Last weekend a stranger was asking me about Awkward Silence. He didn't seem very impressed by it, saying he had no problem making conversation, but wanted a sample anyway.
I asked him this question from our samplers page: "If you ever went to jail, what would be the charge?" His response was that he will never go to jail, so the question has no point and he wouldn't answer it. For me, the conversation was not particularly interesting. I was pretty happy to see the back of him.
His point was valid, but he missed the bigger point that I was trying to have a conversation with him. He was a self-proclaimed conversation expert, but I wasn't that interested in talking to him any longer.
It comes back to the joke "what if there was no such thing as hypotheticals?". Yet not only are hypotheticals good for conversation, they can also give us an indicator of personality and can tell us something about the person.
I don't think I'll ever go to jail, but I answer that question. It would probably be road rage. I can be very territorial, and this comes out on the road a lot when people cut in front of me. I also hate it when people don't give "thank you waves", I think it's bad manners. It's a hypothetical question but you have just learnt a few real things about me.
So try hypothetical questions. They can be really fun, great for conversation and help you learn something about the character of your friends.
On the course of thinking on a new line, we can stumble on an idea trail. If we follow it, that idea starts to take shape.
When we're in a forced conversation, the temptation is to default to light filler topics. But it's easy to have a gripping conversation with someone you have never met before. It could be more memorable than you expect.
The future is here. This is the new approach to conversation - the unexpected, the unconventional, the unpredictable.
When you talk to someone, you realise they have passions, struggles, quirks & hopes. The same as you. This is how conversation builds acceptance of diversity.
When we bump into someone we haven't seen in a while, conversation doesn't always come easily. What should you talk about after all these years?
The fascinating thing about children is that they see the world in a different way to what you do. Even more, they have tremendous imaginations. Why wouldn’t you want to tap into that?
Complaining people are boring. If you need to get things off your chest, apply some strategy to it.