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.
If you aren’t listening, the conversation doesn’t evolve. It’s just two people saying things they each already know at each other.
Some things are good for us to hear, even if they are things we already know.
Martin Pistorius was diagnosed as being brain dead. Yet he was conscious, alert, and could see & hear everything that was happening around him. No one realised for 11 years.