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100 Questions That Will Help You Break The Ice With Anyone You Meet

100 Questions That Will Help You Break The Ice With Anyone You Meet

There are tons of ways to introduce yourself to somebody, some more creative than others. I am a bit terrible when it comes to putting myself out there, though I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years. I am, however, great at observing people who are experts at breaking the proverbial ice, so I know what it takes to be good at it! Below you’ll find an eclectic range of conversation starters to break the ice, from the standard to the insane, and everywhere in between!

1. Hi, my name is [x], and I am not a bad person!

    2. Wouldn’t it be crazy if some random dude just came up to you and started talking? Hi, my name’s [x] by the way!

    3. Did you see that Game of Thrones episode last night?

    4. What do you think of our professor?

    5. Our teaching assistant is a real jerk, isn’t he/she?

      6. Nice necklace you got there, where did you get it?

      7. Those shoes are unique…why did you pick them?

        8. Whoa, I know I’ve never talked to you before, but your new haircut is sweet!

        9. What kind of accent is that, British?

        10. Are you taking this for a GE too?

          11. What’s your plan after college?

          12. Hey, I think I heard you talking about [insert TV show here]. What do you think of the current season?

          13. Do you know the readings that were assigned for this week?

          14. I ordered a textbook in the mail and it still hasn’t been delivered…would you mind if I used yours for a day?

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            15. You look mildly interesting; what’s your story?

            16. Cool shirt, what’s it referencing?

            17. Do you have any pets at home?

            18. What’s your favorite TV show?

              19. Cool laptop; is it easier to take notes on that than in a regular notebook?

              20. I couldn’t help but notice that you’re holding a 3DS…what’s your favorite game?

              21. This class is terrible, wouldn’t you agree?

                22. Didn’t I see you at that party last night?

                23. Hey, I think we’re both friends with [x]; what’s up?

                24. Based on your attire it looks like you workout a lot. What gym do you go to?

                25. Well, looks like we’re both stuck in this [insert miserable situation here], what’s your name?

                  26. I noticed you’re reading a book by [x], he/she is my favorite author! What do you think of it so far?

                  27. Woo, you look miserable. Need somebody to talk to?

                  28. So I saw you sitting alone at the bus stop and figured I’d introduce myself since I’m trying to be spontaneous. What’s up?

                    29. I see you at the dining hall/café all of the time; is it weird if I’m forward and introduce myself?

                    30. Cool phone you got there; is that the new model?

                    31. What are you planning to write about for this essay?

                    32. Aren’t we in the same [x] together?

                      33. Freshmen are so annoying, aren’t they?

                      34. So I was messing around in the mirror today; what do you think of my new hairstyle?

                      35. Do you like running? You look like a runner.

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                        36. Wow, you’re tall; you must be like 6’4” right?

                        37. Wow, you’re tiny; you must be like five feet tall right?

                        38. Do you play basketball? With that wingspan, you should.

                          39. Do you play football? You’ve got muscles on your muscles!

                          40. Did you hate your English teachers? Yeah, me too.

                          41. What’s your favorite historical era?

                          42. What do you think of [insert recent news scandal here]?

                            43. Are you a liberal or conservative?

                            44. What’s your favorite sports team?

                            45. Are you a fan of The Daily Show?

                            46. Do you think Obama is a good President?

                              47. What are some of the things you’re obsessed about?

                              48. Don’t we live in the same apartment complex?

                              49. Wait; didn’t we live across from each other freshmen year?

                                50. Hey, you’re that one guy that my other friends all know but I don’t! How’s it going?

                                51. You really are as funny as they say, you know that?

                                52. What are your work plans this summer?

                                53. Do you like the weather where we live? Because in my opinion, it’s way too hot/cold.

                                  54. I’m loving this rain! Are you?

                                  55. Hey, I see you just bought a book *points at your bag*. You know there’s another awesome book store located down that way a couple blocks right?

                                  56. Do you prefer lattes or cappuccinos?

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                                    57. Are you a tea person or a coffee fanatic?

                                    58. You should be a politician. Ever thought about it?

                                    59. Yo, you look just like this guy/girl I saw on TV! Know who I’m talking about?

                                    60. I’ve noticed you wear blue and shout “allons-y” a lot…are you a Doctor Who fan?

                                      61. Hey! I recognize you from High School! Except back then you didn’t know who I was. Well I’ll introduce myself, I’m [x].

                                      62. Those are cool aviators; you planning to become a cop?

                                      63. I can’t help but notice you’re still using Internet Explorer. WHY?!?!

                                        64. Do you like your iPhone?

                                        65. Oh hey! You have eyebrows, I have eyebrows; let’s talk!

                                        66. Watching Netflix in the library? I can relate.

                                        67. You look stressed; how can I help?

                                          68. Want to know something funny? Between you and me, my glasses are for show.

                                          69. What classes did you sign up for?

                                          70. Did you check out the ratemyprofesssor.com score for this guy? We’re in for a long quarter…

                                            71. Hey, we both worked at the same place for a couple months and never said a word to each other. What’s up with that?

                                            72. You look pretty unique; what’s your nationality?

                                            73. Is it just me, or does it seem like the rest of the people in our class/office are in a dreamlike stupor?

                                            74. Why doesn’t this room have air-conditioning? This is miserable!

                                            75. Nice hairstyle; what products do you use to keep it that way?

                                              76. Important question: is Folgers really the best part of waking up?

                                              77. *Tilts coffee in stranger’s relative direction* I see you need to caffeinate too. On a scale of one to 10, how desperately do you need coffee to survive in the morning?

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                                                78. Did anybody else here finish Mass Effect 3? Wasn’t that ending terrible?!

                                                79. You look like you know what’s up. Have any tips for me?

                                                80. Ooh, that’s a nice hoodie! What store did you find it in?

                                                81. You’re wearing converse too? Converse buddies!

                                                  82. Whoa, how’d you manage to break your arm?

                                                  83. Did you get taller since the last time I saw you?

                                                  84. Wow, did you start a workout regimen or something? I mean, I know I don’t really know you, but good job!

                                                    85. Just one question…do you happen to know how to work this thing?!

                                                    86. So…the Star Wars prequels. Like or dislike?

                                                    87. What’s your opinion of Mark Zuckerberg?

                                                      88. Even though I don’t really know you, your face is reasonably more familiar to me than the others in this room. What’s good?!

                                                      89. Can you finish this phrase? “I want to be the very best…”

                                                      90. So, about this California drought. Do you think they should still be planting lawns when it never rains?

                                                      91. What apps do you use most on your smartphone?

                                                      92. Would you agree with me that bow ties are cool?

                                                        93. How’s life?

                                                        94. Do you like being left handed?

                                                        95. Do you use Twitter or Facebook more?

                                                        96. Do you know [x]? Aren’t they incredibly annoying?

                                                          97. Want to hear my impersonation of our professor/boss/other authority figure?

                                                          98. That’s a nice car; what year is it?

                                                          99. Wow you type super fast. How many words per minute can you do?

                                                            100. Frankly, I’m tired of waiting. I’m [x], nice to meet you. Would you like to run away from me now? If so, be my guest. If not, how’s it going?

                                                            Featured photo credit: Agreement.jpg/MorgueFile via mrg.bz

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                                                            Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                            For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                                                            If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                                                            Example 1

                                                            You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                                                            You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                                                            In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                                                            Example 2

                                                            You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                                                            People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                                                            You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                                                            Example 3

                                                            You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                                                            The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                                                            Example 4

                                                            You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                                                            Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                                                            If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                                                            Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                                                            • Understand your own communication style
                                                            • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                                                            • Communicate with precision and care
                                                            • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                                                            1. Understand Your Communication Style

                                                            To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                                                            In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                                                            Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                                                            2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                                                            Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                                                            If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                                                            “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                                                            This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                                                            To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                                                            3. Exercise Precision and Care

                                                            A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                                                            On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                                                            Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                                                            I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                                                            I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                                                            In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                                                            The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                                                            Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                                                            4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                                                            Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                                                            In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                                                            “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                                                            Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                                                            Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                                                            It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                                                            It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                                                            It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                                                            Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                                                            Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                                                            The Bottom Line

                                                            When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                                                            I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                                                            Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                                                            Reference

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