At parties, weddings and other occasions, we can bump into people we haven't seen for a while.
You would think this would mean you would have lots to catch-up on. But often it leads to awkwardness.
"How have you been?"
"What's been happening?"
Due to the time elapsed, we feel we need to have something significant to respond with. You wouldn't think to talk about the interesting film you watched last night, like you might if you were talking with someone you had seen last week.
And our mind draws blank. The scope is too broad for us to find a specific answer worth mentioning.
We ask about work (as ever, a dull question) or family (which is somewhat impersonal).
Instead, ask someone if they've done any overseas trips in the past year, or have plans to travel. That's easier to answer. Ask them how their 2017 has been. That gives the question some focus.
Ask them what their goal is this year.
And once you've warmed up, you can always try some Awkward Silence conversation starters from your weekly subscription or the app. This helps the chemistry along.
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