Being the one to start a conversation can be pretty awkward if there's no context.
We're not all chatty Cathys and just walking up and saying "hi!" really only works if you're an adorable extrovert (or toddler. mostly toddler.)
So how are we supposed to, like, talk to people?
Reddit user Eviotie asked:
"What is the best conversation starter you know?"
I'm not saying the answers are all right here. Some of these might actually be awful ideas - we're not the experts.
All we're saying is Reddit is full of "creative" conversationalists.
" 'So, you got any life regrets?' - my barber, the first time I walked in his shop."
"My only thought to that would be:"
" 'Jesus does my hair look that bad!?' "
"I once had an old Italian guy for a barber that, upon the fourth or fifth visit, proudly informed me that he was Benito Mussolini’s personal chauffeur."
"He would from then on tell me stories in praise of the man. This was around 20 years ago."
Exciting And Engaging ... Kinda
" 'Hey, you got anything you're looking forward to soon?' "
"Not only is it a great starter, but it is also really engaging because they're talking about something exciting."
"I use this so often!!"
"I used to use this one, but so many in my small town are just taking life day by day."
The Scott Pilgrim Method
"Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off the P and turn it into an F or whatever."
- whataboutschismscott pilgrim gideon graves GIFGiphy
Be A Pet Detective
"Actual answer: just ask about their pets."
"If they don't have any, ask if they'd ever want any."
"Even if they don't want any, they usually have a reason why."
"Ask them if they have pets."
"If they do, they'll gladly talk about it till the cows come home. Or they'll talk about the pets they wanted as kids or still want. Or about animals they like."
"If it turns out they don't like animals, you dodged bullet and they wouldn't have been fun to talk to anyway 😂 "
Know Your Audience
"Well, you have to know your audience."
"The best conversation starter for any millennial would be to use a SpongeBob reference."
"It’s usually met with a resounding sense of familiarity and laughter and streams into so many other references from the show, which then spirals into all Nickelodeon shows from of our generation, then Disney… the nostalgia wormhole is never ending and will always be a rousing topic of discussion among our kind."
"Intense nostalgia for the years of our youth cripples us and we will never not take a minute to revel in our glory years and all the amazing content those years produced for the world!!! :’) "
A Little Conditioning
" 'Give me some good news!' Works especially well with coworkers."
"Let them know the answer can be absolutely anything. Anything from the plans for the weekend to them enjoying the weather. Sometimes it's as simple as a song they liked was on the radio this morning."
"It puts people in a positive mindset of thinking when talking with you. Especially if you make it a habit of asking often."
"Once people get used to the question you can see them look forward to it when you walk in."
- GlumBridgeJeff Goldblum Reaction GIF by Apartments.comGiphy
You're Both Surrounded
"Talk about how they know the host of the party or which band they came out for or whatever."
"Just talk about the environment you're both surrounded by. What is the commonality?"
"It's a lot easier to transition into a natural flowing conversation from there."
Travel ... Maybe
"Actual answer: travel."
"Pretty much everyone enjoys travel and there are a lot of questions people can ask if you are planning a vacation or just got back from a vacation. Then you can ask them where they have been/want to go."
"Yeah this doesn't work with poor people. Where TF are we traveling to, the check cashing store?"
A Safer Route
"If I am meeting a person from a different culture, or race, or country, or religion, I ask one of two questions that cannot offend anyone."
" 'Tell me about your favourite food from your childhood.' "
" 'Tell me about the kind of music you listened to as a child.' (What instruments, singing style etc.)"
"People's childhood is often a safe topic, because there was no politics etc."
"But even if there was some awful thing that happened, if they choose to tell you about it, it is a sign that they trust you to understand, about the war, the earthquake, the loss of their parents, whatever trauma they endured."
- TheonAlexanderHungry Italian GIF by 8itGiphy
My Go-To Drunk Bathroom Conversation Starter
"If you’re a woman who is trying to make friends with women: astrology."
"Doesn’t matter how much or how little you know or how seriously you take it. Women use astrology as an excuse to talk to each other."
“ 'Okay but I can’t help but notice you have Leo/Aquarius vibes?' is my go-to drunk bathroom conversation starter with whoever has the coolest outfit."
"I’ve made 5 friends this way😁"
Like I said, creative conversationalists, aren't they?
But what about you? What's your favorite way to start conversations? Or are you the type who would rather die than have to initiate a conversation with a stranger?
Tell us in the comments.
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Why do bullies bully? More importantly... how do we get bullies to back off?
Can we just use words? Does it always have to resort to violence?
There is no reason in this world for anyone to be a bully. It's all about power and self worth.
The bully has none and it's all they want.
RedditorYaboi2tallwanted to hear about how bullies can be stopped.
"How did you get a high school bully to never mess with you again?"
I swung on my bully, with a pencil. Never had an issue again.
"Vomited all over him. After that he never messed with me again."
Linklee2Throw Up Season 2 GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"A group of sociopaths from my school that always tormented us followed me and my friends to my house one day in a pick up truck. They stole my friends shoes, pushed one of them until she fell, and took my sketchpad and threw it in a puddle. My stepbrother came outside, beat one of them badly, stole his pants, and threw his keys into a sewer grave before hitting him with an empty vodka bottle. It was traumatizing for me on both ends, but that group of kids never even looked at us again."
"He tried to shove me down an embankment while on a field trip. Had I fallen, I would have broken my leg or worse, because the embankment ended about 25 feet down, then dropped off into some deep brush and trees. Anyhow, my best friend was next to me, and said 'Watch it!' as he came at me."
"I side-stepped him, and he tumbled down the embankment and over the edge into the brush. Fractured several ribs, dislocated his shoulder and broke his ankle. He never did anything to me again. F**k you Darren! You b**ch!"
"She told me, my face made her want to kill herself. So I told the school counselor that she had confided in me she wanted to kill herself. She had to explain to the everyone what she really said. She would call me fat, and ugly everyday. She also would tell me I was trash because I was adopted. 'Your own mother thought you were so ugly she didn't want you.'"
"Made friends in the football team. Bullies think twice when you are buddies with a 6'2 250 pound Samoan. Crazy how nice so many Samoans are."
Large-Statistician-3serie a football GIF by U.S. Sassuolo CalcioGiphy
I do like Football players. I knew they'd good for something.
"I was bullied for my wheelchair, so I ran their feet over."
"Fast and furious."
Sigmrpaul walker family GIFGiphy
"A bully was harassing my daughter on the bus. Instead of calling his folks, or jumping on him, I did this…"
"I pulled him aside at the bus stop one day and asked for his help. “Hey Danny. I was hoping you could help me out. I guess there’s a kid on the bus who is picking on my daughter. She’s a girl and small and I’d like for you to help protect her. If you see anything like that, could you stick up for her please and let me know about it.'" That was the end of the bullying."
"Pretty much the same. Stopped associating with our mutual friends when I realized they're not my friends if they're friends with a bully like this person and ever since we graduated, and I've been out of that social bubble, it's just was over."
"Not a bully per se, but a d**k." In my French class a guy who sat behind me would always kick my chair repeatedly, and I was at the point where I was visibly infuriated by this happening every lesson. The girl who sat next to me turned to him and said 'Hey, you should probably stop doing that, he looks like he's about to hit you.'"
"Guy laughed it off and said I wouldn't. I didn't, but I turned around and cocked my arm back. He was leaning back on the hind legs of his chair with his feet on mine, so when I did this, he flinched, fell backwards off his chair, and got a few laughs from the people behind us. He never kicked my chair after that."
"Challenged him to a fight at lunch, left during the period before lunch to move 800 miles away."
undercoverhippieJosh Whitehouse Duel GIF by PoldarkGiphy
Sometimes all it takes is one good punch. Not that I'm advocating violence. But most bullies are just cowards.
As much as we love to have eyes for others, those eyes are witness to some yuck.
We are easily turned on by many things and people.
We're humans, humans are easy.
But turning off and shutting down is also easy.
And once we see certain things, they can never be unseen.
And so... we move on.
Let's make a list so people stay vigilant.
Redditorfiginjosejospewanted to hear about what makes us yell a big NO for some things.
"What is your biggest turn off?"
I am easily turned off. It's my one flaw. Anything can do it. Alas...
"When people smell bad. Hygiene is important."
ccherry124Violet Reaction GIF by Murdoch MysteriesGiphy
"One-uppers. Whatever you have done/seen or place you have gone, they have done it better."
"I struggle with this SO BADLY. I hear someone’s story and think 'I can relate! I’ve done XYZ' and tell the story. As soon as I see their facial expressions change I know they’ve taken it as me one upping. It’s so hard for me to relate without telling the story WHY I relate."
"Deception. Say what you freaking mean, and your actions must match your words."
"I don't know if this counts as deception but I have the hardest time verbalizing my thoughts in the way that I think them. So I say something that doesn't match my thoughts but it's like theres a disconnect in my brain that doesn't let me say what I want to say. I've had multiple tbi's from a young age but I don't know if that has any to do with it."
"When they constantly cut you off during a conversation."
"I noticed my bad habit of interrupting when I started dating my partner. I worked on it because it bothered him so much. Now when I'm around my family who I don't see often, I'm keenly aware of how bad we all are at it. Dinners, drinks, video calls are a literal cacophony of people talking over each other and having to repeat yourself because no one listens."
"Having been on this earth almost six decades, I can say this has definitely gotten worse over time. Now, you can see it getting worse by the year."
Cautious-Damage7575Blm Fight Me GIF by Holly LoganGiphy
I hate entitled people. Nobody is owed anything.
"When a person is rude or just behaves poorly and everyone around them says, 'that's just how he/she is.' No. There is no excuse for piss poor behavior."
Sarahkm90No Way Do Not Want GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"Over sharing at social media."
"I had an ex who would straight up get pissed if I didn’t post about us on instagram or facebook back when I had it. Even if we just hung out and did nothing Lol. She got even more upset if I did post something and not include her... or if I got more likes than her."
"Social media has completely ruined our brains… it’s so sad to realize the damage that’s been done in such a short amount of time."
"Littering. I absolutely hate it when people litter just because 'there is no trashcan close' or 'Yeah, but everything here is anyway already dirty.' That makes me so annoyed and just ugh. I can understand that it's annoying to keep on holding onto trash but like... It's not that difficult."
"Open mouth chewer. Or any kind of lip smacking while eating."
"At a family reunion, I got seated in front of a woman I hadn't met before. Food gets there and we started loading ourselves up. I still remember what we had: tostadas."
"They're a flat baked or fried tortilla topped with pretty much whichever ingredients you want. Usually meat, some veg, cheese, cream, and salsa. This is relevant because half of that food ended up smeared on her face. I have never seen a grown a** adult eat like that. Open mouth chewing, with food actually spilling out as she ate."
"Loud, boisterous talking and laughing, with more, half chewed food spilling out everywhere. And napkins seemed to not be a thing for her because she never used one, making all the cream and salsa get stuck to her lips and cheeks. I was freaking disgusted, as was everyone around her. That was not a pleasant meal."
"Using phones every time we hang out."
"My wife has a friend that if you aren’t talking to her about only her, she zones out and just stares at her phone."
mofoofinventionphone glow GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy
When the turn is off. It's off. And that's all.
When trying to eat healthy you have to do research.
We have to be vigilant and read the labels.
Just because it says "healthy"... that means nothing.
That was just years of gaslighting.
Also, just because it says "diet" you can't have 10 of them.
RedditorJoltyJobwanted to dissect what's on the menu.
"What food do most people think is healthy but is actually unhealthy?"
I love fruit. But... some fruits are just sugar. Now they tell us.
"Can confirm this. I used to work there and most of the smoothies on the menu are made with frozen juice concentrate which was just liquid processed sugar and multiple scoops of sherbet. Not sorbet. Sherbet."
Coconut_LessJoseph Sikora Drinking GIF by PowerGiphy
"Naked smoothies/juices and flavored yogurt."
"Looking through the various yogurt's nutritional information while trying to find a good High-protein Greek Yogurt recently was very eye-opening. The majority of them were pretty much just softer ice cream."
"Some people think 'Gluten Free' means 'healthy.' Not automatically, it doesn't. This is NOT about people who MUST follow a GF diet."
"As someone with celiac disease it’s astounding how often I have to explain this to people. Gluten free diets are no healthier than regular diets. Gluten is just a single protein being omitted from your diet. The difference is you’re probably eating way less bread, or you’re just generally more anxious about eating so you might lose weight as a result."
"I'm shocked how many moms think Nutella is better than peanut butter."
"When it first came out in Australia they advertised it 'less fat than peanut butter' and 'less sugar than jam' so that sounds great..."
"Until you think about it, peanut butter is high in fat but low in sugar and jam is high in sugar and low in fat. So of course Nutella has less fat than peanut butter, it's got to make room for all the added sugar. And of course it has less sugar than jam, it's gotta make room for all that palm oil."
Same for apples...
"Granola bars. They're chocolate, oats and sugar for the most part. Oats can be healthy by themselves. But a granola bar is unhealthy due to all the sugar, chocolate and stuff along with them. Same for apples. Apples are healthy, apple pie, not healthy."
SinisterMeatballSnacking Hey Girl GIF by Nature ValleyGiphy
The truth about granola bars has been out there forever. Beware...
"That's because when I was kid the food pyramid posters were printed by the American grain council. They said we needed a couple of servings of both meat and vegetables and like 9 servings of bread and various grain products."
"Juice. Most packaged juices you get are super high in sugar."
"Ha. One of the reasons why I switched providers last year for my prenatal care was because the first one told me, in all seriousness, I needed to drink three cups of milk and two cups of juice per day. I was like, say what now???"
"Same with ketchup 25% of it is sugar."
Check the Bag
"This is actually a pretty good response. A surprising number of people didn't check the back of those packages to find that they're just Pringles that included a little bit of vegetable dust in the potato chip mix. People actually think they're just eating salty crispy vegetables."
"Anything 'natural' doesn’t immediately mean healthy. At least in the EU when a product is natural, it doesn’t need to go through all the testing that is required for other products. This doesn’t mean that the product is safe, as many natural products can be harmful."
"Panera Bread...healthy 'clean' ingredients. It's full of salt, sugar and processed crap."
Carrann82312. Panera for the Win!Giphy
Just because it says healthy or diet doesn't mean it's true. Lesson learned.
It's hard not to look back on history and be disgusted by a number of things which were at one point deemed acceptable, even not so long ago in the grand scheme of things.
The endless list includes segregation and women not having the right to vote.
We'd certainly like to think that we've come a long way.
But when we look back on how much we, as a culture, have evolved for the better, it also makes us stop and wonder what current customs or practices accepted in society today people twenty years from now will look back on in disgust.
This piqued the curiosity of RedditorSalt-Campaign6402,leading them to take to Reddit to ask:
"What modern day practice/ belief is most likely to be considered barbaric and outdated in the future?"
A revaluation of medical practices
"The way that f*cking speculum is shaped."- PopK0rnAndMMs
"Gynaecology procedures being done with out sedation or some type of proper numbing agent."- baconbutt96
The end of stigma
"The entire system surrounding mental health."- crapgarbage
More respect for the environment
"Deforestation hopefully."- CrumbledTheCookies
More sustainable materials
"Single use plastics."- Lemilli000000n
Improvements in wages and working hours
"Working long hours to the point of sleep deprivation and exhaustion."
"Right now people brag about it."- HonestlyPizza
"It's a scam made up by the rich to make the poor feel good about being exploited."- whythatusername
More humane treatment of animals
"Breeding dogs that can’t breathe."- username-alrdy-takn
Possible life saving advancements in science?
"I feel like organ transplants from strangers will seem bizarre in the future."
"I imagine we will be able to grow genetically-identical organs and use those instead."- thunderbiird1
Twenty years from now, we'll likely find ourselves relieved that some things have finally changed.
Then too, we might look back in horror at many things we wouldn't even take a second thought about at the time.