Making new friends can be challenging, especially as we get older. Unlike when we were younger, we no longer have school or extracurricular activities to meet new people.
As adults we often have to take the initiative to start conversations and put ourselves out there. However, starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, and it's not always easy to know what to say.
Here are five conversation starters that are perfect for people looking to make new friends.
1. "What brought you here today?"
This conversation starter is a great way to break the ice and get to know someone new when you’re out and about. Whether at a social event, a community gathering, or a business function, asking someone what brought them there can give you insight into their interests and motivations. It also demonstrates your interest in them. This can be a great starting point for a conversation that leads to a new friendship.
2. "What do you enjoy doing in your free time?"
Asking someone about their hobbies or interests can be a great way to get to know them on a more personal level. It's also an easy conversation starter because most people enjoy talking about the things they're passionate about.
If you discover that you share a common interest, you can ask follow-up questions or suggest getting together to do that activity. For example, if someone tells you that they enjoy hiking, you could suggest going for a walk together sometime. Or if someone says they enjoy trying new restaurants, you could ask them for recommendations, or suggest trying a new place together.
3. "Have you read any good books or seen any good movies lately?"
This conversation starter is a classic for a reason. Most people enjoy reading books or watching movies, and it's an easy topic to chat about. You can ask for recommendations, share your own favorites, and discuss your opinions about different books and movies. This can be a great way to get to know someone's tastes and preferences, and it might even lead to a new book club or movie-watching group. You could also dive into a conversation about a new movie that might be coming out that you’re both interested in seeing!
4. "What's your opinion on this?"
Asking someone for their opinion on a topic can be a great way to start a conversation. It shows that you value their thoughts and are interested in hearing what they have to say. You could ask for their opinion on a current event, a restaurant, or music a book. This can lead to a deeper conversation, and you may even learn something new.
5. Give a compliment - "That’s a beautiful jacket."
Complimenting someone is another great way to start a conversation. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and a sincere compliment can make someone's day.
If you want to use a compliment as a conversation starter, consider the following tips:
Be specific: Rather than giving a generic compliment, be specific about what you admire about the person. For example, instead of saying, "You look nice today," you could say, "I love your outfit; that color looks great on you."
Be genuine and avoid flattery: People can usually tell when a compliment is insincere, so make sure you mean what you say.
Follow up: After giving a compliment, follow up with a question or comment to keep the conversation going. For example, if you compliment someone's painting, you could ask them about their creative process or what inspires them.
Always try to keep the conversation going!
By using these conversation starters, you can break the ice and get to know someone new. Remember to be yourself, be friendly and open-minded, and most importantly, have fun. With a little effort, you might make a new friend who enriches your life in unexpected ways.