25 Ways to Start a Conversation With Someone You Don’t Know

People are often afraid of starting conversations with strangers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are many techniques you can use to start a conversation with someone who seems unapproachable- the attentive line-waiter, the person sitting next to you on the bus or train, or your new neighbor.

Here are 25 ways you can start conversations with people who seem unapproachable- the attentive line-waiter, the person sitting next to you on the bus or train, or your new neighbor.

Smile and say hello

This is a great way to start a conversation, but you have to do it the right way. If you just walk up and say hello without smiling, many people will be put off by your serious demeanor. On the other hand, if you look them in the eye and give them a big grin as you say hello, this can really warm someone up and get them talking with you about anything from their trip they’re on to their new puppy!

Ask for help getting something or directions

Whether you’ve just broken down on the side of the road or have lost track of where your hotel is once inside of an unfamiliar city, asking for help is always something that’s appreciated when done right- i.e., don’t be shy about it! Politely asking for help from someone who looks like they might know where you’re going or what you need can be a great way to start up a conversation. Oftentimes, people are more than happy to offer assistance, and it can lead to some interesting small talk along the way.

Compliment them on something

We all love getting compliments (especially if they’re genuine!), so why not use this as your opening line? If you see someone with an interesting outfit or hairstyle, tell them! If they have a cool bag or a really nice watch, let them know! Not only will this make the person feel good, but it’ll give you something to chat about while you get to know them a little better.

Make a joke

This one can be a little risky, but if it’s done right, it can be really funny and help you break the ice with someone. Just make sure that your joke isn’t offensive or too personal- you want to make the other person feel comfortable, not uncomfortable!

Start with a shared interest

Another great way to start a conversation is by talking about something that you have in common with the other person. Maybe you’re both fans of the same sports team or you went to the same college. Whatever it is, this is a great way to get things started without feeling like you’re being too pushy.

Ask them a question

This one is pretty straightforward- just ask the other person a question! It can be about anything, from their job to their favorite TV show. This is a great way to get the conversation flowing without having to worry about making small talk for too long.

Mention an event or news story

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately or there’s an event going on in your city, bring it up in conversation! Not only will this help you sound informed and interested, but it’ll give you something to talk about that isn’t too personal.

Talk about the weather

Bel it or not, talking about the weather can actually be a great way to start up a conversation with someone you don’t know! If the weather is particularly nice where you are, this can be something that naturally comes up in conversation. Another trick? Complimenting someone on their choice of outfit or hairstyle based on the current temperature and weather conditions is another great way to break the ice.

Ask if they would like something

If you’re out at a restaurant or coffee shop alone, ask if they’d like anything from the menu or counter while you wait for your drinks. Many people will appreciate being asked what they’d like, so it’s always an easy thing to do when starting conversations with strangers!

Give them a compliment about their voice

Believe it or not, complimenting someone on their voice can be a great way to make them feel good and start up a conversation. Not everyone gets compliments about their voice often, so this can definitely be a surprise and a treat for the other person.

Mention an article or video you saw online

If you’ve been reading the news or keeping up with current events, bringing up an article or video that you saw online is always a great way to start a conversation with someone. This is a great way to show that you’re interested in what’s going on in the world and that you’re thoughtful enough to have read or seen something interesting earlier that day.

Share an anecdote

If you’re feeling stuck for what to say, why not share an anecdote from your day? This can be something funny, interesting, or confusing that happened to you earlier. Not only will this help you start talking about yourself, but it’ll also give the other person a chance to do the same.

Ask them what they do for a living

This is always a classic conversation starter, and it’s always a good idea to ask someone what they do for a living. It’ll help you get to know them better while also giving you some valuable information about their career path.

Give them advice on something

If you see someone struggling with something or confused about something, offer them some advice! This is a great way to help the other person while also starting up a conversation. Plus, it can be a nice change of pace for someone who’s been giving advice all day long!

Talk about your plans for the night or weekend

If you’re at a bar or party and want to start up a conversation with someone you don’t know, bring up your plans for later in the evening or over the weekend! This shows that you’re confident and social and like to go out and have fun- even if those plans won’t actually come true.

Comment on your surroundings

Whether you’re at a bar or restaurant, party or sporting event- talk about the atmosphere and what it’s like! This is a great way to start conversations because it opens up the lines of communication for both people involved, allowing them to weigh in with their own perspective and opinion on the environment you’re both sharing.

Give helpful directions or information

When you’re out and about exploring new places, being able to offer help and assistance whenever possible is always a good thing! If someone looks lost or confused, consider offering some friendly advice or directions if they ask for them. Not only will this be appreciated by the person asking for help, but this can also be the start of a longer conversation.

Ask them about their favorite thing

Everyone has something that they’re passionate about, so ask the person you’re talking to about their favorite thing in life! This can be anything from a food to a hobby to a movie, and it’ll give you a great idea about the things that make this person happy.

Ask them about their work or school

Starting conversations by talking about someone’s work or school is always a safe bet, because most people will have plenty to say on the topic! Asking the person you’re talking to about their job or what they’re studying in school will help you learn more about them while also giving them a chance to talk about something that they’re interested in.

Talk about something positive in your life

It can be easy to complain about your problems, but try focusing on the positive things instead! Starting conversations by talking about something positive in your life- whether that’s an accomplishment at work or school or just something that happened earlier in the day- will help keep the other person’s spirits up while also opening them up for further conversation.

Compliment them on something

Everyone loves getting compliments, so why not give one to the person you’re talking to? This can be anything from their outfit to their hair to their job, and it’ll make them feel good while also showing that you’re paying attention to them.

Mention a mutual friend or acquaintance

If you and the person you’re talking to know any mutual friends or acquaintances, bring them up in conversation! Not only will this make the other person feel more comfortable around you, but it’ll also give you a chance to learn more about them and what they’re like.

Find out their favorite type of food

If you want to get to know someone better, one great way is to ask them about their favorite type of food. This can give you a good idea about their culinary tastes while also giving you a topic for further conversation.

Ask them about their hobbies

Another great way to get to know someone is by asking them about their hobbies! This can tell you a lot about the person’s interests and what they like to do in their spare time.

Just be yourself!

The best way to start a conversation with someone is just to be yourself! Relax, take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to say something that comes to mind. The more natural and relaxed you are, the easier it’ll be for the other person to open up and have a conversation with you. Plus, if things don’t go well, at least you’ll know that it wasn’t your fault!

Conclusion

So there you have it- 25 ways to start a conversation with someone you don’t know! Just remember to relax, be yourself, and have fun. The more comfortable you are, the easier it’ll be for the other person to feel comfortable around you too. Good luck and happy chatting!