You’re waiting for the bus. It’s running late. There’s a cute girl (or guy) waiting next to you, just sitting there. “Should I talk to her/him?” — a voice in the back of your head.
Your shoulders tense up. Your breathing quickens. “But what would I say?”. Your heart’s pounding now.
What do people usually talk about? The weather? The bus being late? But then what would I say after that?! Ugh… (5 minutes pass).
Oh crap, the bus is here. Do I sit next to her? No, that’d be weird because all the other seats are empty.
Shit, now you’re at the back and she’s at the front. She gets off at the next stop and you never see her again.
Why you should start a conversation with a stranger
These strangers that spark our interest are a rare breed. You can’t go looking for them because they appear when you’re unprepared: in elevators, queues and cafes.
You want to talk to them, but you don’t. Because you can’t think of anything good to say.
“It’s okay.” you tell yourself after you chicken out. I’ll start a conversation with the next interesting stranger I see. I’ll have something to say next time.
But you don’t. And it’s affecting your quality of life.
That girl in the bookstore might have taught you something new.
That guy in the cafe might have introduced you to your next business client.
That girl on the bus might have changed your life.
You say you’re afraid of rejection, but it’s not that easy to get rejected. You can say some pretty weird stuff and people will still want to talk to you.
I’ve sat next to a girl and sang the Pokémon theme song before. She didn’t know what Pokémon was but she gave me her number anyway.
I’ve stopped people in the street to talk about sex (video below).
I’ve walked up to two girls and said “I think I love your friend” to one of them. We ended up dating for 3 years.
People want to have fun, engaging and weird conversations, just like you do. But you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or running out of things to say, right? You don’t know how to get yourself out of those awkward situations comfortably.
And that’s okay.
That’s why I’ve designed the game below. To give you something to say when you’re unprepared, and to ultimately help you feel more comfortable with yourself.
Here’s how to start a conversation with nothing to say.
It’ll probably be the first time something like this has happened to the other person so they’ll be like “whaaaat?” and then they’ll happily play along.
If you think this is weird, it is. Which makes it not boring. Which makes you not boring.
You’re back at the bus stop waiting next to the cute girl (or guy). You want to talk to them but you’re struggling to come up with something to say.
Here’s your line:
“Hey, one of my friends gave me this game for starting conversations with strangers. You wanna try it? It’s quick.”
Them: “Ahh, okayyy, I guess.”
If they ask why you’re doing this, say it’s just a fun way to meet strangers.
Now you pull out the cards you’ve got in your back pocket.
“You: So basically these cards have questions on them. Some of them are kind of ridiculous. You just pick a card and I’ll read you the questions that are on it.”
You let them pick a card without seeing it, then you ask the first question on it. Once you run out of things to say you ask the followup question on the card.
These questions are designed and tested to skip small talk, get deep and build a connection. The trick is to be genuinely curious and a little bit playful.
You’ll get a printable PDF of 18 cards with 36 questions. It also includes instructions on how to genuinely connect with strangers and keep your conversations interesting.