How to Find Interesting Topics to Talk About

OK. You’re looking for interesting topics to talk about with someone, right? Unless you are fairly familiar with the person you are talking to, I’d highly recommend keeping things light and funny to start off. If you start asking questions that are too deep and probing, there’s a really good chance that your going to come across as some kind of freak. I mean really, if we just met and you started asking me questions about the saddest day of my life or what my deepest secret was, I’d start to wonder about you in a hurry. You might as well wear a shirt that says “CREEPER” across the front of it on your first date. After you’ve known each other for a while, then sure, go deep, but you’ve got to use some common sense.

Be Funny and Interesting!

Nowadays, it’s pretty likely that you or the person you are talking to has some type of high tech communication device on you. Heck, some people pretty much build their lives around them. Why not take advantage of that technology? Some of the women I work with spend most of their lunch time showing each other goofy pictures and videos on their phones. Here’s a great example for a conversation starter.

This viral video is funny, cute, and has an adorable dog in it. It also has over 42 MILLION views and hundreds of thousands of likes. They even interviewed the family of the dog on Good Morning America. You can’t lose!  (It’s a lot better than talking about the weather.) I love watching this clip because Denver, the canine star of this video, looks just like my dog that passed away earlier this year. She even has the same pink nose and green eyes of a “dudley” yellow lab. I miss you Popcorn! *sniff* I’ve got another dog though, and we’re getting a new puppy this week!
See what I did there? Now I’d ask you if you have any pets, and before you know it, we’ve got a conversation going without me getting weird and asking you about your relationship with your mother.

Have I Gotten Your Attention?

You can throw in some trivia too to keep things interesting. I’ll stick with the whole living online theme here. Did you know that statistics say that YOU have roughly the attention span of a goldfish. Maybe less nowadays. Those statistics say that if I don’t GRAB your attention in the first THREE SECONDS after you hit my website, you’ll be gone with the wind, clicking the back arrow to see what other interesting things Google, Bing, or Yahoo (or your other search engine of choice) has to offer.  I’ve got to work pretty hard to keep your interest. If you’re still reading, I guess I’ve probably made it past those first three seconds. Whew! Do you use sites like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook much? Oh yeah? Which is your favorite? See what I did THERE?

Something Funny to Talk About

I think that most people like to laugh. With THAT in mind, here are two outrageously funny lists that were actually put together by Amazon.com of all places. Each of these lists is made up of some of the funniest product reviews you will EVER read. Seriously, I don’t actually laugh out loud very often while I’m sitting at the computer, but when I read these lists, my family thought I had lost my mind because I was laughing so hard that I was darn close to crying! By the way, if you have a smart phone, bookmark this site so you can whip these two lists out at will for sharing with others. (You’ll see why in a minute.) They were actually sort of tough to find.
Funny Product Reviews List 1
Funny Product Reviews List 2
OK. I hope you liked those lists. If you read them with someone else, you’ve definitely got something to laugh about together. Maybe you even decided to buy one of those “amazing” products. If you’re a guy and you’re single, you’ve got to get the Three Wolf Moon shirt from List One. There is no longer any excuse for you not to have that “special someone” on your arm.

How Do People Spend Their Time Online?

Did you ever wonder if you were a “typical” internet user?  Here is an interesting conversation starter for you…

How People Spend Their Time Online

by gogulf.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

If you’ll bear with me for one more minute, I want to write something for those naturally quiet folks who feel like they’re constantly struggling to fit into conversations…  The First thing is,  impressions really do matter.  Unless you are a young child, your silence in social situations is probably coming across to others in a negative way.  Are you stuck up?  Are you not quite intelligent enough to add something to the conversation? Of course not, but when you stand there silently while others are chatting away, there is a decent chance that other people might think those things about you.  There are some people who will tell you that humans have a built in need to be social. They’ll tell you to just get in there and start talking. As a natural introvert, I don’t really believe that’s necessarily the only way to go. The fact is though, it’s easy to get overlooked and ignored when you don’t say anything. HOWEVER, I still don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being an introvert. If you’re naturally quiet, maybe people should just appreciate that about you and learn to get comfortable with a few seconds of thoughtful silence every once in a while.

Playing the Social Game

Maybe you’re not really shy, but you’re perfectly happy to let others hold conversations while you stand by listening and thinking about what’s being said.  The problem with that is, it sometimes looks like you are being aloof or disinterested.  Little kids can get away with acting shy and being quiet, but adults have to learn how to play the social game (at least a little bit) if they want to have friends or develop important contacts that might come in handy down the line.  I’ve spent a lot of time getting past my own awkwardness and I’ve got some quality recommendations for you below.  Even so, if you want to be one of those people who just naturally “clicks” with just about everyone they meet, you might have to put forth a little bit of effort to force yourself out of your shell. For me, it got easier with time and experience.

Why Be Social?

Having a talent for conversation can help you along in many ways, from winning a promotion at work to winning the heart of that special person. Knowing what topics to talk about can really keep the conversation interesting, which will work to your advantage.  Being able to hold up your end of a conversation (even a casual one) will make for a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.  This applies whether you are meeting someone for the first time or chatting with someone you’ve known for some time.  No one likes to hang around a boring person who seems to have no personality for very long.  If you just stand there looking lost they’ll be looking for the escape hatch within seconds.   Below you’ll find some easy to handle topics to inspire you and to get you off of the bench and on to the social playing field.

Conversation Magnets

I found this great video giving some basic advice about getting conversations started and keeping them going.  It isn’t as entertaining as the video up above, but it is a lot more useful if you want to improve your social skills.  Take a look!

Talk about interesting people

Ask someone who the most fascinating person they’ve ever met is, or who they’d most like to meet and why. The response will reveal a lot about the person you are talking to, and will help you in choosing the course of the conversation as you move along.  You might also want to give some thought to who you would choose as your ‘interesting person” since they’ll probably turn the question back toward you.  Try to come up with someone worth discussing and have some reasons for why you think they’re special.  This doesn’t have to be anyone famous.  Don’t lie.  This is a chance to show a little bit about what you value in other people.  Who knows?  You might actually learn something interesting about yourself if you really give this question some thought!

Major events in life

Bring up this topic and be prepared for anything! Find out what experiences have influenced your partner in conversation the most and how the situation changed them as a person.  This should be common sense, but don’t belittle anything they say, even if you think it’s silly.  Use follow up questions to dig a little bit deeper and to keep the conversation flowing.  Have you ever thought about what influences played a major role in making you who you are today?

The best in music

This topic is usually very light and always welcomed. Bringing it up can break the ice and ease people out of social anxieties and other inhibitions. Talk about current trends in music or classics and be sure to compliment the opinions of others in one way or another.  This could also lead into a conversation about other musical interests.  Do you play any instruments?  What was the best concert you ever saw?  Did you see a great video on Youtube featuring a band that you both like?

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done or seen?

Ask somebody what the most outlandish thing they’ve ever done is and you’re certain to solicit a smile from them.

interesting things to talk about with a girl

Very interesting!

Someone more shy or less adventurous may have witnessed something crazy and be happy to share it with you. Common ground can be reached with this topic, as most of us agree on what is and isn’t bizarre and out of the ordinary behavior.  Have you ever done anything wild and crazy?  Depending on your own history, you may want to keep some things for later conversations!  You could also ask a similar question about what type of crazy thing they’d like to try, but never have yet.

The family genes

It’s interesting to find out what traits and characteristics other people inherited from their parents. For example, if someone reveals a talent for art to you, inquire where they likely got it from. Giving people the opportunity to talk about their heritage can open them up to the conversation and lead to other discussions too.  There are a lot of different family situations today, so you may be surprised to find out who played the biggest roles in someone else’s life.  If you are a guy talking to a girl you like, showing a genuine interest in her background and family will make it clear that you aren’t just some cheesy pick-up artist.  You aren’t, are you?  Finding interesting things to talk about with a girl you are attracted to is no different than when you are talking anyone else.  Save the smooth moves for later!

Fantasy travel

Most of us have dreamed of going somewhere at one point or another and it’s fun to talk about where we’d most like to go. Ask others what countries they would visit if money were no object and see if you don’t agree!  Have you ever gone on an amazing vacation?  Tell them about it (without rambling too much) and ask about the best vacation spot they ever visited.  Would they rather visit the mountains or the ocean?  Who would they like to be stranded on a desert island with?  If they happen to say “you”, things are looking pretty good for your future relationship!

Life’s to-do list

Your list of good topics to talk about should include finding what people’s major goals in life are. This is something most everyone loves to discuss, so it will help to keep the conversation moving in a positive direction. Pose the question directly, “What is something you have yet to accomplish and are really look forward to doing?” or be more general about it, by asking where the person would like to be in say five or so years. This topic also should lead to other interesting areas of discussion and discovery.  You might also ask what goal the person is most proud of accomplishing.  That will get them talking about some of the best memories they have.  At that point, they’ll probably be more than happy to carry the conversation for a while.

Make friends and influence people

There is one golden rule that you should remember when it comes to talking to other people.  It’s extraordinarily simple, but often overlooked.  The simple fact is, people love to think about, and talk about themselves.  Think of yourself.  You probably do these two things all day long.  People want to share their success stories.  They want to vent about things that annoy them.  They want to tell the world about the “fascinating” things they’ve accomplished.  Most people really want someone to listen to them.  If you can learn to be that person and to control the urge to turn every conversation back toward yourself and your accomplishments, you will be seen as a sparkling conversationalist.  The more you let the other person talk, the more brilliant they will think you are.  Kind of funny how that works, huh?

Knowing what to say and when to say it can help you make new friends, influence the important people in your life and get you out of awkward situations. Just for fun, consider getting yourself a good book about body language.  Knowing how to read people’s unspoken language can really help you to judge how you’re being received.  Being able to pick up on nonverbal communication can give you a big advantage when you are meeting people for the first time (and later on too).  Practice talking to people and get genuinely interested in what they have to share with you.  Listen to what they are saying instead of rehearsing what your reply will be.  Resist the urge to turn every conversation back to your own wonderful accomplishments.   Before you know it, you will be a master of the art of conversation and the people will envy your “natural” gift of gab!  Learn to listen to others and to encourage them to talk about themselves.  Suddenly, you have more interesting topics to talk about than you’ll know what to do with!

Life can be pretty interesting if you just take some time to look around. Now that we’ve got the internet at our fingertips, you can find just about any information that you could possibly want in a fraction of the time it used to take. For an information junkie like me, it’s the Golden Age.  Some people are even cashing in just by writing about the things they like to do!  When I was a kid, I spent hours reading encyclopedias just because I loved learning new things. What can I say? My sister said that I was king of the dorks. Maybe she was right.  Now I like to look for random interesting topics and I try to learn something new every day.

I love to learn new things, so starting a site like Interesting Topics to Talk About seems like a fun way to share some helpful tips, interesting ideas, and unusual finds with other people who are easily distracted by shiny objects. Enough about me though…

How to Instantly Become More Interesting to People

Here is your free helpful tip of the day.  If you aren’t a natural social butterfly, pay attention.  This will help you a lot.

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find something interesting to say to another person? You’re probably trying too hard. There is a simple way to almost guarantee successful social interactions, and you’ve probably experienced this first hand. If you’ve never read the book How To Win Friends and Influence People, I definitely recommend it. It’s an older book (over 2,000 reviews), but Dale Carnegie does an excellent job of explaining the fine art of deftly dealing with the other humans we interact with every day.

When I read this legendary book, a big old light bulb went on for me. It is filled with a ton of useful information about how people interact, but the biggest take away for me was that people just LOVE talking about themselves. Think about it. Have you ever met someone who seemed really skilled at the art of conversation? Chances are, they probably didn’t even do very much speaking. They probably just encouraged you to start rambling on about yourself. People are funny that way. They talk about themselves to another person for ten minutes and then walk away thinking that the other person was absolutely fascinating! Try it the next time you find yourself conversing with someone. Just keep feeding them questions that encourage them to talk about themselves. Grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and relax. They will carry most of the conversational load and will walk away thinking that you were born with the gift of gab.

I hope you find something interesting here.  Feel free to share some random fact about life or something useful or interesting in the comments.

photo by: TheBusyBrain

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