Meeting new people can leave you tongue-tied and unsure about how to connect. The knowledge that the other person probably feels the same way is no comfort. The ideal situation is when both of you feel completely at ease. These 8 break the ice questions should loosen up anyone in strained social situations.
1. What do you waste most time with?
Ask about apps, games, programs, hobbies, or more with this simple question. It’s more interesting than “What do you do in your spare time?” and injects a bit of humor into the meeting. Feel free to share your time-wasters to break the ice.
2. What did you think of the last book you read or movie you saw?
Asking what the book or movie was ends the conversation quickly. Asking what someone thought about it allows them to continue and gives you something to respond to.
3. If someone offered you anything in the world for free, what would you pick?
People may not want to share their deepest dreams with you the first time you meet, but this question sparks both their thinking and creative minds. A great follow up question is simply, “Why?”
4. What is your motto or theme song?
If you find common interest in famous quotes or tastes in bands or musicians, the conversation will flow as naturally as a well-known tune. Even if you love hard rock and they love opera, you can explore how and where they could use the motto or song.
5. Where would you go on a one-month long vacation?
Asking where a person IS going on vacation seems to focus on what they can afford. Talking about dream journeys leaves room for revelation about themselves revealed in a comfortable way.
6. Who would you invite to dinner?
A classic ice-breaker, the question of who, living or dead, the person would have ’round for a meal or drinks gives great insight into who they are. It also gives the conversation a natural progression. Would the people they choose get along with the people you choose?
7. What did you collect when you were a kid? Or still do?
People feel at ease when they can talk about something that was or still is important to them but, at the same time, is not too personal or probing. A favorite collection is safe and interesting.
8. What is your most valuable survival skill?
While this could segue into talk about careers or parenting, it could also branch off into post-apocalyptic movies or zombie films. Either way, both of you will have something to say to follow up.
Both people in a conversation have a responsibility to make others feel at ease and interested. If you find yourself in circumstances where uncomfortable silences reign, ask one of these break the ice questions to get things flowing again. These also help you stay away from topics that might be too inflammatory or personal.