Erin is a self-proclaimed “certified small talker” with plenty of conversation hacks up her sleeve. In a recent TikTok video, she shared some genius conversation starters for those small talk moments you’re bound to encounter at dinner parties with distant relatives, or any other social events where you don’t have a lot in common with the other guests.
Erin mentions the general rule of thumb that says you shouldn’t ask “yes or no” questions if you’re trying to keep the conversation going — except for this one question: “Is this a busy time of year for you?”
“Everyone has an answer because people love to talk about how busy they are,” Erin explains. “And then all you do is sit there and soak it in. You don’t have to talk at all. If you don’t like talking, that’s the question to ask everyone.”
Erin’s next conversation starter is a question everyone can answer: “What are your upcoming plans?”
“Any kind of plans,” Erin elaborates. “‘What do you have coming up for New Year’s Eve?’ ‘Do you have any trips coming up soon?’ ‘What do you got going on this weekend?’ Anything that lets them chit-chat, and also you get to find out some fun stuff. I’ve heard about a lot of really good things just by asking people, ‘What do you got going on this weekend?’”
Erin shares that some of the best questions are ones that the asker gets something out of, such as advice.
“I always think a good question to ask around the table is, ‘What advice did you get this year that you would want to pass on?’ I think it’s a really nice alternative to asking, ‘What are you thankful for?’”
And if all else fails, you can always ask your conversation partners for recommendations.
“My favorite thing about this is you give a little and you get a lot,” says Erin. “So, let’s say I wanna ask about new music. I would say, ‘I’ve been listening to so much funk music lately, but I kind of want to branch out. What have you been into?’ [or] ‘I’ve been trying to wean myself off TikTok. What apps have you been trying?’”
Again, recommendation questions are ones that the asker really benefits from.
TikTok users were thankful for the suggestions
Viewers were loving the conversation starters.
“As someone who’s trying to stop gossiping, I NEEDED THIS,” one honest TikToker wrote.
“‘Are you busy this time of year?’ GOLD! My favorite is asking for food recommendations lol,” another small-talk-savvy person wrote.
“I start convos with kids first. They can be wonderful conversationalists. Funny and insightful,” shared another viewer.
With all these conversation starters in your toolbox, you’ll be ready to take on any and all social gatherings.
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