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.
Food should always taste better than it looks. Likewise, people should always be more interesting than they appear.
How we start a conversation often decides its trajectory. So maybe you should rethink how you greet people.
Even when you can't solve a friend's problem, talking about it helps.
Conversation will make or break a first date. How can you take the pressure off of thinking of things to talk about?
Do you use your words to make a positive impact or a negative one? Have you listened to yourself lately?
What should you talk about when you know a conversation is only going to be brief?
If you want to have a rewarding conversation with someone, never ask this question.
There is a reason we are social. It's to be known.
Last week, we discussed the importance of not interrupting others. But sometimes an interruption can actually enhance a conversation.
You hate being interrupted, but do you interrupt others?