Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{Make Friends} Conversation Starters

I have always enjoyed meeting new people, but it wasn't until I heard Fred Smith say that his hobby was "making conversation" that I realized it was mine, too.  Before this epiphany, I would often stare at the blank on the application form asking me to list my hobbies. 
I didn't knit or ride a bike, but I could talk.
Hobbies are great, because they start with something you love, then compel you to improve at it.  Making conversation is no exception.
Talking about the weather isn't enough for a talker, and talking isn't for the faint of heart. 
It takes courage to talk to a stranger, a teenager,  a grieving widow, a friend in crisis, or someone who has done you wrong.  Talking to people is risky, unpredictable business.  You risk being misunderstood, fumbling your words, or discovering after you walk away that you have spinach in your teeth.  It requires dealing with conflict, making the hard phone call, and saying you're sorry... a lot.

When you consider the complexity of making conversation, hobbies like skydiving and bungee jumping look like a breeze!  But the investment of yourself in the lives of others is worth it.  For some, it comes naturally, for others, it is more difficult.  But anyone who wants to live a deep and meaningful life, must learn to talk to people.  When I saw these strangers on the street sitting in a ball pit working to get to know one another, I was encouraged to keep working at my hobby.  
What JOY it is to make new friends!
{If you're reading via email, you can play the video HERE.}
And if you need a few questions to help you get the conversation started, visit Humor that Works and get their list.  
Here are a few of my favorites:

Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it 
turned out to be for the best?
What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to?
What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received?
What do you miss most about being a kid?
What is your first memory of being really excited?
What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
When was the last time you were nervous?
What is something you learned in the last week?
What story does your family always tell about you?

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