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How to Stop Worrying

Dealing with Rejection

50 Ways to Start a Conversation.

Like all lists that attempt to give you some conversation topic ideas, the following list is bound to include a few ideas that you find cheesy.    But hopefully there are a few more conversation topics that you would feel comfortable using. 

 General conversation starters.

1. Hi, I’m Dee.  It’s nice to meet you.
2. Hello, how are you?
3. Hi, what have you been up to since I last saw you?
4. Good to finally meet you, how have you been?
5. What line of work are you in?
6. Do you have kids? *
7. Where are you from?
8. Where did you grow up?
9. Hey, crazy weather we’ve been having.
10. Hi, good to see you again.  Hey I like your jacket/bag/shoes etc

Often the hardest part is just approaching the person and saying hi.  These conversation starts above are mostly obvious, but still they are all good ways to introduce yourself and break the ice.  

 * Asking personal questions always holds the risk that you hit a ‘nerve’.  Use clues around you to decide which personal questions to ask.

Conversation questions to get to know people.

11. What’s your favourite midnight snack?
12. What was the worst purchase you ever made?
13. What did you like best about high school?
14. What reality show would you go on and why?
15. What is the most embarrassing CD you have in your collection?
16. Have you travelled much?  Where? What was it like?
17. Which country would like to visit?
18. Do you have any brothers or sisters?  Younger or older?
19. Who is the most famous person you have met?
20. Do you ever have breakfast foods for snacks?
21. What do you think about ….?
22. What TV shows do you enjoy?
23. What’s the one movie you watch over and over?
24. What was your first job, and what was it like?

I have found these topics useful in those moments of silence.   But rather than blurting out the question, give your answer first then ask them.   If possible use common ground to start from. For example:   Sarah just got back from France, I would love to visit there one day, have you done much travelling?

Some of the more quirky questions are best left for when you see someone you have chatted with before, rather than on first meeting. 

Those “if you could only” conversation ideas.

25. You are stuck on a deserted Island, and you can only take 3 things.  What would they be?
26. You can only eat 5 different foods for the rest of your life, what are they?
27. You can only listen to 3 CD’s for the rest of your life, what are they?
28. You are stuck in a cabin for 2 years, what 5 movies would you take with you?
29. If you could pick anyone, which three people would you invite to your dinner party?
30. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
31. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

I always liked these questions.  To number 25, my favourite answer ever was: A jar of sand, a bottle of sea water and a photo of a deserted island.  I would love to hear what your answers are to these, so please leave a comment or message me.

First date conversation breakers.

32. Do you have any pets?
33. Are you a cat or dog person?
34. What’s your favourite song of all time?
35. What was your first concert?
36. Where did you grow up?
37. What’s the one place you want to visit on vacation?
38. What do you do when you aren’t working?
39. What did you do last weekend?
40. What type of work are you in?  Why did you choose that career path?

Conversation starters for work functions.

41. Hi, have you been here before?
42. Did you have to travel far?
43. Where do you work?  How long have you worked there?
44. How was your day?
45. Do you know many people here?

Work functions are more formal that other gatherings, so I have found it good to ask general, less personal questions, especially when you are meeting people for the first time.

Finding common ground conversation starters.

46. What type of music do you like?
47. What TV shows/movies do watch?
48. How do you typically enjoy the weekends?
49. What sports do you play or follow?
50. What’s your favourite hobby?

And there you have it, some general questions to finish off.  These questions as the heading suggest aim to help you find common ground with the other person.  If they like the same music or sports as you, you can talk about the bands or sports teams.

If you have any other conversation starter ideas, please leave a comment.


Pingback from TV Movies Soaps » 50 Ways to Start a Conversation.
Time November 26, 2007 at 3:01 am

[...] Dee added an interesting post today on 50 Ways to Start a Conversation.Here’s a small readingWhat TV shows/movies do watch? 48. How do you typically enjoy the weekends? 49. What sports do you play or follow? 50. What’s your favourite hobby? And there you have it, some general questions to finish off. … [...]

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Time November 27, 2007 at 6:17 am

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Time November 28, 2007 at 7:14 am

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Time November 28, 2007 at 8:58 am

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Comment from Bob
Time November 28, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Oh, goodness, I’m terrible at smalltalk. I should print this list and keep it in my wallet to help me out on these occasions.

My favorite is “Hey! What’s new and exciting?”

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Time November 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm

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Comment from Lawrence Cheok | A Long Long Road
Time December 1, 2007 at 2:14 am

Hi Dee, I’m Lawrence, nice to meet you :)

Thanks for providing a useful list of conversation starters.

It’s a great list, but I cannot agree with everything that is listed here. Especially on those that talk about personal stuff like family and ‘if you could only…’

I will be very careful in using those with new acquaintances. I don’t want to give the wrong ideas on a first meeting where people may not be comfortable talking about them yet.

Comment from Dee
Time December 1, 2007 at 2:26 am

Hi Bob, great idea.

Hi Lawrence, the list wasn’t ment to be only for new acquaintances. In between best friends and strangers there is those people that you know, but still don’t feel comfortable with. Many suggestions above for this group of people.

Pingback from 67 Lists of Life Tips
Time December 2, 2007 at 2:32 am

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Comment from Al at 7P
Time December 2, 2007 at 3:54 am

I’m like Bob… I should print this out and keep it on me!

I think I’ll print a small copy and tape it on my forearm so that I can be slick and glance at it when needed :)

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Time December 2, 2007 at 6:07 am

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Time December 2, 2007 at 8:02 am

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Time December 2, 2007 at 9:33 am

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Comment from Xoel Cardigan
Time December 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm

I wonder how you could sum up in 50 lines such a variety of topics in conversation. “Good, if short, twice good”. My vote for Listemind Lists Group.

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Comment from Jango
Time December 12, 2007 at 9:29 am

Looking for free dating websites and i saw you , while your post may be unrelated to what i am looking for but i still appreciate it, it is sensible compared to the others i have come across – wish you all the best.

Pingback from Abaminds » How To Get Ideas From 66 Lists – part 3
Time December 20, 2007 at 10:08 am

[...] 50 Ways to Start a Conversation by Dee – All of the ways listed are great creativity sparkers. All you have to do is decide in which media type you will deliver your responses: written, illustrated, audio, video… Talking about videos, if you like shooting them but have never tried fiction, these conversation starters might give you ideas for your first experiments. Take two characters, make one of them start the dialogue, imagine the other character’s answer and off you go. Is it too simple? Maybe, but if you’re not used to produce fiction, a basic start will help you get used to it. Besides, simple ideas can evolve into great stories. After all, it’s entirely up to you to decide which direction the characters’ conversation will take. [...]

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Time December 22, 2007 at 8:25 pm

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Comment from Dee Dee Dee Song
Time December 24, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Hello…I Googled for dee dee dee song, but found your page about to Start a Conversation | don’t be shy…and have to say thanks. nice read.

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Time January 3, 2008 at 6:01 am

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Comment from cf_susan
Time January 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I would not advise people to start a conversation with “Do you have kids”, as occasionally you’ll strike a painful nerve. More especially, don’t EVER ask anyone if they have grandkids!

Comment from admin
Time January 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

@ cf_susan – Currently the most common place I met new people is kid related situations, so asking if you have kids is safe, and usually followed with asking ‘how many’.

But I agree with you, asking ‘do you have kids’ to a stranger (like all personal questions) has the possibility of hitting a nerve.

Comment from Charlei Miller
Time January 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Could not agee with you more..

Pingback from Conversation starters Q&A | Don’t Be Shy
Time January 22, 2008 at 4:02 am

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Time January 28, 2008 at 1:08 pm

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Comment from Doodee
Time February 2, 2008 at 8:16 am

Thanks for sharing

Comment from miriam
Time March 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

hey hey..even though im a these questions… im having trouble with my guyfriend…thanks so much

Comment from Iain Hamp
Time April 18, 2008 at 9:15 pm

A list of 50 things to not open conversations with would also be helpful – or amusing, anyway. :)

Comment from AJ Kumar
Time January 19, 2009 at 1:50 am

wow great list!!!

and i agree with Lian, that would be funny ;)

AJ Kumar

Comment from Me
Time February 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Some questions are pretty fine but others are weird. weird in the sense that I don’t normally see people converse this way I think this may be the problem of different country. In western country, asking such question is normal however it is weird to start a conversation this way in eastern country.

Comment from nunya
Time April 9, 2009 at 5:05 am

you really need some comments to talk with you friends about that way when i’m on a four hour bus ride i can have ideas about how to start a FUNNY conversation

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Time August 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

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Comment from janet
Time August 26, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I love these tips! but im not sure they will me though. but thanks. ill ~try” some though. :-) !

Comment from Itzel
Time September 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Hello¡ I like all the question in this site. I consider are very nice and understable to begin a conversation, I m studying english and i have already talked about those questions.the question that I liked was IF I am a dog or a cat. I think I am a beautiful cat because Im very shy and Im strange.

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Time March 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

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Comment from Zahraa
Time April 19, 2011 at 1:18 am

i liked this artical very much and it will help me in future i am sure because sometimes i am getting stuck in the conversation specialy in English thanks alot

Comment from gagan
Time April 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Hi i m gagan, i have gone through one of your list . It’s really helpful for those who feel very shy to start conversation with someone….anyways keep updated new & new ideas all the time….

Comment from EDY EDISON
Time May 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm

i like your tips so much, will also recommend: How to win friends and influece People; by Dale Carnegie

Comment from Arianna
Time June 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm

lol okay i have a boyfriend and sum times we have things to talk about and sum times we don’t like to day we don’t im only 10 and i wanna talk about sumthing but is so boring i geust because he was playing plazmaburst and ooh yea hes 11 and im turning 11.

thank you,

Arianna McGee

Comment from Kate
Time June 18, 2011 at 6:33 am

these work nicely!

Comment from Ema
Time August 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Mate, this web site can be fabolous, i merely like it so much

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