How to turn small talk into deeper friendships


Now that school is *officially* back in session, it's time to exchange late-night FaceTimes with your besties to forced small talk with your locker neighbor. Whether you're asking about her day or complimenting her new skirt, these conversations can feel dry, to say the least. Since no one *loves* exchanging forced pleasantries with acquaintances, we've rounded up four of the best ways to form deeper friendships out of small talk, so you never have to worry about having a boring convo again.

Conversation starters


The reason most conversations don't progress from the small talk stage is because they are, well, boring. If you ask someone how their day has been, they will often respond with a one-word answer, and the conversation will hit a lull. To keep the conversation flowing, have some fun questions prepared to get to know the person better. The more engaging and interactive the questions are, the better!

ISO inspo? We've got you covered.

  • What would be your perfect weekend?
  • If you opened a business, what would it be?
  • What is the strangest dream you ever had?
  • What is your favorite season and why?
  • Where was your last vacation? What did you do there?
  • What’s your favorite number? Why?
  • Do you have any pets? What are their names?
  • What did you do last weekend?
  • Are you very active, or do you just relax in your free time?
  • If you had a theme song, what song would it be and why?
  • What is your passion?

Ask open-ended questions


Questions are truly the foundation of *any* conversation. If you didn't know, there are two types of questions that you can ask someone during conversations. Closed questions usually elicit one or two-word responses, whereas open-ended questions force the person to open up more. Because open-ended questions make people give longer answers, they are more likely to generate conversation that will give you something to talk about.

Tell stories


Telling stories doesn't only engage the person that you are talking to, but it can lead to deeper conversations.  When you tell stories, people tend to ask you follow-up questions, allowing them to get to know you better. If you have trouble thinking of stories to tell people, think about something funny that recently happened and go from there.

Find a common interest


Finding common ground with the person you are trying to befriend is one of the best ways to connect with them. For example, if you find out that you and your new pal both *adore* frozen yogurt, you can shift the conversation to bond with them by asking their favorite flavor, toppings or if they have a parlor they would recommend. If the conversation goes well, you could even invite them to grab fro-yo after school. 

At the end of the day, your primary goal is to turn small talk into an engaging conversation. If the conversation starts flowing in a different direction than you expected, just go with it. Making friends should be a natural process, but keep these handy tips in mind if you ever feel *too* bogged down by small talk.

Need more tips on how to meet your next bestie? Check out our article on growing your social circle this school year.

Slider: @jessablondin

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by Zohar Peleg | 9/14/2021