Questions that will spark conversations that are as deep as the ocean

(Edited as of July 27, 2018 because of some great comments. And also to tone down the peppy-ness levels.)

I am not a fan of small talk. It’s tiring. Here’s my definition of small talk: words that are exchanged between people who would rather be somewhere else. Maybe one day, when I don’t feel the need to fend of the encroaching awkwardness anymore, small talk won’t be a problem. Until then, I’ll be trying to get better at it.

Anyways, on the other hand, I absolutely love having conversations about more important stuff, like whether or not cockroaches are actually aliens that are pretending to be bugs in order to go unnoticed until they’re ready to conquer the world. Unfortunately, those types of discussions are like reindeer, and small talk is like horses. Reindeer are so much cooler, but you never get to see them in real life except on Christmas Eve and television. Why that is, I have no idea. However, since two days ago, I have embarked on a mission to make reindeer more common. In other words, I am trying to help deeper conversations to combust on a regular basis.

Here’s my genius and very simple plan:
1. Find a friend who is willing to participate and won’t think that this whole thing is dumb/weird/all of the above. Or, you could just force them to do it. That’s always an option. This step is the most important one- not that there’s much competition. Choosing the wrong person will ruin everything. EVERYTHING, I tell you. (At least I think so. I don’t want to find out whether or not it’s true for sure.)
2. Text them a slightly mind bending question each day.
3. Be amazed as you watch a beautiful conversation unfold before your very eyes.

To help you with step number two, here are some questions that I’ve gathered from Pinterest to start you off.

-Have you ever planned out a text message in your brain before typing it? Or, do you revise texts before sending them?

-What is more difficult for you: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when they are telling you how they feel?

-Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?

-You can have one of the following two things: love and trust. Which do you choose and why?

-Think of the last time you were angry. What made you so upset?

-If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

-What’s something you wish people knew about you without having to tell them?

-What are three qualities we have in common?

-How do you react to stress?

-Would you like to be famous? In what way?

P.S.

Let’s do a mini poll! Are you an introvert or an extrovert? As I said, I am definitely an introvert. Any tips on small talk? One I heard on a podcast was the 5 second rule, which is when you engage in conversation in the first five seconds you get in an elevator before the silence becomes too awkward to break. I think this is great when there’s one or two other people in the elevator, but not when it’s packed. I’M SO CURIOUS: what would your answer be to any of the questions on the list??

 

31 thoughts on “Questions that will spark conversations that are as deep as the ocean”

  1. Extrovert with lots of introvertish tendencies! Small talk seems very pointless to me too, but I never seem to find the courage to bring up difficult topics. Fortunately, I worked with a guy at a summer camp this summer (obvi, lol) who came up with superbly deep questions all the time, and would ask them to anyone around! Questions such as, “Does everything have an opposite? If so, what is the opposite of an ear? Why?” or “If you could put one person’s face on a t-shirt, who’s would it be and why?” His answer to the latter was Emily Dickenson’s, because she’s just glaring and it would be so quirky to have that on a shirt. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, it is! It’s hard to steer normal conversations towards more difficult topics.
      I want to talk to that guy! Haha, I love his questions. Do you by any chance remember any more? I’ll be asking them to my random-question-a-day buddy soon! Hm, I have to think more about whether everything has an opposite but I would say that the opposite of an ear is an mouth. I would put Baymax’s face on a t-shirt! Well, I guess that doesn’t count as a person. What about you?

      Like

      1. Right?? His questions were the absolute greatest! Hmmm “If you could visit somewhere and live somewhere else, where would they been?”
        I said the mouth is the opposite of the ear too!! Someone tried to argue with it, but I can’t remember their reasons, haha.
        Oooh, Baymax is a great idea! I would have to say Richard Maybury from the Uncle Eric books. Have you read any of those?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, they are really good! Oh fun, a travel question. Haha, it’s would be super interesting to talk about that with someone who disagrees!
        Thanks!! I love Big Hero 6. No, I haven’t! Are they some of your favorite books?

        Like

      3. The Uncle Eric books are definitely some of my favorite books, but they’re not even novels! They’re subjects like history, economics, government, etc. explained in “letters”. Intensely thought-provoking and logical, they are such a great read! We got Whatever Happened to Penny Candy with our homeschool curriculum a good 5 years back, and almost every year we get a new one. You should look them up!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, that’s super cool!! I am adding those to my tbr list right now. Do you have any other favorite non-fiction books? I used to not non-fiction at ALL when I was younger (probably because I was slightly rebelling against my mom), but now some of my favorite books are non-fiction!

        Like

      5. Hmmm Bill Peet’s autobiography is awesome (he was one of the original artists for Disney way back in the day!!), but I can’t remember what it is called… Just look up Bill Peet. His books are great!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am TERRIBLE at small talk. (Yes, I’m an introvert.) I try to avoid it whenever possible even if that means reading the nutrition facts on a bar of chocolate so I look busy. I definitely wish that there were more figurative (and literal) reindeer in everyday life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite color has always been blue. I loved the color ever since I knew what the word meant. 😀 Another close favorite of mine is mint or seafoam green- and if I couldn’t choose ANY of those, it would probably have to be purple. I’m extremely fond of vivid or pastel colors. ^-^ (looks like I’m in good company when it comes to colors. xD)

    Oh, yeah- okay. That sounds like a decent description of small talk. In that case, I don’t really care much for small talk. I only use the small talk tactic when I’m in line at the store and I know for a fact that I won’t have the time to have a soul-searching conversation with the cashier. And even THEN, I don’t like small talk. I don’t want to have a conversation just purely because you’re bored and having a conversation with me beats picking at your fingernails. I want to get to know your heart and see you talk passionately about the things you like. 😀 I’m sure other personalities don’t mind or like small talk- but the running trend with the Extroverted Diplomats of the MBTI test seems to be that they dislike small talk. (ENFP is here in the house. I think Ruby is one, too. :D)

    In some ways, I guess it’s kinda fun to shatter someone’s perception of you. My youth pastor still doesn’t know how to treat me after I took a rocket-launcher and fired at his assumption of me. XD And it’s true! It can be kinda hard to try to stay positive and happy even when things start to collapse around you like a house of cards. It gets easier the more you try, though. The older I grow, the more annoyed I get with people who constantly mope and refuse to try to see the bright side of things. I get so easily drained around those types of people. >.> And you’re welcome! 😀

    I get that. Not even I, a flamboyant extrovert, can’t be “on” all the time either. XD I try to use my intuition to tell whether or not someone’s a bit off. Because there is a difference between being quiet because you’re upset, or being quiet because you don’t have anything to say or you’re tired, etc. I’ve gotten the exact same question when I’m not my usual talkative self too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, you can’t go wrong with blue. I don’t really like mint or seafoam green, but I do like bright and calm colors! Sometimes I’m in a red/orange/yellow mood and sometimes I like light green/pink/sky blue. It depends. YES, you definitely are!

      Haha, thank you! It’s a work in progress. What is your description of small talk? Wait, I actually like those short conversations with cashiers! I think it’s because it’s so brief that I don’t have to worry about sustaining it and because I’m choosing to start the conversation. Yes, me too. I am with you on really getting to know people. Ah, I’m a Diplomat too! That’s very interesting.

      Yes! Haha, that’s funny. That’s what I mean- it’s so much easier to allow your emotions to match your situation than it is to keep them stable. Yea, those people are tough to be around. Then it’s kind of like you’re partly responsible for their feelings on top of your own.

      Exactly. There are different types of quiet! Hm, using your intuition to tell- I’ll have to start practicing that. It’s not something that comes very easily to me when I see one of my friends quiet.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this post!!! (Especially the bit about the cockroaches who are really aliens pretending to be bugs in order to go unnoticed. That was great😂)

    Small talk IS hard, especially because I often would rather talk about something more real, like you said. Those conversation prompts are interesting! At least one of them genuinely made me think, which is good! I might have to try this…

    – Abi

    Like

    1. Thank you!!! Haha, I first heard of it from one of my favorite podcasts. It’s one weird theory.

      I know right?? Real conversations beat small talk any and every day. YES, success!

      Like

      1. Ahh, I have so much more than a few recommendations! Here’s some to get out started. If you ever need more or if you ever find an awesome one, I love talking about podcasts.
        99% Invisible: 290- Mini-stories: Volume 4.
        Invisibilia: The Secret History of Thoughts.
        Planet Money: #544: The M&M Anomaly.
        Revisionist History: Food Fight.
        The Next Right Thing: 02: Do This Before Every Hard Decision.
        This American Life: #617: Fermi’s Paradox. (Oh, this is one about the cockroach aliens!)
        Mystery Show: Case #2 Britney.

        Like

    1. THANK YOU. Hey, that’s what blogs are for, right?? Also, do you think you could put into words the thought process behind being shy? And please don’t feel any pressure to answer that. I’m just curious, as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true! I talk a lot more about topics I like online than in real life. XDD

        Well, I’m sure it’s different for a lot of people, but for me, I don’t want to embarrass myself. For example, if I’m ordering, I get shy, not because I’m afraid of people or have social anxiety or anything like that; I’m just really prideful (XD) and don’t want any opportunity to be embarrassed, such as by ordering the wrong thing or not knowing the name of a food or not knowing how to use my debit card and such, or in any situation where I don’t know what to do and don’t want to embarrass myself. XD So, yeah, that’s my personal thought process on being shy. I hate being embarrassed! XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh wow, that’s so interesting. I would have never thought of that. For me, I’m not usually shy, but if I am around someone, I’ve noticed that it’s because I feel inferior to that person I want to talk to. Thank you for answering my intrusive question!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post!! Believe it or not, I’m an introvert. I am crappy at small talk. I don’t watch TV nor movie much, so I suck at choosing topics for non-committal chat. That said though, I love having a deeper conversation as you listed above.
    In answer to one of your questions, I have never planned out my e-mail before I actually start typing it. I am a as-I-go-along type and I never revise (or check) before I hit the ‘send’ button, that is the reason why I often makes typos! looool

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like these fun conversation starters. 🙂 They’re really fun, I’ll be stealing some of them ;D

    But I do think you have the definition of introvert and extrovert wrong, my friend. As an extrovert, I’m not very fond of small talk either. Liking small talk doesn’t really have much to do with whether you’re introverted or extroverted. Introversion means that you get your energy from being alone, that’s how you “recharge” after a bad day. Extroversion is getting energy from talking with people, and that’s how you “recharge”.

    A lot of people falsely identify introversion as “oh you think a lot and about deep things, you must be an introvert!”. And extroversion is apparently synonymous with hyper and shallow. XD You probably are an introvert, but that sentence of “I don’t like small talk” makes sense to plenty of extroverts as well, cause not all of us are fond of small talk, we’re just fond of social interaction.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank Pinterest! Yes, PLEASE DO. I hope wonderful things happen!

      Ahh, thank you so much for saying that! I can’t believe that the idea of extroverts not liking small talk either has never occured to me before. I assumed (even though I literally talked about how assumptions are the worst in another comment- ARGH) that extroverts would like small talk because of the people element. So would you say that as an extrovert, you get energy from talking with people, but not always? CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG.

      Haha, I wish that’s all there was to being an introvert. Oh yikes, that’s what Felicty’s comment was about too! Hm, that should be a blog post. I apologize if anything I said came across as typing extroverts as that way!! Okay, I will definitely remember that. Once again, THANK YOU for bringing this up!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Mini poll?
    1. Extrovert. Personality type ESTJ. Particularly interested in social experiments (likely a product of watching too much kdrama).
    2. Looking into someone’s eyes when they tell you how they feel. Because looking into someone’s eyes is only awkward if you’re the one being stared at.
    3. Trust. Trust eventually comes with love, but you can have love without trust.
    Small talk tips:
    I think it’d be interesting if someone did the 5 second rule, but instead of making small talk they would ask an existential question and record the answers. Someone not afraid to act a little crazy and stand in an elevator for two hours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1. Ah, Myers-Briggs! I’m an INFJ. How would you describe ESTJs in your own words? Haha, I love social experiments too! Oh, what’s a good kdrama show you would recommend to someone who wants to try them??
      2. Okay, if it was a friend talking to me, I would look them in the eye to show them I’m listening, but if it was a guy, it would be easier to look at him if I talked.
      3. This one is tough. I’d have to choose love.
      AHH, that a crazy but amazing idea!! I’m writing that one down.

      Like

  8. I’m definitely an extrovert. I looveeeee people, and I get to interact with anybody from the world in my pajamas at home. XD

    I’ve come to realize that people have different opinions on what small talk exactly IS. For some people, they think that asking questions like “What’s your favorite color?” is small talk, and I personally just see as all questions (as long as they’re appropriate) as getting to know someone better. So I’m not sure if I can help you out here in this category. >.>

    I LOVE the one question that you asked, saying “What’s something you wish people knew about you without having to tell them?” And the answer to this question is: Just because I like smiling and making jokes does NOT mean that I don’t have depth to my personality, or that I don’t like thinking. I’ve been given strange looks because I’m a very happy person. And in this day and age, it seems that if you’re happy, you almost get automatically branded as the bad kind of “special” or as shallow. I even had my youth pastor fooled for almost 7 years. It was only when I took an affirmation class with him as the teacher that I blew his expectations out of the water, and came out on top in class- and even his kids and nephew decided that I was the best. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, YES. Human beings rock. Ooh, I’ve never thought of blogging in that way!! I really like that.

      Ahh, that’s a good point! Thank you for bringing that up. I don’t consider that to be small talk either- I love asking people questions!! (A person’s favorite color is VERY important information. What’s yours? Right now, my favorite is light green. For years I liked purple and then I liked blue for a long time, but now, it changes a bunch.) To me, small talk is when you throw out a comment on the weather not because you want to start a conversation and get to know someone, but because you just need something to say. What do you think?

      I DO TOO. Oof, wow. Assumptions = the worst. I’m so sorry that they thought that about you even though it wasn’t true at all. Dude, way to prove them all wrong. Also, I think happy people are way stronger. It takes so much more out of you to be positive than it does to be negative. THANK YOU FOR TELLING YOUR STORY.

      The one thing I wish my friends (I haven’t thought of something I wish all people knew about me yet) knew about me is that if I’m being a bit quiet and not as enthusiastic as normal, it’s not because I’m sad or upset. 99% of the time, I’m perfect fine. I just can’t be on all the time.

      Liked by 2 people

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