Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to talk to anyone -

Pets, Sports, Fashion - these three topics are appropriate pretty much with anyone, anytime. 

Just to be clear this is not insincere.  I really like all three of these subjects, so I am genuinely interested in answers, and I have found that these subjects can bridge gaps as well.

Any of these topics transcend any new, awkward, or conversation-hungry moment.  Also, the good news is you don't have to know much of anything about of these subjects. You just have to ask a lot of questions and build from prior answers. 
I could talk about this beautiful soul forever.

Here are some samples - 

This is the easiest. If people have pets they love to talk about them.  I start one of two ways with this one - someone will mention their pet - and then I'm good to go.  OR I will come out and ask - "Do you have any pets?"

This adorable creature creates
conversations as well.  I like this photo
because he looks  like he is thinking
about being naughty.
If someone refers to a pet then I ask them lots of questions and ask to see photos from their phone.  Some questions are - pets name, demeanor, age, name, story of the name, does the pet sleep in the bed with the person, does the pet get along with other pets and people in the house, is the pet lazy or like to go to the dog park, and on and on. Any ONE of those subjects can go off into it's own. You can discuss the relationship Mitchell and Cupcake have with Twinkie all day long.  

If you ask the person if they have pets then there you go - what kind, name, how old, etc. If they say "No," they will often tell you why. I am allergic, I work too much, I don't want to take care of anything - and there is your topic to go from there.
I heart the SEC and Auburn specifically,
but I can chat it up about a lot of sports.

Same thing - Either you come out and ask or you somehow know who they root for.  

It is helpful if you know a little about the sport, but not imperative. If someone's sport is baseball for example I have a few little nuggets of knowledge I can work with and if I run out I can say "I am a big college football fan myself, I don't know much about baseball, have you always been a fan?" And then that conversation is started. 

"I love your purse, shoes, watch, etc." can do wonders to punch a whole in the proverbial wall of trying to talk to someone.  A tad harder with men - I would choose pets or sports first, but this is not impossible.  A compliment on someone's stuff is a great way to start. They are a) flattered, b) become a little more relaxed because they feel more liked, and c) usually start talking.

The Kennedy tote from Francesca's
I was recently with two women I just met and we were waiting for technology to load.  Bleh.  I looked over and saw someone's bag and said:
"Oooo, I love that bag - is that either of yours?"  
"Thanks - yes it's mine!"  
"I love it, I am always on the lookout for a pretty, black tote that I can use for work. I love how simple it is"
"Francesca's - about two weeks ago." (referring to where she got it and when).
"I have never had luck at Francesca's, but I often compliment people on things they find there."
"Oh, that's how I am with Anne Taylor Loft, never have luck there but like other people's find."
Then my co-worker says "What's Francesca's - I've never heard of that?"
And then we were off - describing it, they were giving directions, then we talked about local traffic, the local mall, etc. 

A few words of caution - don't give too many opinions in these situations.  An opinion of cat scratching post towers vs cat scratching boards is okay - but cats vs dog - "I'm not a dog person," anything like that is not a good idea.  No aggressiveness when it comes to sports teams, conferences, fashion trends, etc.  Just, no. 

Also I think children could be a good topic, but I still don't recommend it, for just so many reasons you can infer.  

It can be exhausting to make small talk, or work hard to fill the silences when needed. And for Tired Girls we are not into being exhausted. It can help a gamut of situations. Engaging people in conversation is both less tiring, less stressful and is ultimately quite lovely. 

Anyone have their "go-to" topics they want to share? 

Still talking about fashion here. I love this dress (and her toned legs).
I have worked to find out what brand it is and I can't. But I'm just sharing it anyway. 

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