Many people think introverts are “just shy folks,” but that isn’t always the case. Yes, some introverts are wary of crowds but by definition, they simply prefer drawing their energy from internal rather than external sources. That friend who’s still all jazzed up after a six-hour party in a crowded, noisy room? She’s an extrovert. That other friend who looks drained after such an event but is refreshed and ready to go after a weekend alone? He’s an introvert.
If you’re an introvert—and shy—you might find it challenging at times to get the conversation ball rolling, especially in an unfamiliar situation. While small talk comes easily to some, for an introvert who tends to spend more time inside his or her own head, small talk seems, well, small. Here’s a list of conversation starters to keep handy for your next social gathering:
- Tell me about the best meal you’ve ever eaten, and where were you?
Even if you and your conversation mate(s) aren’t foodies or restaurant junkies, people still love talking about food. And eating is something that everyone does, every day, so it’s easy to share stories around it.
- Describe the best job you’ve ever had, and the worst.
“Best” job stories often let you in on another person’s passions, interests, and dreams, while “worst” job stories are often funny (or at least entertaining).
- What types of music do you like, and what was the first concert you ever attended?
The chances of another person saying, “I don’t like any type of music,” are very, very slim and this question might even open up a discussion about other venues attended.
- What are two of your favorite quotes?
Whether the other person is a literature nerd, athlete, or Tony Robbins’ number one fan—everyone has a few inspirational quotes they love tossing around.
- What fictional character (book, TV, or movie) made a big impression on you, and why?
You get the idea—ask the other person about themselves! It’s a win-win for introverts, who typically would much rather listen than talk.