Once you subscribe to Awkward Silence, you will receive 10 new conversation starters emailed to you every week. Plus a starter pack to get you talking immediately.

Add awkwardsilence@awkwardsilence.com.au to your “safe-senders” list immediately to ensure you get our emails.

When you are in a setting where the conversation needs a kick-start, you simply pull out your phone, check your email and pick a conversation starter or bunch that you like. This may be when alone with your partner, over a coffee, on a road-trip, having drinks with friends, at dinner with your family, etc.

For instance, Susan goes out for a coffee with Jill. They are old friends. After updating each other about the week, Susan starts asking questions she doesn’t particularly care to hear the answers for (How is work?, How is Bruce?), and is wondering how long it will be before she can make an excuse to move on. Jill checks the latest Awkward Silence email on her phone.

Jill:  Do you think bugs have emotions?
Susan:  I don’t think so.  They just do what they need to.
Jill:  But what about bees?  Can’t they get angry?
Susan:  That’s true.  And ladybugs can fear you, they will curl up in balls to protect themselves.  And ants have dedication I suppose.  Is dedication an emotion?
Jill:  I’m not sure.
Susan:  Do you think we should be stepping on bugs if they have emotions?
Jill:  I think it’s fine.
(Note: At this point two more possible conversation topics have already emerged from the first conversation starter.)
Susan:  What made you ask that anyway?
Jill:  I subscribe to Awkward Silence and they send me conversation starters.  Do you want to do another one?
Susan:  Yes please!

Susan has become more enthusiastic about the conversation. You can be sure that next time they get together for coffee that Susan will be asking Jill to pull out her latest email notification from Awkward Silence, if she hasn’t already subscribed to it herself.

Awkward Silence always send out a combination of fun & deep conversation starters. Beginning with some fun questions can help “disarm” a person so that when you ask the deep questions they are more likely to answer openly.

As we saw earlier, one conversation starter can open up other ideas for conversation. That’s the point of Awkward Silence, we give ideas to start the conversation.

The people that get the most out of Awkward Silence are the ones who aren’t defensive with their answers, giving non-answers. For instance:

Wilbert: What’s more important for a relationship: chemistry or compatibility?
Roger:  Define chemistry.  Define compatibility.  Define relationship.  The question isn’t specific enough.
Wilbert:  OK, let’s try this one instead.  Do you think bugs have emotions?
Roger:  It’s irrelevant.  That question is stupid.
Wilbert:  OK.
(End of attempt to have an engaging conversation.  Wilbert doesn’t get together with Roger again in a hurry.)

Roger was looking for reasons to not answer the question. He could have easily used general understandings of definitions for those terms, but instead nit-picked like he was trying to win a debate. He missed out on an engaging conversation in an attempt to make himself sound clever. He was right that it probably doesn’t matter whether bugs have emotions, but he also missed the point that Wilbert was trying to have a fun conversation with him.

When you use Awkward Silence, you will find many will participate heartily in it and thoroughly enjoy it. Others will resist it. Use Awkward Silence with those who actually want to interact with you.

At times, conversations will reveal a difference of opinion in people. Conversations can be a great way to challenge people, though if they disagree with you then they will rarely change their opinion on the spot. But it can contribute to you both thinking through and articulating your viewpoint. Often people change their opinion privately, perhaps as a result of being exposed to new viewpoints in earlier conversations. So converse respectfully, and accept that it’s often OK for people to have a difference of opinion or differing attitude.

When you receive your weekly subscription from Awkward Silence, perhaps add it to a special folder in your email cabinet. That way you can access them easily again in the future.

If there are people you catch up with regularly, you will find that using Awkward Silence will become a natural habit.

If you are in your lunch room at work, get your phone out and ask some Awkward Silence questions.

Having dinner with your partner? Turn the TV off and use Awkward Silence to start a conversation. Or if you’re out to dinner, make it interesting while waiting for the food to come.

Peak hour traffic jam again? Make the trip fly by with gripping conversation between you & your passenger.

Beer o’clock? Loosen up for great conversations.

Are your kids looking at their phone rather than interacting with you? Use Awkward Silence to give them some conversation bait.

Awkward Silence is simple to use, as long as you enjoy conversation.