We often gravitate towards people who are just like us. I have several close friends where we can almost finish each other’s sentences because we agree with practically every point of view we have.
While this is fantastic for feeling comfortable, it can often make us lazy. I like to spice up my conversation by speaking with people who make me think differently:
- The Russian roulette conversation starter. I will often start random conversations with people on public transport, waiting rooms, at a café and in shopping lines. The public are a wonderful random lotto of humanity for you to learn from.
- The assumption buster conversation. When I am at parties or social functions, I will often deliberately choose to start conversations with the person I assume is the most uninteresting looking person there (don’t ask me how I make that assessment!). I love going in with the intention that everyone has an interesting story in them and seeing what unfolds.
- The deep dive conversation opener. One of the great joys of my life is skipping the ever boring conversation opener “what do you do?” Sometimes I jump straight in with questions such as “so what is the most profound thing you’ve learnt in your life so far?” This one is sure to take you to interesting places.
- The expert conversation. Yes, I am one of those people who hang around after lectures and talks to pepper the speaker with extra questions. If you’ve got an opportunity to speak with someone truly remarkable, then make the most of their time.
- The conversation on the edge. I love chatting with people who on the fringes of society, groups and issues. In particular, I’ve always sought out people who live extreme lifestyles of all different types; to satisfy my curiosity and to expand my perspective on issues.
What do you do to shake up your conversation routine?