We’ve all been at those holiday gatherings or weekend parties, where for whatever reason, things slow down, the mood becomes dour, the atmosphere grows awkward. You can’t think of anything worthwhile to say, and no one else seems able to either. Don’t fret – here are some extremely effective conversation starters to kick things off with family or friends in any social situation.
PAST MEMORABLE MOMENTS – Bring up a memorable moment or anecdote that you and your family or friends all remember – a funny story, an embarrassing mishap, or a trip that everyone enjoyed. This will get everyone feeling at ease, reflecting on the good times you all have shared together, and likely will start multiple conversations about a successive series of similar moments.
MISSING OR ABSENT FAMILY MEMBERS/FRIENDS – This is a great chance to playfully pick on those friends or family members that are not present, and such conversation starters often make everyone present at gatherings feel better about their presence, relaxes any tension in the room, and helps knit together those who did manage to come together. Keep the teasing light and funny.
A FUNNY EVENT AT THE PREVIOUS GATHERING – Similar to the first point, this conversation starter helps bring everyone together through reminiscing, but by doing so with a more recent event you increase the likelihood that most people in attendance will remember. This kind of conversation starter often leads to many of your friends and family members offering different points of view for the same event.
EVENTS IN THE NEWS – Topics ripped from the headlines are great for starting conversations, since it’s very likely that most, if not all, of the people you are talking with are familiar with the topic. People with good social skills though are weary of touchy topics. Try to avoid politics, unless you know for certain that your friends or family members enjoy such debates.
EVENTS IN THE FAMILY/SOCIAL GROUP – This is usually the easiest conversation starter for a group of friends or family members, since it is likely that everyone involved will share an interest in the event. Typically these involve the life-changing events such as weddings, births, graduations, promotions and the like, but such conversations may also involve more mundane happenings such as garage sales, kids’ soccer games, hobbies or minor activities.
CATCH UP! – The best conversation starter is usually asking about your friend or family member’s recent past, catching up on all of the things that have happened since you last talked with them. Use this as the springboard to further conversations and develop your conversation skills about any new details that they may bring up.