Want to learn some good conversation starters that work with everyone?
Who among us doesn’t benefit from some help in this area — at least sometimes? I know I do.
When my kids were younger, it was so easy to start a friendly conversation with other parents waiting at the preschool, grocery shopping with their little ones, or stopping at the library for books.
Now that my kids are adults, and I work from home, my social muscle doesn’t get nearly as much exercise. And, when I run into another human, it shows.
It gets trickier to start and maintain a conversation that both people enjoy when you’re in fight or flight mode. And spontaneous social demands have a way of triggering that mode.
When is someone finally going to invent an implant that can assess the situation and suggest the best conversation starters — via earpiece or tiny side-view teleprompter?
Until then, it makes sense to arm ourselves with some versatile conversation openers — and to practice using them.
And asking interesting questions is a great way to start a conversation and to keep it going. As conversation tips go, great questions are more fun than simply reading about how conversation works.
So enjoy 79 of the best questions to start a conversation with just about anyone. You can even use them on yourself. It’s not weird at all. And it’s good practice.
79 Conversation Starters For All Situations
Conversation Starters for Couples
The following conversation questions can help you better understand your spouse/partner and grow closer together. Many are fun to answer, and all will get the words flowing (much like a good writing prompt).
1. Tell me about something you see in me that makes you proud?
2. When do you feel most attracted to me?
3. If I found a great job in another state and wanted us to move so I could take it, what would you do?
4. What’s the best thing about today, so far?
5. If you could change one thing about our life, what would it be?
6. If we were to go on an all-expense-paid (second) honeymoon, where would you want to go (and why)?
7. When was the last time you thought of me in a positive way? What were you thinking?
8. What would a perfect day for you be like?
9. Is there something you’ve wanted to do for a long time that you haven’t done yet?
10. If you could live to the age of 100 (or longer) but keep either the mind or the body of a 30-year-old, which would you keep?
11. What do you most regret from our past as a couple?
12. Where do you want to see us (as a couple) five years from now?
13. If our house was on fire, and we managed to get everyone out (including the pets), and you had time to run in for one thing, would you? And what would run in for?
Conversation Starters for Teens
While it can sometimes be a challenge to get a lively conversation going with a teenager, they enjoy a meeting of the minds as much as anyone else.
Use the following interesting conversation starters for an engaging and fruitful conversation. The more often you have friendly, connected conversations with the teens in your life, the closer you’ll become.
1. Are you into any fandoms — and if yes, which one/s? Where do you connect with other members of these fandoms?
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
3. What’s your favorite type of music? And what do you like about it?
4. If you had to choose between going to school five days a week and creating your own educational program and taking an annual achievement test, which would you rather do?
5. If your English teacher let you each choose your own books to read for the year, what are some of the books you’d choose for yourself?
6. Do you think of yourself as religious or spiritual? What do those words mean to you?
7. What really makes you angry – and why?
8. What would you do if you made the rules at home? What would you do if someone broke one of them?
9. If you woke up as one of your favorite characters from a book or a movie, which character would you rather be for a day?
10. If you could have any creature (including mythical creatures) for a pet or a companion, what would you choose?
11. Do you find it easy or difficult to make friends? What do you look for in a real friend?
12. What makes you feel energized? What are you passionate about?
13. Would you rather have an easy job working for someone else or a difficult job working for yourself?
Conversation Starters for Families
Each of the following conversation questions naturally leads to others related to it. So don’t think of them as topic starters for thirteen short conversations, though they could be.
Each question could just as easily start a longer conversation that deepens your connection to each family member.
1. What’s your idea of a perfect family vacation?
2. If we were to set aside a few hours one day a week for family activities, how would you want to spend that time?
3. Would you rather paint a room together or plant a garden together?
4. If you could change one rule we have as a family, what would it be — and why?
5. If we started a family business, what would you want us to do? Would you want to be a part of it? What would you like to do to help?
6. If instead of buying Christmas gifts, we donated money to a charity to help those in need, what do you hope that money would buy for them?
7. If (also) instead of buying Christmas gifts, we bought a new experience for all of us (a family vacation, etc.) — where would you want us to go and what would you want us to do together?
8. What are you thankful for today?
9. If we moved, and the new place had something our current home doesn’t have, what would you hope that thing was?
10. If we had to stay out of the house for a whole day, what would you want to do and why?
11. What are your favorite family traditions? Are there any you’d like to start (or stop)?
12. What do you love most about living here?
13. What would you like to know about the places your ancestors came from — and about the lives they lived?
Conversation Starters for Kids
Kids appreciate it when the adults in their lives talk to them and show genuine interest in their answers. And the best questions for kids have ageless and universal appeal.
Use any of the following questions to start an animated conversation with anyone – young or old.
1. What do you love to do on a warm, sunny day? How about when it’s raining outside?
2. What would you change about school? And what would you want to keep?
3. Would you rather wake up to loud thunder and lightning or to someone eating the last of your favorite breakfast food?
4. If you had to choose between being able to fly and being able to make wishes come true for other people, what would you choose?
5. What is the best gift you’ve ever gotten — and what made it so special?
6. How would your life be different if you could talk to animals and understand what they were saying?
7. If you could be another living creature for a day (including mythical creatures like dragons, elves, etc.), what would you be?
8. Did you do (or say) something today to help someone else? Is there anything you wish you’d done?
Related: 27 Small Talk Topics and Questions
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10. If you were a teacher, what would you do if the kids in your class didn’t listen to you?
11. What do you think would be the hardest thing about being blind? How about being deaf?
12. If you could do anything right now – and I mean anything – what would you do?
13. If you could make one rule that everyone in the world would have to follow, what would that rule be? What would the penalty for breaking the rule?
Funny Conversation Starters
Humor is one of the best ways to get a conversation going. Tickle someone’s funny bone or make them smile, and suddenly, you have their interest and an instant connection – which can lead to friendship.
1. If you inherited a gigantic funhouse that had a reputation for being haunted, what would you do with it?
2. If you could hack into anyone’s computer and make it play a harmless prank on its owner, what computer would you hack into — and why?
3. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
4. Would you rather give up social media forever or give up watching movies?
5. If you could meet anyone in the world for lunch, who would it be?
6. If you had an extra $1,000 this month and you had to spend it on yourself, what would you spend it on?
7. Would you rather have a live-in chef or a live-in housekeeper?
8. What actor would play you in a movie about your life?
9. If you had to be a Disney prince or princess, who would you be — and why?
10. If you were invincible (unbreakable) for a day, what would you do?
11. If you didn’t need sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
12. If you could witness any event — past, present, or future — what would it be? And would you want company?
Deep Conversation Starters
If you want a conversation that tells you more about the other person’s deepest thoughts, fears, and desires, the following questions can help you both learn more about each other.
Friendships are built on deeper connections than the ones you usually form with a casual acquaintance.
When someone sees the real you – and accepts you as you are – the friendship that develops can make you both better humans. And we need more of those.
1. What was it like for you growing up?
2. What first attracted you to your spouse/partner?
3. Tell me about your most memorable and meaningful travel experience?
4. What are you most proud of?
5. What is the best life lesson you’ve ever learned?
6. Tell me what’s on your bucket list.
Related: 60 Deep Questions To Ask Yourself
7. You look happy/sad/uncomfortable/nervous/bored. Am I right, and what’s going on?
8. What books have you read recently that you really loved?
9. What’s a typical day like for you?
10. What do you feel passionate about?
11. What is the most out-of-character thing you’ve ever done?
12. How would the people closest to you describe you?
13. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
14. What age do you feel on the inside?
15. If you could keep only five possessions, what would they be and why?
Keep the Conversation Going
Having a list of good conversation starters in mind will help you initiate new connections that can lead to strong friendships.
When you direct the conversation with these questions, you have a strategy for learning the more authentic qualities of the person standing in front of you and whether or not you share enough common interests and values to form a friendship.
If you found value in this article, please share it to help others form and strengthen their connections with others.
And may your connectedness, humor, and courage influence everything else you do today.