How to Stop Asking the Same Old Tired Questions…
Small talk is used everywhere and by everyone. It’s inevitable and to most people it’s a necessary evil. Granted, some people enjoy small talk but this article is not for them – it’s for the rest of us.
When you first meet someone, you know nothing about the person so what do you talk about? There is the usual: “Where are you from” or “What do you do?”. If you’re trying to talk to a girl at a club it might be “Are you here with friends?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?”
So how do you avoid that reprehensible small talk and get to the meaningful conversation that awaits at the end of the rainbow? The answer is simple – it’s all about asking the right questions. Simply put, don’t ask the same old tired questions that everyone else is asking.
A little bit about me. I’m a full-time traveller mostly traveling solo with a backpack – this means dormitories and night busses. Both are situations where you constantly meet new people. The other people sleeping in your dorm, the guy next to you on the bus, you name it.
For me and a lot other travelers you simply get bored with small talk after a while. I’ve noticed now I can go a whole day without even asking the name or basically anything. I just meet them on the road going the same way as me and we start talking like we’re best friends. Because I ask REAL questions. You simply know that person so much faster and I’ve got people that I consider very good friends even though we’ve literally just talked for a few hours.
“I just meet them on the road going the same way as me and we start talking like we’re best friends. Because I ask REAL questions. You simply know that person so much faster”
When I run into these people 1 year later – or 10 years later it’s like we never left and they have no problem opening their home to me or vice versa. That’s incredible and shows the power of jumping right into the good questions – the substantial questions that lets you get to know each other.
Here are some REAL questions:
- “When do you feel lonely?”
- “What’s the best decision you made this year?”
- “What brings you most alive?”
So how do you come up with Real questions, in a way that doesn’t sound weird?
My friend David Wood, whom I met in Ubud, Bali, has an app to help you avoid the small talk. It’s called Get Real and amongst many other things provides questions that take you beyond small talk and far into the realms of actual conversation. Whether you have an introvert boyfriend, want to talk to that girl in the bar, or if you’re just simply out trying to make deeper connections with new or existing friends, this is a good place to start. (Please note: I am in no way sponsored or receive payment for this recommendation).
So, that’s it. Start talking to your fellow humans out there! Real talk.
BIO – Thor Winther
Thor Winther is an engineer by profession but has been traveling the world full time as a travel blogger/writer for almost a year. He is the author of www.worldwidewinther.com, a blog focused on budget/backpacking solo round-the-world traveling.