If you’re often out of conversation topics to talk about with friends, then read the ideas below. We compiled a list of great conversation topics and questions, from the random and funny ones to the interesting and deep ones.
You probably know that making friends is a primary way to achieve personal and professional success.
There are some conversations that will help you move towards deep conversations; there are fun topics to talk about that can lead to friendships and there are those interesting conversations that are just a pleasant way to enjoy others’ company.
Being great at having conversations in the route to such a lot of success measured in moments of happiness and a general feeling of contentment. Let’s explore some of the topics that will help you build your conversational skills.
Table of contents
- Conversation Topics for Meeting New People
- Good Conversation Topics That Build Friendship
- Deep Conversation Topics To Strengthen & Keep Friendships
- Interesting Conversation Topics
Conversation Topics for Meeting New People
Meeting new people for the first time can be daunting. You genuinely know nothing about the other person and so do not know what could be interesting and engaging to them.
However, there are topics that we can touch upon that are human experiences. In other words, you do really know what would interest the other person, as there are things that we all share.
The following topics can help you get to know the people you meet. These are topics that help us show others the sort of person we are. You could talk about:
- A topic related to the context that brought you together: a friend in common, meetup event type, the industry of the networking event. The one certain topic that you have in common is where you are standing at that point in time. This could be the most useful starting point for your conversation.
- Work and education history – what do you do? What’s your area of interest? How do you spend your days? These are all questions that can be answered by anyone you meet.
- Where they’re from and where they’ve lived is also a good way of starting a conversation. You may even find in the course of this discussion that you have shared experiences of a place. This topic then becomes the perfect segue into a more personal interaction. You can expand this with: where would you like to live and where would you love to work? Again, you can start to share opinions and experiences that will help draw you to more personal interactions.
- Boyfriend/girlfriend/ marital situation/ how long they’ve been married/ kids/ significant other/ how they met… the nature of someone’s family might seem too personal, to begin with. However, there could come a point when you want to turn the conversation to their home and who they share time with. This is bound to be something that they care about. You will see from the start whether this is a topic that they warm to or not and whether you need to change the subject.
As you go through conversation topics to another, try and point out what you have in common. This creates the first layer of closeness that makes you think “Hey! We should probably be friends!” Just remember that the more uncommon the thing you have in common, the closer it pulls you together.
Good Conversation Topics That Build Friendship
Once the conversation is up and running and you begin to see that you have themes and ideas in common, you can move onto other topics, such as dating and relationships, money and success, and health and fitness.
These topics will help you find even more things in common. They help you get to know each other a little beyond the surface. What’s also convenient is that most people find these topics interesting, as they apply to their pretty much everyone’s life.
Conversation Topics around Dating, Love, and Relationships
You might not want to skip to your favorite dating story from the start. You could start this conversation with big ideas and overall opinions: What’s the worst thing about being on the dating scene? What the best thing about it?
Then, when you see that the other person is comfortable with the topic, you can move on to other more personal questions: Any weird first dates? Have you ever had an amazing date that didn’t go anywhere? What’s the most unexpected way you met someone?
Then, you could take the conversation to a new layer of depth, so it becomes more meaningful to both of you, for instance: What’s your secret to a successful relationship? Do they believe in long-distance relationships?
What can make it work? If not, then why not? Have you ever had one? Do you know anyone who got married with someone they met on Tinder? Do you think that this is even possible?
People generally find love and dating very interesting to discuss. These topics can spark funny conversations, you don’t have to take them too seriously. But the secret is that everyone has an opinion on what makes dating, love, and relationships work.
Health and Fitness Conversation Topics
People always have an opinion on health and fitness. They also have personal struggles and hopes, as well as successes that they can share. It is a route to more personal topics, while staying on relatively safe shared ground. For instance:
- What’s your secret sauce to a healthy diet when you have no time to cook?
- How do you fit workouts into your week so you can stay fit?
- What would you consider “being addicted to fitness”?
- How often should a person workout to be considered a “gym head”?
- What’s the best way to offset the effects of excessive sitting?
The other person might not feel like an expert on this topic but they will always have an opinion. There will be something they are trying to do to improve their health.
Conversation Topics around Success, Ambition, and Fulfillment
Depending on who you’re talking to and the local culture, money can be a normal subject or a taboo. Therefore, the way you choose to go about this topic needs to depend on your context.
However, like health and fitness, people are likely to always have a life goal or an idea of how fulfilled they feel at this moment. Anything that is a shared human experience is going to be a topic with potential. You can ask questions like:
- What’s the best plan for retirement?
- Stock market vs. real estate: what’s the better investment?
- How much did networking (and knowing people) help you in your career?
- Is it who you know or what you know?
- How much does being connected trump competence?
Favorite Conversation Topics – yours and theirs
Their Favorite Topics
As you move through the topics, you need to pay attention to the other person. They’ll light up when a favorite topic is mentioned. You will mention some topic and you’ll see them lean forward, their eyes open up and get excited. They can’t wait to show how knowledgeable they are about that particular topic.
If you listen and show interest, they’ll love the fact that you allowed them to shine. You could discover that the topic they love the most is their pet, a project that has become a passion, entertainment (movies, books, card games), activities such as partying, house parties, cooking, decorating… The more you talk, the more likely you will happen upon something that they love to chat about.
Your Favorite Topics
You are part of the conversation too. Remember how animated you get when you are talking about something you’re passionate about, whether it is a side project, hobby, interest or more.
You might love watching foreign films or hiking through the hills or riding horses or visiting your family – all are valid topics for conversation where you could shine.
Also, if you have unique opinions or points of view, that qualifies as a topic that makes you shine as a person. People want to make friends with people who aren’t too afraid to show what’s unique about them.
A little bit of edge here and there shows that you’re authentic and tell it like it is. People generally don’t trust those who are too “vanilla.”
Deep Conversation Topics To Strengthen & Keep Friendships
From these early moments of forming connections to making friends, you then need to move forward to cement the relationship. To form a meaningful friendship you need to help the other person express their individuality. You want to give them the chance to show you how they identify themselves – how they see themselves.
Everyone has a story of how they got to where they are today. They have moments when they developed an independent sense of self. To deepen the friendship, you should help them explore these with you – and you should be willing to share in return.
Your values are those things that are essential to the way you live your life. You may not be overtly aware of your values but they will be those things that direct the way that you make decisions. You can help other people explore these values with you by asking questions such as:
- What did your parents always nag you about?
- What did they think was the most important character to have? And did they abide by their own advice?
- What idea that you grew up with did you suddenly realise you didn’t think was right at all? When was the moment when you changed your mind and grew your own sense of what was right and wrong?
It’s not easy to just bring up values as a conversation topic. You generally bring them up after you’ve got past the small talk, and you know that you’re talking to someone who’s ready to share intimate things with you.
Trust is something that you build gradually. Make sure you approach these sensitive topics little by little.
All human beings have boundaries. We will put up fences between us and other people or between one part of our life and another. Where we choose to put these boundaries tells people a lot about who we are. You can ask questions such as:
- Do you ever socialize with coworkers outside of work?
- Do you think it’s possible to find love (or friendship) in the workplace?
- How would you manage that if it was against “company policy”?
Then, there is that code of conduct that we apply to our lives. There is a common morality that we all share, as demonstrated in the laws our societies lay down.
However, there are also things we personally find acceptable or not and this can reveal a lot about our personality.
- What behaviors will or will they not accept from others?
- What do you find most disappointing in people? You can ask this jokingly but it can inspire a serious answer.
- Isn’t it amazing that everyone thinks they’re great at keeping secrets? And yet, we’ve all had someone betray our trust…
There are superficial questions you can ask about the person’s family at the start of conversations. You could get the basic facts as a starting point. However, our families also reveal a lot about our personality and what we value.
When you know a person better, you can start to ask questions like:
- Who are you close to in your family?
- They say that you can’t choose your family, but you can choose who you’re going to be close to and even have a friendship with… do you have someone like that in your family? Who? and why them instead of the others?
The important things in life, what really matters
Then, you could just leap to getting to what is really important by asking them directly. “What if” questions are excellent for delving deep into what matters to people. However, you might also ask:
- If you had unlimited time and resources, what would you do with your time?
- Do you think it’s important to leave a legacy? Which kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?
Try to get to those goals they don’t share with people they don’t trust. These are the goals that are too crazy or too ambitious that most people would secretly make fun of them if they knew they had.
Your opportunity to deepen the conversation lies in the ability to develop enough trust with the other person that they see no risk in sharing this with you.
Difficulties they only share with close friends
People have challenges. It is the nature of being human that we struggle on one level or another. Showing vulnerability is the surest way to deepen a friendship with another person.
Therefore, being comfortable to ask and answer questions about difficult situations is important. You might want to ask about a loss they experienced, a broken relationship or maybe a dream that forever stays out of their reach. Go gently, these are topics that can quickly end a conversation if addressed too soon.
Things they’re not good at
Another topic that requires vulnerability is the exploration of what they know they need to improve. A lot is revealed about a person who reflects on weaknesses and seeks a solution.
It is a fruitful conversation, as we all have different areas we wish we were good at and others where we feel we are strong. The best friendships reciprocate – so you may be able to help them with their weakness and they offer advice on yours.
What they consider as strengths
If you are yet at the point when you can show a level of vulnerability, you can come at it from the other angle. You can make it silly and ask questions like:
- What would be your superpower?
- In a Zombie Apocalypse what would be your secret weapon?
Alternatively, you could dive straight in and ask what they consider their strengths. What you will find when people explore what makes them strong, they will also compare this against what makes them feels weak. It is, therefore, a more comfortable route for some to more personal topics.
Interesting Conversation Topics
I wanted to give you even more examples of interesting conversation topics. You can use these to spark some intellectual exchanges and why not a friendly debate with smart friends.
1. Why do many celebrities engage in self-destructive behavior?
People are often under the misconception that celebrities have it all (money, fame etc). This could be an interesting point for discussion as you could explore the challenges faced by celebrities behind the scenes.
2. Should we really try to save endangered species?
After all the fact that they’re endangered may mean it’s time for them to go anyway. Natural selection dictates that the fittest of the fittest will survive. Those animals that evolve and adapt are proving that they’re fit enough to survive.
But what does the decline in wildlife population mean for human beings? And if their decline threatens our existence, should we still just go with the flow?
On the flipside, maybe we’re so guilty of making the ecosystem unlivable for these species that we have the moral responsibility to save them all. In any case, the effect we have on the planet can be a very interesting conversation topic.
3. Is human expansion/development fair to wildlife animals?
Human beings have been taking over animal habitats for millennia. But is this ok? Can we do anything about it? Should we?
4. Is it fair that most of the world’s wealth is held by a few?
Social justice/injustice topics are always good for sparking healthy discussions? Among the questions that can be asked as follow up are:
- How can the balance be restored?
- Let’s say we decide to intervene and balance the scales. Is there any guarantee that things won’t go right back to square one after time
5. Can we trust pharmaceutical companies? Or should we stick to herbal/alternative remedies.
This is a topical one with the rise of alternative medicine and the public narratives engendering distrust of pharmaceutical companies. Some questions to ask here are:
- Is the idea of ‘big pharma’ being in the business of making profits and not the business of healing a realistic one? In other words, can we trust pharmaceutical companies to provide us with effective medication that will target our illnesses?
- Why are so many pharmaceutical companies coming under litigious and social media attacks recently?
6. Is it selfish for parents to refuse vaccination for their children?
This is another topical issue as some argue that contact with unvaccinated children put other children at risk while others argue that parents should be allowed to withhold vaccination (especially since some consider the side effects dangerous).
7. Should human beings give serious consideration to migration to other planets?
- How would we function on another planet?
- Would human beings take better care of their new planet/home?
- Why not focus on fixing earth’s problems?
- Will this help with overpopulation issues?
8. Do ghosts exist? Or Do you believe in ghosts/the supernatural?
- Many people swear that they’ve seen or interacted with ghosts. Do you believe this is true? If not how do you explain their stories?
- Have you ever had a ghost encounter? What was it like?
9. Are we really defined by our history?
This is an interesting conversation topic that allows each person in the group of friends to think about what defines them as an individual. This can inspire some self-examination but also a stimulating back and forth.
10. Is the vegan lifestyle really healthy?
The vegan lifestyle is very popular these days and so it makes for a good discussion point. Some follow up questions include:
- What makes the vegan lifestyle healthier?
- What are sources of protein for vegan?
- Is the vegan lifestyle expensive/costly?
11. How should mankind respond to scientists’ warnings about global warming?
This is another current and topical issue that works well as a small talk topic. Issues such as climate change and pollution can be woven into this discussion.
12. What is a reasonable time frame within which to expect a call back after a date?
Is it a week, a month or a few days? You’ll be surprised to find that individual response will vary. Follow up questions for this conversation prompt include:
- Do you always adhere to this timeline/
- What do you do when someone you’ve been on a date with doesn’t get in touch with you within that time?
13. What foods are absolutely off limits for you?
Because we all eat food and talk about it a lot, it often makes the conversation more interesting.
Most people will be able to identify some foods that they’d never eat. You can also talk about which food you hated as a kid that you don’t mind eating now.
You can also spin it by asking: “If you had all the money in the world, which foods would you eat everyday?”
14. What’s the most ridiculous instruction you’ve received from your boss?
Everyone in the working world has some story of an unreasonable, strange or downright silly instruction from a supervisor or boss. Here are some follow up questions for this one:
- How did you respond to the instruction?
- Did you ever get the same instruction again?
15. If you could trade places with your boss for a day what would you do?
- Would you fire anyone?
- What changes would you make in how the office/business is run?
- What orders/instructions would you give your boss (who would now be in your position)?
Bosses are easy punching bags when you bring them up in the conversation. Just make sure you don’t take it too seriously. If you find that when you bring up this topic, some of your friends get very negative, maybe avoid it in the future.
16. What’s your dream vacation?
A dream vacation is a popular small talk topic. Some follow up questions for this would be:
- Who would you prefer to have on this vacation with you, family, friends or no one?
- How long should this dream vacation last ideally?
- If you had to sacrifice something you love/ value to get this dream vacation what would you give up?
Travel is a very easy topic to talk about. It reminds everyone of their past vacations, future vacations, as well as all the stories they’ve heard about different travel destinations. And you could be discussing those things for quite a few minutes.
It also doesn’t hurt that people will be associating those good emotions with talking to you.
17. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
This would be an interesting question to ask friends you’re about to become close to. It’s fun, interesting, and can “tip over” your friendship from casual to close.
We’ve all had a number of adventures, even if they’re not very extreme we should be able to evaluate them and come up with the most adventurous one. Follow-up questions for this topic include:
- What was the experience like?
- Would you do it again?
18. Does music have a big impact on your life?
Music has been a part of the human experience since the advent of civilization. It is unlikely that the person you’re chatting with won’t be a fan of music. Nonetheless, here are some follow-up questions;
- If not, why?
- If yes how?
- What genres do you like? Why?
- Who are your favorite musicians?
Another reason music is a good conversation topic is that it reminds people of the emotions they feel while listening to their favorite tunes. Emotions are the glue between people
19. Are you a movie fan? What genres do you prefer?
- Why don’t you like movies?
- What is appealing about that genre?
20. If you could time travel which direction would you head into; the past or the future? Why?
This is a great conversation topic a s it helps to show the preferences of each person in the group. The more traditional person will probably opt to go into the past while the more unconventional individual will opt for the future.
21. Do you believe that people today are overly reliant on technology?
- Has technology changed the way we interact with each other? How so?
- Are human beings being made obsolete by technology? How so?
22. Which modern invention/technology do you value the most?
- Is it information and communications technology, travel innovations, modern machinery such as 3D printers and machines that assist with surgery or entertainment technology like smart TVs?
23. What’s the absolute worst thing that a friend could do to make you break ties with him/her?
- Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?
- If this ever happens to you, how do you think you’ll react?
This is an important thing to talk about at some point. It reveals what you and others will and will not accept from friends. It’s usually something that has to do with betrayal that make you cut ties with a friend right then and there.
24. Self-awareness conversation topics: “Who/what has impacted your life the most?”
- What did this person/ thing do to affect you so greatly?
- Was this a positive or negative effect?
25. Do you think animal companions (pets) add value to human lives?
- Do you have pets? Why/why not?
- Are a cat or dog person? Why?
- How do you feel about exotic pets?
- How do you feel about emotional support animals?
26. If you could choose an item to place in a time capsule to be opened 30 years from now, what would it be?
In addition to identifying what they’d put in the capsule, you could ask the person why they selected that item and extend the conversation by asking what their second choice would be.
27. Imagination-inspiring conversation topic: “What’s your dream job?”
- What fascinates you about this dream job?
- Are you working towards getting there (if the person isn’t already employed in this capacity)?
Whenever you ask “what would be your dream” anything, you inspire the imagination. Questions like that are great conversation topics and can inspire discussions that people will remember.
28. What would a perfect day look like for you?
Each person’s perfect day is different so this will prove to be an interesting topic. You can expand this conversation with questions such as:
- What’s the weather like on this perfect day?
- Who would you want to share this perfect day with you?
29. Have you ever received a compliment that you found to be weird?
- What was the compliment?
- Why did you consider it to be weird? Did you let the person know how you felt about the compliment? Why/Why not?
- How did you respond to the compliment?
30. Have you ever done something that is out of character for you?
- What was it?
- How did others respond to your actions?
- What did it feel like being out of character?
- Would you do it again? Why/why not?
We hope you’re going to take these examples of conversation topics and use them soon. It’s okay to wonder what to talk about with friends, but as you use the ideas above, you’ll start to automatically find topics as you socialize.
Make sure you start practicing with the different topics as soon as possible. With some practice, you’re going to become very pleasant to talk to. Good luck!
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