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klmama

Need conversation topic ideas

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Dh and I are going out for dinner this evening with dh's old friend and his wife.  The friend and I get along great, but the wife and I struggle to find things to talk about.  She's very into fashion and movies, and I'm not.  I like to read and keep up on the news, but she doesn't.  We don't really know each other's kids, so we can only talk so long about them.  I plan to ask her opinion about a decorating dilemma I have, but that's all I've got so far.  At some point tonight, the guys are going to get into a big political or theological discussion that will bore us both, so we will need other topics.  Do you have any suggestions?

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Ugh. I hate that. Does she put in effort to keep the conversation going or is it just you?

 

Try to think back to last time you saw her and follow up on 1-2 things she mentioned. “How’s little Johnny’s soccer team doing this year?†“Is your mother feeling any better?â€

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It sounds like you would enjoy the political and theological discussions that the guys have.  So why not join those?

 

Re. topics, I tend to ask for help with something when I am in a conversational doldrum, and often I get it, which is a nice fringe benefit of making conversation that way.  So, have you been wishing you had a fashion consultant to talk to, or a good car mechanic, or a painter, or an estate lawyer?  Asking for a good recommendation can keep a convo going for at least 15-20 minutes. 

 

Then, I tend to ask people whether they have read any good books lately, or what their favorite restaurant is, or talk about something new I am trying.  The next door neighbor up at our cabin caught a picture of a bear (!) behind his place this year and sent it to us--that was Big News as we didn't think there were any bears in that heavily settled area, just way out in the less populated areas.  I'd tell that story and show her the picture on my phone.  Since she is into fashion, I'd ask for advice about some item of clothing or some accessory that I need.

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I plan to ask her opinion about a decorating dilemma I have, but that's all I've got so far.  

 

This can spin off into a conversation regarding tastes/colors why/where.  Can even spin off into eras of decorating historically or more recent.  I have explored this topic with people, and everyone can get going on what they like/deplore in styles.  

Hopefully she is talkative -- that really helps, then you only have to ask questions that build on things she says.  Have fun tonight!

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I try to meet people where they are and hope that will carry us through the awkward silences. LOL

 

In your situation, I'd flip through a People magazine in the checkout line or the library to get a general idea of what's going on the entertainment world. I'd spend 10-15 minutes poking around yahoo or something to figure out what the current movies are, see if I recognize any actors (I probably don't!) and can use that little tidbit as a launching point. 

Movies and entertainment news can be good segues into a conversation you're both "into" - discussing plots (maybe you can relate or recommend a similar book), relating to characters (or not), delve into locations (travel plans, travel desires), etc.

 

I used to work in customer service. I could flip through a gossip rag and get enough info to jump start a conversation. Hopefully she's a talker and can carry her weight of the conversation!

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Even if you're not into movies, you could still talk about them.  What was the best movie she ever saw? Delve into plot, characters, costumes,  etc  What is her favourite genre? Which movies made her cry?  Which made her laugh all the way through?  Which does she watch every year?

 

Where did they go on their last vacation?  Where does she dream of going if she could go anywhere?  What kind of vaations does she like?  What kind of activities do they do on weekends?

 

Where did they live before?  What are the differences with here?

 

Do they have pets?  The value of pets in a child's life.   Or less seriously this could spin into differences between dog people and cat people...tea and coffee people... movie and book people...

 

What did you think you were going to be growing up?  At age 11?  Age 15?  What extracurricular activities did you do?

Do you have any hidden talents?  If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

 

What's the best piece of advice you ever received from a teacher/ or anyone else?  If you could put a sentence on a billboard, what would you choose?

 

Are they foodies?  What was the strangest thing you ever ate?  Best 'hidden gem' restaurant?  Easiest but most impressive recipe?

 

[Edited for typos]

Edited by Hannah
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You do books, she does movies.

 

Have any movies come out that were books you read recently? Sometimes it is fun to see how wildly different the really are. Favorite book parts ask her how they filmed it versus how you puctured it.

 

Or books you have read that they are going to be making into a film and if you recommend them.

 

If that fails you can ask about their holiday plans. What kids are doing/going as for Halloween, how the made costumes. Thanksgiving plans, menues. What kind of stuffing, in or out of bird. Doing anything over christmas? How long are kids off? Going anywhere, or visitors? When do you put up tree? Things you have always wanted to do for christmas but haven’t like gingerbread houses or something.

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You do books, she does movies.

 

Have any movies come out that were books you read recently? Sometimes it is fun to see how wildly different the really are. Favorite book parts ask her how they filmed it versus how you pictured it.

 

This was my thought too.

 

If you've read the Martian, ask her if she's seen the movie.  (I've done both, and a lot was left out of the movie.)

 

I just read The Mountain Between Us and have heard both pans and raves about the movie.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I second vacation conversations but I tend to ask about prior travel, places they wish they could travel, places you've traveled or wish to go. Usually you can have prolonged discussions about places.

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