How to make a conversation with a stranger? I already discussed how to tell whether you’re boring someone and how to prevent becoming a bore. However, although avoiding topics that are likely to bore someone is rather simple, figuring out what to say if you want to be intriguing is far more difficult. It can be difficult to strike up a nice discussion.
“Can you tell me where you live?”
“Really. “I live on the upper east side of Manhattan.”
The silence was agonizing.
How to make a conversation with a stranger? When your mind is blank, try the following strategies:
How to make a conversation with a stranger?
comment on something that both of you are thinking about right now
the meal, the room, the occasion, the weather. “How did you learn about our host?” “How did you get to be here?” But try to stay on the bright side! If you can’t be fantastically humorous, the first time you meet someone isn’t the best moment to complain.
Make a broad comment on a topic of interest
Before going somewhere where he needs to make a small chat, a friend checks Google News to see what’s going on, so he can say something like, “Did you hear that Justice Souter is stepping down from the bench?” or whatever else is going on.
Ask open-ended inquiries that require more than a single word to answer
“How are you keeping yourself occupied these days?” If you’re talking to someone who doesn’t work in an office, this is a good question to ask. It’s also beneficial since it allows people to focus on anything other than their job (volunteering, family, or a pastime), which is preferable to the inevitable query (at least in New York City): “What do you do?”
“What are you working on these days?” is a variation. If you need to know what the person works for a living but can’t recall, this is a good way to get around it.
Instead of just providing your facts in response to a query that may be addressed in a single word, ask a follow-up question
“What would your life be like if you still lived there?” might be an interesting follow-up question if you ask, “Where are you from?” If you inquire, “Do you have children?” you may follow up with, “How are you different from your parents as a parent?” or “Have you opted to do anything drastically different from how you were raised?”
Ask questions to help you get to know one another
“Are you a subscriber to any newspapers or magazines?” What websites do you go to frequently?” These inquiries frequently reveal a hidden passion, which can lead to interesting discussions.
React to what someone says in the spirit of the person who commented
Try to chuckle if he makes a joke, even if it’s not particularly humorous. React with surprise if she says anything startling (“Did you know that Stephanie Meyer wrote one out of every seven books sold last year?”). I’ve recently had a couple of conversations in which the person with whom I was conversing just did not respond to anything I said. I was attempting to be smart and fascinating, but these two people acted as if everything I said was obvious and boring. It didn’t please me.
A friend encourages you to admit it!
“Aren’t we putting forth a lot of effort?” or “It’s frustrating—I’m sure we share interests, but we’re having a hard time figuring out what they are.” This is a last-ditch effort, but my friend swears it works. I’ll admit that I’ve never dared to do it.
Read also: Things to make conversation interesting