Topics to Talk About With People You Don’t Know Quite Well

If you have just met a new person, it’s obviously that you don’t know him/her at all. You don’t know whether you have anything in common with that person or not. It becomes hard to make a conversation, because the question arouses: what to talk about?

Of course, it’s easier if you both are connected via some business, event or a friend. Thus, there’s something you have in common a priori. But what if you are not?

When I was young (young, I mean, in my teens :-) ) I usually avoided communicating with new people (not only girls), because I was afraid of having nothing to bring up in a conversation.

However, listening as other people are talking to each other, I started to notice that an average conversation is rather dull. There is no need a dialogue to be special or outstanding, full of insight thoughts. Do not bother yourself making something big out of it. If you and the person, you talk to, will feel comfortable to make deeper talk – go ahead. Otherwise covering the common topics, all the people are aware of, would be enough.

Here’s a list of topics I usually use:

– places in you town, like cafes or new clubs;

– new movies shown at local cinema;

– new songs\music you’ve heard recently;

– radio/TV shows;

– local and global news;

– global sport events, like world soccer championships;

– other town events, like upcoming annual beer feast :-)

And you don’t need to spend much time on educating yourself to be able to use all of these topics in a conversation. Just start reading a couple of mainstream books, listen to the radio while driving or walking, visit cinema a couple of times, spend 20 minutes at news site in the Internet, and it would be enough. That is all it takes. A little bit of information here and there and you are ready.

Simply start the conversation with “Do you know anything about…” or “Have you read/heard/been to/watched…” The dialogue may seem a little bit clumsy in the beginning, but who says that it must be perfect? Don’t blame yourself if the communication isn’t going very well, because a person may have his/her own reasons not to support the dialogue.

Also it would be useful to express general curiosity of a person you talk to, like marital status, occupation, person’s background with no specific details. However, try to avoid such topics as politics, religion, person’s income and be too curious whether the person has girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, and especially do NOT ask why, if he/she doesn’t.

A great idea is to ask advice about something, show an interest in the person’s opinion on something.

For example, when I was struggling to expand my social environment, I started to listen to the radio (though I didn’t like that music much), watching significant football games (again, I am not a sports fan at all), following the parties, which took place in local clubs, noticing last events which happened in my town.

There’s nothing difficult in it. Spend a little time to grasp some information on what’s going on around and you will do just great.

May 6th, 2012

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