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You Can Do Better Than “So, How Was Your Day?”

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“So, how was your day?”

Fine.

“What happened in school today?”

Nothing.

You’re trying to connect.

You’re trying to get them to open up.

But even when you ask open-ended questions,

sometimes no one really wants to talk.

How do you get beyond one-word answers

and superficial communication so you can

really connect with the people you care about?

Starting Real Conversations

Real conversations sometimes need a little

help in the form of an interesting question:

“If you could have any object or place to yourself

for one day, what would you choose?”

“Would you rather live for a week in the past

or a week in the future and why?”

“What do you think is the saddest song of all?”

“If you were a teacher, what is one book you would

insist that your whole class read?”

Questions like these spark creative answers

allowing people to open up and share more

about themselves in a safe, fun way.

Why Use Conversation Starters?

1.  Healthy relationships thrive on people sharing

intimate information: personal thoughts, feelings,

hopes, dreams, fears, desires, and values.

Conversations about the “maintenance” aspects of

life like who is going to pick up milk or pay a bill

are important to keep life functioning.

But those conversations are all on the surface.

Conversation starters allow you to share more

intimate information with each other.

2. Self-disclosure improves connection

and feelings of closeness in relationships.

You want to know what your partner, friends,

and kids really think and feel about things.

You want to be able to help them feel safe to

self-disclose and express deep thoughts

and hypothetical questions allow for this.

When you share personal information

with someone, you feel closer to them.

3.  Talking about hypothetical situations

(instead of what happened at work today) is 

like getting a little vacation for the mind.

It’s a  wonderful escape from the mundane to

consider something new and different and then

share that with others.  Great businesses do

this regularly with their employees to help

them to think outside of the box and connect

and work better with each other.

So do well-functioning couples and families.

Conversation Cards

There are several companies who have

marketed conversation-starter card packs,

so you don’t have to try to come up all those

interesting questions by yourself!

Here are a few to try:

Chat Packs

Table Topics

100 Date Night Questions

KidTalk Conversation Cards

When To Use Them

At the family dinner table, in the car when

there’s time to talk, in the evening when creative

thinking can help anxious kids to end the day on

a positive note, for date nights to keep conversations

interesting and intimate, and at bedtime so couples

can share more personal thoughts and feelings.

Using them regularly might even improve the

quality of the answers you get when you do ask,

“So, how was your day?”

 

 

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