Are you an awkward conversationalist, or looking for more creative ways to “break the ice” when talking to a new person? A favorite pastime of mine is collecting and coming up with unique conversation starters. I think we can all agree that “What do you do for a living?/Do you have any pets?/Do you like TV???” is pretty played out, so feel free to whip out any of these gems the next time you’re searching for something to say (I’m including my answers just for fun):
-HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RANCH DRESSING?
My answer: I find that people either LOVE (or are borderline obsessed with) ranch, despise ranch, or are afraid to admit they like ranch, as it is a rather unclassy dressing. Whatever the answer is, I guarantee a passionate response and follow-up conversation. I’m a stereotypical, middle-class Midwesterner, so ranch and I have a healthy relationship.
-WOULD YOU RATHER TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, OR BRING SOMEONE FROM A DIFFERENT TIME TO NOW?
My answer: I go back and forth on this one, but I think I’d like to bring someone cool from the past back (like Buster Keaton, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.) so they could be my best friend.
-WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE "COMFORT SNACK" SOMEONE MIGHT CONSIDER WEIRD?
My answer: Rye bread toast slathered in butter and grape jelly, with a side of room-temperature ketchup for dipping. The combination of the sweet jelly, rich butter, sour/savory bread, and tangy ketchup is divine.
-YOU'RE DYING OF A TERMINAL ILLNESS AND HAVE BEEN GRANTED A MAKE-A-WISH. WHAT WOULD YOUR WISH BE?
My answer: I would want to go through my favorite art museum and touch any piece of art I wanted (under the supervision of a conservator and a curator, of course)! I’d wear gloves and be gentle.
-WHAT WAS THE FIRST CD / RECORD / 8-TRACK / CASSETTE / MP3 YOU BOUGHT WITH YOUR OWN MONEY?
My answer: The Clueless soundtrack and that one Céline Dion album with My Heart Will Go On on it. I was seven, and a child of the 90's.
-WHAT IS A MOVIE THAT SHOULD BE A CULT CLASSIC, BUT SOMEHOW ISN'T?
My answer: Antonia Bird’s Ravenous (1999). It’s a black comedy about Manifest Destiny and cannibals. It sounds like it should be a horrible movie (or a so bad/so good movie), but it’s actually a good movie. I don’t understand why it’s not the biggest deal. It’s on Netflix, so go watch it with your friends.
-WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL?
My answer: I have a theory that everyone’s embarrassing, middle school self is still buried inside them somewhere… I was a “middle school goth”. I wore a lot of black/safety pins, listened to nü metal, and was really into Sailor Moon.
-YOU'RE ON DEATH ROW. THE WARDEN ASKS YOU FOR YOUR FINAL MEAL REQUEST. WHAT IS YOUR FINAL MEAL?
My answer: A corned beef sandwich on rye bread with mustard and pickles on the side.
Isn’t it appropriate that I chose to write about icebreakers for an email that’s getting sent out to ~22,000 people I don’t know? Drop me a line with your own favorite conversation starters, or if you think we’d be pals based on my answers above. :)
Now… go talk to somebody!