When you first meet someone, whether it’s at a job interview, on a first date, at an uncomfortable Christmas party, in line at the DMV, over the phone with AT&T Customer Service, or at the STD clinic, making conversation can be difficult. Frankly, you’d rather not speak to them at all. What’s this “awkward silence” everyone keeps talking about? More like, “awkward forced conversation.”
But apparently it’s socially unacceptable to be in the company of others and not chit chat. So here are some ice breakers to get the small talk going.
Play the shoes game
Look only at the shoes of passersby, and based solely on their footwear, take a guess as to what age they lost their virginity and to what song. Then, compare your answers and look up at the rest of the person to get a better idea of if you were way off. E.g. if it’s a Croc, you’d guess, ‘still not there yet, most likely never will be, but if it ever happens, it will be to any song by The String Cheese Incident.’ If it’s a jelly sandal, you would venture, ‘age 14 to Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.”‘ And so on.
Ask the other person any of the below questions:
-Thoughts on the Middle East?
-Do you think I could pull off a pixie cut without looking like a lesbian?
-You look like you have a trust fund. Do you?
-How bout them Yankees? I mean northerners, not the baseball team. So accepting of interracial relationships, am I right?
-Can you check out this mole on my back? Does it look malignant?
-What would you change about my body?
-For Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr.: fuck, marry, or kill?
-Do you have siblings? [If yes, follow up with]: how much of a disappointment are you to your parents relative to your brother(s)/sister(s)?
-How much did or didn’t you get back on your tax return?
-You look like a bad lay–are you?
-Whose face do you find more off-putting: Lisa Rinna’s or Lisa Rinna’s?
– Favorite kind of porn?
-Who would you rather be lost at sea with: David Hasselhoff or Judge Judy?
Initiate a trust fall
Play “Never Have I Ever”
(The game where everyone starts with 10 fingers out and someone says, “Never have I ever [peed on a homeless person, had sex in my parents’ bed, gotten drunk and hit on my old babysitter, or insert other salacious act here],” and everyone who HAS done the TMI thing puts one finger down (so the more weird, gross things you’ve done, the less fingers you end up with). Or, you can do the drinking game version where instead of putting a finger down, you take a drink for every act you’ve done.) Things will get intimate and/or blackout drunk real quick.
Play an offensive game of 20 Questions
Volunteer to be the guesser first, and ask only politically incorrect questions. E.g. if the other person is playing a human, ask, “are you brown?” If the answer is “yes,” then ask, “how many times have you been arrested?” If the answer is “no,” then ask, “which private school do your children attend?” Or, if they’re playing an object, ask, “Can I sell you?” and if the answer is “yes,” follow up with, “Are you a child laborer?” If the answer is no, follow up with, “I thought we got rid of the Communists a while ago.” And so on.
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