5 Conversation Starters that will Put Holiday Small Talk to an End
posted on December 23, 2019 | by Ashlea Cook
December has arrived, holiday parties are in full swing, and so is the infamous small talk that occurs at each of these shindigs. Over and over we reminisce on how the holidays come out of nowhere, what we have planned to celebrate, and likely how we all just want to escape to somewhere where there is sun, sand, and limitless beachy cocktails. Sprinkle in an update on your dating life and all small talk h*ll breaks loose. So, in an attempt to escape this repetitive cycle, I have compiled some questions that will help you break free of the small talk handcuffs. Give them a try, share them with your friends, try them on your family, perhaps it will quiet down that one relative who never stops talking!
1. What does your perfect weekday or weekend morning look like?
Look, as the years go by, our own routines become pretty solidified. We have spent years mastering them, and well frankly I am a pretty big fan of my own. So, in asking this question you gain insight into how this new human would ideally spend these important mornings. If they like to get up at 4am to do CrossFit, talk CrossFit, and breath CrossFit, and you haven’t seen a 3lb weight in years things may not work out.
2. If money were not a barrier would you be doing what you are right now? If not, what would you want to be doing?
So many people have been living their lives along the ‘should’ continuum, working the job they knew would pay good money, living the life they were told was right. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, but in asking this question you get a sense of how they view their current life, and maybe a glimpse into what they would change if given the opportunity. At some point in our childhood, we stop dreaming of being a space cowboy and start using our T89 calculator to learn dreaded equations to become the responsible accountant. Dig into what this new person would wish to be doing, and reflect on what you yourself wished they were doing. And heck if you are doing exactly what you want to be doing, then congrats, you are a unicorn in a world of ponies.
3. If you received a lifetime achievement award what would it be for and how would you be introduced and by whom?
This question has me still perplexed, as I have yet to think of answer to it. It may lead to a long moment of silence initially, but it makes you really think about how we are living our lives, and what we are working and living for. It helps uncover who we think values us, what they value about us, and who is most important to us. And when talking to potential dates, friends, or whoever these are important pieces of information to discover.
4. What would you title this chapter in your life?
My eyebrow girl contributed this question, and as I laid there being plucked I queried what I would call this chapter in my own life. And at the ripe old age of 33, I think I would title it, Finding Me. Very rarely are we asked to write our autobiography, we keep trudging through life, the days go by, the years go by, and before we know it we have no idea where we are. So, in asking this question, and in turn answering it for yourself, we open up the opportunity to reflect on where we presently are. This may even give you an extra moment to fill up your cup with some fresh mulled wine.
5. If you could ask Santa for a round trip plane ticket to anywhere, where would it be?
Ok this is a two-fold question for me. One, it will uncover their thoughts around Santa and the holidays, do they celebrate it/do they not, are they a scrooge/or a believer? Two, it will uncover their thoughts around travel. Not everyone travels in the same way, and some people don’t travel at all. This question has the potential to uncover a lot, so roll with it, let it lead you where ever the scents of the mull wined may take you.
So here is to a holiday season of hopefully less small talk and more real talk, more connection, and more memories made. No one wants a repeat of the way it’s always been, so pour yourself a glass of your favorite holiday cheer and push the envelope a bit, you never know what you might discover about someone and heck maybe even about yourself.