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A lot of people I know really hate small talk. I get it. It can feel daunting. You just met someone. What do you talk about? What can you say that won't leave you feeling like such a dolt? The key, of course, is to simply put the ball in their court. Get this new person to start talking with an excellent icebreaker and conversation should start flowing in no time.

People offered their best advice after Redditor Cavalierkrav asked the online community,

"What's your favorite question to ask someone to get to know them better?"

"Even as a complete non-sequitur..."

"I like to ask what people's favorite food is. Even as a complete non sequitur it's a good conversation starter. Everyone has a favorite food, it's innocent but very personal and there's usually a story or insight into their background/culture behind it."

Valahar81

"I went to a music outing..."

"I went to a music outing with this girl I recently started seeing and her friend was ditched so we said that he could join us. When trying to get to know each other better, he asked me "what my favorite breakfast food was." We had a solid fifteen-minute conversation about french toast and different toppings and how an egg should be prepared depending on how you had spent your previous evening. Great ice breaker."

Merick24

A poached egg is a personal favorite of mine. It's rather funny how many people don't particularly care for them––they're incredible and instantly brighten my day.

"Everyone always has a different answer..."

"I like to ask "what is your favorite version of the potato?" Everyone always has a different answer and is pretty opinionated about it."

ptran99

The correct answer is baked, okay? Baked. Few things bring me as much joy as a baked potato.

"If I gave you the money..."

"If I gave you the money to set up a theme restaurant or bar, what would be the theme? What would you call the establishment? What would be the signature cocktail?"

SCATOL92

This is a good one! Let people's imaginations run wild.

Now if only I enjoyed theme parks.

"Oddly..."

"Have you read any good books recently?

Oddly, this makes people really excited about a book they are reading or sad that they haven't read one lately."

everclearly

Okay, this is definitely a question I can get behind. I read all the time. If I hit my stride with someone, we'll be there for hours.

"I asked my students..."

"I asked my students today what is their biggest fear. They each wrote their answer on a post-it note anonymously and didn't see other answers until they were all on the board. It was hilarious how many of them answered "my mom.""

SparxD

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of children as much as a stern look from their mother.

"If you could only eat..."

"If you could only eat one type of cheese for the rest of your life, which type of cheese would it be?"

techvolcanic

Don't ask me this. Ever. How do you ever expect me to narrow this down?!

"Pets are a good one."

"Pets are a good one. If they don't have any pets, ask them what pet they would want, or any childhood/old pets. It's personal, but not too personal. Also, people love talking about their pets."

DragonsandSnakes13

"I like to ask people..."

"I like to ask people if they have any really good ghost stories. Depending on their religion or culture or upbringing, I've heard some pretty awesome experiences.

Particularly from NYC cab drivers."

fredlikesmustard

"It often leads..."

"What is one thing you wish people knew about you? It often leads to sincere responses or something they are passionate about."

ImNotEvenDeadYet

If you're having some trouble opening up (or getting people to open up to you) then this list is bound to be of some use. Try it out––and report back. Meeting new people can be an anxious affair, but it doesn't have to be.

Have some tips of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!

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