When meeting someone new, try skirting the small talk and digging a little deeper

By Amit Kumar, Michael Kardas and Nicholas Epley

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So, who are you voting for on Sunday? And what side of the bed do you prefer?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Very bad advice.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I often do. But I’ve never in my life asked anyone when was the last time they cried in front of another person, because I don’t think that’s important and I just don’t care.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Hmm, “just don’t care” was a bit harsh. “Just not interested” is closer to the mark.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's hard to beat "what do you do for fun?"

If the person can't answer, exit stage left.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is such a bad idea. Making trivial small talk is a way to test the waters and see if you have potential interests with your conversation partner; and if you do the small talk should naturally transition into deeper conversation topics. You don't just jump straight into the deep end without knowing how to swim first.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Interesting article, and not all that surprising. I find ice-breaking small talk that continues for more than a couple of minutes a real strain and drain. But it can be difficult to find the right moment and method to segue from the shallow to the deep, and all the relationship risk that it entails. That aside, asking open questions like "What do you think/feel about...?" without front-loading with them any bias can be a great way of plunging into the depths and seeing where it goes. Some of my favourite conversations have been with people I don't expect to find a lot in common with, but as the conversation meanders I've found points in common as well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"It said on your form you like classical music."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I can strike up a conversation with a total stranger, on any subject

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Deep conversations with strangers will only sap the life and spirit out of you if you listen to what they say.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Asking intrusive personal questions of people you hardly know is an interesting gambit. Being single isn't so bad, after all.

But asking people what made them cry is a bad idea. They may be having a great day until you remind them of the worst moments of their life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If a stranger were to walk up to me and ask those types of questions, I would give them 5 bucks and tell them "hope your luck turns around chum".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Awful advice. I remember seeing on TV sitcoms people on their first date and one asks the other, 'How about having kids?' or 'What do you feel about 'choice'/abortion'? or 'Are you a Christian?'.

That's what you'd see on sitcoms, 'comedy' shows. Not what you expect or want in real life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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