You don’t need “lines” and “rules” to strike up a conversation with someone — just a great way to help them open up and start talking. Ask them for a recommendation, like for a place in town to eat, favourite holiday spot, movie to see, or anything that asks for their opinion and helps them open up and start talking — and gives you something to engage with them about.
When you are put in a group of strangers, ice breaker activities are a great way to start working together. Instead of just picking an activity at random, look at the goals of the group and design activities that focus on those.
You probably know this moment well. Everyone has said what they wanted to say and an awkward silence fills the room. Well, don’t be afraid — and save the day with a few of your best stories worth telling.
Hi Lifehacker, I get invited to my partner’s family dinners a few times a year, and I really struggle to find common ground. They are into travelling overseas and playing golf, while my interests are mostly gaming-related. I feel like I have nothing to contribute — I’ve even tried researching things to talk about. What can I do to contribute more to the conversation?
Nothing makes a conversation more awkward than silence. Improv comedy rules can be used to help improve your life in a lot of ways, and social encounters are no exception. Conversations are really just an improv scene anyway.
Small talk is hard. If you’re trying to really get someone to like you, FBI behavioural expert Robin Dreeke suggests that the best question to ask someone is about the challenges the faced over the week.
Not everyone is good at making small talk, and approaches like the five-stage outline can make things easier. Another key strategy? Aim for niceness rather than dazzle.