As more people are getting vaccinated, those who have been avoiding social situations for either pandemic or personal reasons (or both) may find themselves in a situation where they’re supposed to socialise. This includes both starting and having a conversation.
Instead of asking someone how they’ve been over the past year-and-a-half, Maryn Liles at Parade recommends kicking things off with some hypothetical questions. Here are some suggestions for the next time you’re faced with the challenge of socialising.
Why hypothetical questions come in handy
It’s not always easy to think of something to say to other people, so why not turn it around and ask them a hypothetical question. Here’s what Liles says about them:
Whether serious or silly, hypothetical questions are a great way to get an interesting conversation started. They create an open environment where people can share their inner thoughts and feelings. You get to know the person you are talking to better since these “What if…?” questions force you to think and use your imagination.
Examples of hypothetical questions
Here are some sample questions to get you started:
1. If you had the chance, would you want to be pain-free for the rest of your life?
2. Would you take a $50k/week job offer where you get paid to sit in a pitch-black room and do nothing for 20 hours a day?
3. What would I hear if I asked a group of people who know you for five adjectives to describe you?
4. Which place on the planet would you never want to live, and why?
5. Which famous person’s body would you take over if you were a zombie?
6. What would your first reaction be if I told you that you had failed?
7. Would you rather forget about yourself or forget about anyone else?
8. Will you be able to give up 30 years of your life in exchange for allowing a stranger to die?
9. Would you take something that removes your body’s need for sleep if it was given to you?
10. Would you rather have to say anything that comes to mind all the time or never have to say anything at all?
11. Which mask would you like if you had to wear one for the rest of your life?
12. What music would you prefer if you could just listen to one song for the rest of your life?
13. What show would you like if you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month? And who would you be if you were a character?
14. We can select a single colour that our eyes can see before we are born. What colour would you like to choose?
15. Every day, 12 new things arrive in your house, all of which begin with a letter you choose. Which letter would you pick?
16. What would you choose if you had the option of living for seventy years and being incredibly happy or living forever and being unhappy?
17. How would you handle a situation at work where you were asked to execute a task that went against your morals?
18. Would you like to be the President of the United States or the Head of State of a Monarchy? Where would you rule if you were a monarch?
19. What would you eat if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?
20. Do you think you could persuade a coworker to see your point of view on a strategy’s direction? If that’s the case, how would you persuade them?