A quick guide to starting conversations

Did you know you can brighten someone’s day and feel more socially connected when you’re comfortable making the first move to start a conversation? Here are a few examples of everyday opportunities for conversing with strangers. First, try reaching out to people around you.

Meet new neighbors.

Strike up a conversation with someone new to your neighborhood. People in a new place can always use a hand, whether learning about local resources, getting settled in, or getting acquainted.

Commune with commuters.

Offer to give up your seat on a bus or train. Strike up a conversation with the person who accepts or a new person you end up near. Give your window or aisle

seat to someone who has a middle seat on a flight and exchange a few nice


Connect with small courtesies.

Notice and say ‘thank you’ the next time someone extends a small favor to you.

Appreciate moments when someone:

  • Opens the door for you
  • Picks up something you’ve dropped (or who points out that you dropped something)
  • Refills your soda glass or coffee cup in a restaurant

Add an extra sentence of appreciation and a little

small talk to get a conversation started. Like, “Aw, thanks for the kindness. You made my day! Gorgeous day, isn’t it?” (Overstatement is OK.)