10 Conversation Topics That Are Actually Useful

Silas & Grace

Starting a conversation probably gives you a bit of anxiety, as it has with me in the past as well.

And I get it, finding the right conversation topics so things don’t get awkward and fall into an uncomfortable silence is not always the easiest.

In fact, if the other person is feeling the same way (and they probably are), then getting a conversation to feel comfortable is going to be a bit difficult.

But I promise you, there are ways around this and this is something you can totally accomplish!

You’re not some loser who just can’t get things right when starting up a conversation, and you’re not the first. In fact, I think it’s kind of cool that you’re here and want to learn ways to better yourself.

So let’s get you started with some great tips and conversation topics that’ll help you get rid of that anxiety. 🙂

Tips on Better Conversation

Before we head into the top 10 conversation starters, I thought I would first share some of my most helpful tips for making conversation less anxiety-ridden.

And I promise, these really do work because these are tips I and others have used before. 😊 

  1. Make it about the other person: This is a tip that came from a very good friend and it’s true! When you turn your attention to the other person and make it all about them, suddenly, your concerns feel a lot smaller. You’re not as focused on yourself and what the next thing you should say is or how you can make sure not to mess up the conversation. You’re just relaxing and taking in what the other person has to say. And eventually, the conversation will smooth out into a comfortable dialogue.
  2. Focus on the person you’d like to be: I’ve used this one and it’s given me incredible experiences with people. Essentially, back in the day when Facebook was a lot more popular, I was on it all the time (not good, I know). And I started to notice something; the me on Facebook, was a lot more outgoing, funny, and witty than the real me. So I thought to myself, “Ok, what would the Facebook me do in this situation? What would she say or how would she act?” And suddenly, going to parties where I didn’t know half the people felt extremely comfortable. My walls started coming down and I had so much more fun!
  3. Do not monologue: I know this one is obvious, but it’s so easy to do and especially when we’re feeling nervous. So if you are feeling anxious and start to see yourself talking a bit too much, take a small pause, and think through whether the next thing you want to say is important. If it’s not, and you realize you’re talking because of your nerves, try handing the conversation back to the other person and ask them what they think on the topic! 🙂
  4. Ask follow-up questions, but don’t make it an interrogation: I think many of us know that in order for a conversation to flow, it’s important to make sure that you’re asking follow up questions. But a key factor here is to make sure that the other person doesn’t feel like they’re being interrogated. And here’s how you do that; before asking the next question, create a response that’s related. So if someone is talking about there dog, you can then give a quick thought you had on their dog’s breed (maybe something you like about it), and then follow up with a question. Then it feels more like a conversation.
  5. And lastly, just know that people like you a lot more than you realize: Go into a conversation knowing that people like you more than you know. In a scholarly journal it was said that after people had participated in a conversation, they ended up being liked more than they realized. It’s easy to think horrible things about ourselves and how we just don’t measure up. But others don’t see you that way. They don’t have years of living in your body and in your head. They don’t know the mistakes you’ve made, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t really care. So try going into a conversation without your reservations and try letting it flow.
  6. Take notes: If you already know the person, and you know you’ll be seeing them again, take notes on your phone (or elsewhere) about the things you want to talk about with them. I know this doesn’t like you’re close to that person, but I promise you, it really is a good idea! I mean how many times do we get together with a friend and once the meeting is done and we’re in the car, we realize, “Oh my gosh, I forgot to tell them!” And you KNOW it could have been a cool conversation too! Also, if you’re nervous about awkward silences and a stalling conversation, just having notes on what you want to discuss or ask them about is a great way to prevent that. You can simple say something like, “Ok, so I took some notes on things I wanted to bring up because I know I would probably forget them.” They’re probably not gonna care, and they might just think that you’re a very thoughtful person who wants to get the most out of the relationship and interaction! Also, I know someone who does this and their conversations are always good!

But now that you know some basic tips for having a good conversation, here are are some good conversation starters to make things more comfortable for you and the other person. 

Top 10 Conversation Starters

1. What do you think about {insert event, speaker, party, etc. that you are both attending}? It’s simple, but a good place to start since you both have something in common: you are both attending the same gathering. Then you can go into your thoughts as well, agree (truthfully of course) with theirs, and ask some follow up questions.

2. What have you been learning or reading about lately? As I talked about in the conversation tips above, you want to try your best to make things more about them. And when you ask a question like this, you can start to see what kind of person they are, what they’re into, their thoughts and feelings about certain topics, and how you can relate. And if you’re finding it hard to relate, then continue asking more follow up questions such as, “Oh that’s interesting, how do you feel that affects {insert a section of the population, their personal life, etc.}.

3. So how did you get to know {insert name of mutual friend}? Whether you’re attending a mutual friend’s get-together or you both just happen to have a mutual friend, this can be a fun place to swap stories and then potentially find common ground. So if he or she has something in common with your mutual friend, chances are they might have something in common with you since you’re friends with the same person too!

4. So what are your plans for this coming {insert season, holiday, etc.}? Many of us have plans that we’re looking forward to and this is a great place to ask them about their upcoming events and get to know more about what makes them excited. Then of course you can share yours too and potentially discuss a place they’re going to visit that you’ve been to as well.

5. So how do you like to spend your weekends? It’s simple, but if you’re both introverts or extroverts, this is a great place to relate. And even if you’re not, then you get to know someone and their interests and feelings and ask more questions.

6. Hey, I really like {insert their hairstyle, clothing piece, etc.}! Again, you’re making it about them and when you give someone a genuine compliment, their own personal walls start coming down a bit and you’re able to connect. Then you can talk about where they got that top or how they learned to do their hair that way or where they got their nails done. 

7. What’s a hobby or pursuit or interest you’ve taken up this year? This is a great way to see what kind of person they are while also starting up a topic that has a lot of open ended questions. You can even learn about something that might interest you and then you can eventually talk about your own hobbies and pursuits.

8. So how many kids do you have? This one is a question you ONLY ask if they’ve brought up that they have kids in passing. Then you can follow it up with how old they are, can I see photos, etc. When you do this, I’ve found that people love it and are able to open up like crazy. You’re both talking about something they’re passionate about and then it can lower the walls for more comfortable conversation.

9. Do you also feel uncomfortable when starting a conversation with a new person? This is a bit of a funny icebreaker and a good one to make you both chuckle. Most likely, both of you are going to relate to this feeling and then you can both potentially open up about how you feel when first meeting people. You’ll find that you’re not the only one having certain types of feelings!

10. So what kind of places have you visited this year? Not everyone is going to have traveled, but this conversation starter can go one of two directions. One, they say yes and you ask them about it and start a conversation. Two, they say no and then you can ask them where they would like to go next. Then ask follow up questions such as what interests them about that location, what they would do while there, your experience when having personally visited that location, etc.

I hope all of these tips and conversation topics helped you out! I know how stressful it can be so I wanted to make some conversation starters that were actually useful.

PS – Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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Silas & Grace

Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.

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