People Share The Best Conversation Starters They Know
Alexis Brown/Unsplash

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.

Barbershop Bluntness

" 'So, you got any life regrets?' - my barber, the first time I walked in his shop."

- patoysakias

"My only thought to that would be:"

" 'Jesus does my hair look that bad!?' "

- Crying_Reaper

"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."

- GozerDGozerian

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."

- koolkai123

"I use this so often!!"

- seekingkindness

"I used to use this one, but so many in my small town are just taking life day by day."

- No_Storage6015

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."

- whataboutschism

scott 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."

- dancingbanana123

"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 😂 "

- Acriciel

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!!! :’) "

- seekingkindess

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."

- GlumBridge

Jeff 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."

- WhiskyAtNoon

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."

- acl2244

"Yeah this doesn't work with poor people. Where TF are we traveling to, the check cashing store?"

- [Reddit]

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."

- TheonAlexander

Hungry 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😁"

- brain_goal

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.

I had to stop watching talent shows years ago because while I got to see some really enjoyable acts—especially singers, of which there are a seemingly endless number—I grew sick and tired of how scripted everything felt.

For one thing, I hate overt sentimentalty because it can ring very false, and that's how I've felt whenever I've had to sit through any sob stories. Everyone has a sob story.

The music swells and immediately we'll hear about someone's cancer diagnosis or the fact they lost their house due to foreclosure or that their father died and that afterward they found bodies in his shed and learned he was a notorious serial killer...

Okay, that last one might have been made up. But my point stands.

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