you have a codependent situation. Codependency is a major sign of an 'unhealthy clinginess,' in which you just can’t live your life without your partner. If you’ve found that, despite your love for them, you’re actually living for them and you’re unable to think of anything else, then it’s a sign that you’re not meant to be. Healthy relationships wouldn't spark such obsession in someone.
5. Neither One Of You Is Willing To Compromise
Anybody You Know
Relationships are about meeting each other halfway. Like maybe your partner likes pepperoni pizza and you like mushroom, so you either suck it up and get both on the whole pizza or do half pepperoni and half mushroom. That’s just how things roll in a relationship. But if you find that your partner doesn’t want to compromise, or that you're feeling forced to compromise too much, to the point where it’s making things unbearable, then love can't beat pigheadedness.
6. You Feel Like You’re Not Going Anywhere
This isn’t just about your future, but also your day-to-day together. Relationships are supposed to be supportive, to allow for evolution, change, and ups and downs, and to cause both you and your partner to grow as people. If you feel like you and your partner have just become a stagnant swamp that doesn’t do anything but collect algae and drown dead bugs, then it’s sign that you’re just not right for each other. You can't fix a stagnant swamp with love.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our SoundCloud page.
Images: vijayvagh590/Pixabay; Giphy(6)