Conversation with Ron: How do you start a conversation?

  28th Sep 21


You probably know the answer, or maybe you don’t.

I like your smile after you read the sentence above. It makes me feel comfortable to write more. There you go. That’s one way to start a conversation – to say something nice. And it goes first on our list.

1. Say something interesting and pleasant.

A statement like: “Oh, you must try their apple pie here. It tastes magnicent”, is a classic opening in a food setting, but make sure you actually had that dessert, or else you’ll sound dishonest. “I like that book you’re reading” is good too.

This approach can make a person smile. It’s a good ice-breaker that’ll lead to a fruitful conversation. A warning: Don’t comment on physical attributes. It could sound freaky. Saying something like “You have nice smooth hands” is borderline weird.

2. Get an opinion.

It’s a move that shows you’re interested in what someone has to say, that it’s ok to let them lead the conversation. The topic, though, must be relevant.

“What do you think of our athletes’ performances in the Tokyo Olympics?” is a good subject; it’s the news and people follow it. “How do you like the green tea here?” is another good one; it brings up an opportunity to discuss something delightful.

We still must tread carefully with certain subjects. For example, “Do you think the government should extend e  orts to reduce racism?” might be a good question to ask, but not an ideal start to create a relaxed environment.

Stick to relevant and conducive topics to talk about. Be positive and be nice. The person you’re having a conversation with could end up being one of your best friends one day.

3. Comment on the weather.

Alright, this may be a cliché, but surprisingly it does work. There could be no drawback to this because the weather is one thing that almost everyone can relate to. When you’re in the midst of a hot day, remarking on the weather is a great way to start a conversation. Why?

Because you’re both experiencing it. “It’s quite hot today, isn’t it?” is a cool way (no pun intended) to open a discussion. When it’s a nice day – “It’s a lovely day, aren’t the birds singing?” can put the other person in a responsive mood. And who knows where it would lead you when it’s raining. “They say that Paris is beautiful in the rain, don’t you think?” / “Well, I don’t know.” / “Have you been to Paris?” / “No.” / Neither have I.” / And then you both laugh. See what I mean? Weather talk works.

4. Offer help.

Who would refuse help these days? Almost no one. So unless that other person is secretly Spiderman or Wonder Woman, your assistance is often welcome. So if you are craving to talk to someone you can help in a given situation, for your own sake, don’t miss the chance.

“Can I help you reach that book on the shelf?” “May I hold that box while you’re getting your water?” “Would you like this magazine? I have an extra one.” These are all good openings. The person will be grateful and will open a space for you to engage in a good conversation. These are simple approaches.

But don’t overdo it. Don’t be borderline intrusive. “Oh, you didn’t have enough cash. Would you like me to pay for your drink?” is too presumptuous. The person will think that it’s you who needs help and will feel that you’re a creep. And that’s not helpful…, at all.

5. Just say ‘hi’ and smile.

Yes. A one-syllable word ‘hi’ and a sincere delightful smile can go places too. If you’re the shy type and a person who needs a lot of time to warm up (alright, please don’t do any stretching exercises, that’s not what I mean) while attempting to talk to someone, then this is for you. This may also open a whole new world of gentle communication with someone you would like to speak with. An impromptu topic could spring up, and the other person might be the one to start it.

So, ok, that’s it. Those are some of the ways to open up a conversation. Now, next, you may want to know how to close the conversation. Well, I will leave it up to you. Do it in your own polite way. And as for the subject of starting up a talk, this conversation is now closed.


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