13 Great Conversation Starters For Those Awk Moments

13 Great Conversation Starters For Those Awk Moments

Simple solutions for awkward silences over dinner.

We’ve all had those meals. You know, those meals, where the people in your company are trying to eat as quietly as possible amidst the clanking of silverware, and the metaphorical chirping crickets become so deafening that they start to manifest on a nearby windowsill. Those meals.

Well, starting today, the era of word-starved suppers has come to an end. Next time you find yourself among laconic interlocutors, try out these guaranteed conversation starters. They’re sure to get your partner across the table talking — or at the very least, making excuses to sit somewhere else.

1. Have you ever had lice?

This could very well elicit a story. But if they feel weirded out, which some people are wont to feel after you ask them about the health history of their scalp, you can always just follow it up with a compliment on the baseball cap they’re wearing. That way, it’ll make much more sense to them when you steal it later.

2. What's your favorite obituary?

If they claim not to have one, just talk about your own, but judge them silently. Judge them hard.

3. Do you prefer eating books?

If you say it fast enough, your interlocutor likely won’t understand the question at first, and their response will probably be something like, “As opposed to…?” From here on out, it’s up to you. You can go the safe route (“Oh, you know — articles, magazines, and the like”) or you can stay true to your original question (“Well, you carry that chem book to the dining hall often enough, I figured you might prefer the printed pages over the Basmati rice"). Either way, you’ve got them talking now.

4. Who did you vote for?

I don’t think the 2017 edition of the Revised Manual for Cordial and Courteous Conversation is in print yet, but I’m pretty sure this particular question is a no-go. Still, feel free to ask at your own risk, although this may be the one that makes them leave the table.

5. Do you ever sing in the shower?

If their answer is “No, never,” then it’s your turn to find another seat.

6. Where's the first place you go when you can't find your phone?

Answers like “the Street,” “my school email,” and “into the realm of my roommate’s personal space” are all indicative of a determined, in-your-face, grade-A college student. (Well, probably more of a grade-C, if we’re being honest.) But hey, they’re talkers.

7. How old do you think Dumbledore is?

If they say “150? Give or take a few?” then you should probably marry them on the spot. If they gently remind you that Dumbledore was assassinated in the sixth book and is no longer living, and, in fact, as a fictional character, never was living in the first place, then you should still at least get their number so you can exchange conspiracy theories together.

8. What's in your ideal basement?

This question could go any number of ways. The ones who talk about flat-screens and pool tables and even meat hooks are okay, but I’d stay away from anyone who wants Hannibal’s corpse, because at that point they’re just trying too hard. I mean, really.

9. Cheetos: Crunchy or Puffed?

If their opinion doesn’t align with yours, you’ve got at least 20 minutes of heated conversation right then and there.

10. If you were alive right now, what would—?

You can take quite a bit of artistic license with this one, although I’m not sure your partner across the table will much appreciate it. They’ll probably cut you off after the first half of the question and ask what you meant by “if,” gradually escalating into a state of anger or confusion, or perhaps some combination of the two resembling an existential crisis. I would be mindful of any airborne utensils at this point, particularly butter knives.

11. Did you like Transformers: Age of Extinction?

The single correct response, for both of you, is laughter. After that, you’ll be bonding over bad puns and embarrassing childhood memories in no time.

12. Do you still wear your retainer at night?

This is how you can tell whether someone’s responsible. Either that, or they just really care about the alignment of their pearly whites, which is admirable regardless.

And finally…

13. Don’t you hate it when they do that thing in spy movies where the two people are sitting a little apart on a bench and staring straight ahead while they speak, as if no one watching them will be able to deduce that they’re talking to each other, but it’s actually super obvious that they’re communicating so it begs the question whether they should even be spies in the first place?

Ideally, your interlocutor joins in sometime in the middle and the two of you recite the rest of the question together. Realistically? They just say yes and reply with another thing they hate about spy movies.

And with that, you’ve got a friend for life — or at the very least, an interesting story to fill the silence with at next week’s dinner. Cheers.

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider

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Advice Every 20 Year Old Needs to Hear

Your 20s is your peak; the prime time to figure out what the next step in your life will be.

You have to hustle between finishing your higher education and jump-starting your career. There’s a lot of pressure coming from your family, your peers, and most importantly, the pressure you put on yourself to become the absolute best.

Yet, it’s so easy to get lost in all the desires to be instantly successful and recognized. But in an era where everyone is trying to achieve the same thing, instant gratification is not the way to make it in the long term. I know it’s tempting to appear to be #blessed by donning Cartier bracelets worth your entire college tuition fees. Maybe you long to buy yourself a Range Rover and customize it with extravagant decors, but let’s be real, normal people don’t really live like that.

As a 20-something fresh graduate, I know how difficult and scary it is to start this chapter in our lives. I was overwhelmed by anxiety and so ridiculously afraid of making mistakes. On the other hand, my yearning to emulate the Kardashians and the Jenners, like many millennials these days, sidetracked me. It made me focus on the wrong reasons as to why I strive to be successful. Sure, being well-known for your successes and have the riches as proof can be great. Be that as it may, if you’re not happy and content when you go to bed at night, you need to retrace your steps.

Based on the advice given by entrepreneur and marketing expert, Gary Vaynerchuk here, this article is for you, my fellow, struggling, 20 year olds who’s trying to make it in this harsh, superficial, digitally-driven world.

Explore your options

Being cautious can have its advantages but you can utilize your youth to explore different paths. Flirt with different ideas and reach outside your comfort zone. If you don’t consider all the options that you want to do, the thought of ‘what if’ can be crippling. It will prevent you from reaching your highest potential. There are so many young adults in their early 20s that are unhappy with where their life is going due to pressure from parents and family members. Don’t punish yourself by doing something you know you won’t enjoy doing for 10+ years. Take your time to find something that you do love and are passionate about. If you want to explore the world before settling down, go for it. Or if you want to start your own startup company, just do it. Pursue what you want to do and ignore what others have to say.

Never look at others’ successes

Do not ever compare yourself with others. You might see other millennials hit important milestones early in their 20s but always remember that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do at their own paces. Of course, through social media, it’s easier to highlight one’s material achievements. However, those Instagram posts from ‘rich kids’ are just shallow portrayals of superfluous successes.

When you compare your successes to others, this can deter your motivation and you may have a hard time bouncing back from the rut. The jealousy and envy is toxic. Every second you spend on thinking about what somebody else has achieved is taking away the time you can use to create something out of yourself. Channel that energy to motivate yourself to do better and beat your previous accomplishments. We are our greatest competitions after all.

Prepare to make sacrifices

Be willing to sacrifice weekend hangouts or pub crawls with your besties. The time for entertainment can be used to better yourself, your career, and your life as a whole. The time spent chilling with friends every afternoon is likely to be reduced to just a weekend brunch or a quick dinner. Get ready to spend those free times by doing work to meet deadlines.

With that being said, since it’s your 20s after all, life can often be forgiving. The sacrifices you make doesn’t have to be drastic; it can be small yet impactful. Know how to balance out your responsibilities with your leisure time. The quick dinners and weekend brunches with friends might seem short, but as long as you keep thinking of these times as a reward after all the work you did, then you’re good to go.

Set a realistic goal

You want to be a millionaire by the time you’re 25? Good luck because you’ll be needing all of it. All those people on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list have been working their asses off before they were even legal. Some became millionaires because of pure luck or their fortunes were served on a silver platter. Rather than focusing your energy to become extremely rich, steer your attention towards enriching your life instead. Like said before, your 20s is your prime. It’s the perfect time to explore and experience new things. But it doesn’t mean you can let go of all responsibilities and ignore the consequences. It’s okay to dream big, but when exploring those paths, set a realistic and beneficial goal that you can actually see yourself achieving. 

Enjoy the grind

At the end of the day, whatever you’re doing to achieve success should be enjoyable. Embrace the journey of getting there; no matter where ‘there’ is.  Even if you have to flip burgers at a fast food joint to make ends meet or cater demanding clients, you must find joy in the smallest thing to avoid discouragement and resentment. The journey is always more essential than the destination. On your way up, you can learn critical skills and knowledge that you can use in the long run. Getting to the top instantaneously can leave you empty as it allows you to do less enriching work. Knowing that you’ve put in 110% into everything is enough to fill you with joy and keep you motivated.

Love your battle scars

Recognize all your failures and welcome it with a positive mindset. All our mistakes and failures will open new doors that can lead to something greater. Never ever be too hard on yourself if you get rejected from that prestigious master’s program or if you’ve been turned down from the perfect job position. Never be afraid of failure because you know that you gave it your all. These minor setbacks could propel you further in your career. “The universe will unfold as it should.” Keep this mantra close through thick and thin. It can reassure you that no matter what obstacles you’re facing, it can lead to greater and better things, and all your failures will make you who you are today.

Slow & steady wins the race

Your 20s is the moment to practice your patience. Slowly work your way up your career ladder or save money for that big solo trip you’ve always dreamed of. Know that nothing can be achieved overnight. You must dedicate time and effort, sometimes for years, before you can see results. You may see a lot of hares out there who have achieved great things early on in their 20s but fret not, with constant hard work and dedication, tortoises always reach the finish line no matter how long it takes.

Reflect from time to time 

When push comes to shove, always come back to yourself and reflect. Always ask yourself who are you doing all this for? What does success mean to you? The answer should always benefit you and yourself alone and not for any other reasons. To obtain happiness is, of course, the ultimate reason why you should do anything. Other reasons like to make your parents proud or to pay off those student loans can also help to drive you forward. If you sense that I’m beginning to lose grasps on why you should live a productive life, look for motivation elsewhere. I often read the prose Desiderata by Max Ehrmann that teaches you how to live, not just your 20s, but your entire life, positively and happily. Regular reflections can keep you grounded and in check with your ideals.

Don’t beat yourself up

Whatever your goals may be and whatever your idea of success is, be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t hold yourself accountable for arbitrary fantasies. Bear in mind that everyone’s journey is different. No matter what your goal is and no matter how you’re going to achieve that, be sure to savor this time. There will be less room in your 30s and 40s to make mistakes and redeem yourself. There’s a reason why there are so many articles out there calling your 20s as the worst, hardest period yet your most important decade. This decade is forgiving; it forgives all your failures and the wrong choices made. All in all, whatever you decide to do with your 20s, strive to make the most of it by keeping true to your goals and your principles.

Febriana Ramadhanya is currently writing as an English Editorial Content Writer for a Malaysian-based price comparison website, iPrice Group. She’s also still getting used to (weirdly) referring to herself in third person. For more lifestyle articles please visit iPrice Group 

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Onesies, The Pajamas That Bring Every Spirit Animal To Life

Who knew one article of clothing could bring countless memories?

Lions. Tigers. Unicorns. Leopards. I saw them all this past weekend. No, I was not at a zoo. No, I was not tripping on some crazy drug that made me think I saw unicorns. I saw them, IN REAL LIFE. Let me give you a little hint as to what I was experiencing.....ONESIES. They're not just for babies. Adults can wear them too! I wore one for the first time this past weekend and fell in love. Now, some of you may have worn a onesie before. Others, like myself before this past Saturday, may not have. So I just wanted to take a little time discuss just how awesome onesies are! Get comfy, grab some popcorn, and open up a new tab in your internet browser so you can shop for one after reading this. 

Wearing a onesie is like Halloween every day of the year. You can literally be whoever or whatever you want. Once you zip it up and put the hood on, YOU ROCK IT. You are what you're wearing. SO. The first step is to decide what kind of onesie you want. Get in touch with your inner spirit animal. If you wanna be a Squirrel, GREAT. Theres a onesie for that. If you want to be a Rockstar, GREAT. There's a onesie for that. If you want to be a Stormtrooper from Star Wars, GREAT. There's a onesie for that. You get my point. 

Next, be prepared to be extremely comfortable. Like, really comfortable. Like, your favorite blanket covering every inch of your body kind of comfortable. Don't worry about getting cold because your onesie wont allow for that to happen.

So now, not only are you expressing your inner spirit animal but you're super comfy doing it. As far as wearing clothes underneath them, welll....that's your own personal choice. Some prefer nothing. Others, like me, prefer a comfy shirt and pants. Hey, I'm not judging. Onesies are all about comfort and expression people!

Most onesies zip in the front so you don't have to worry about completely stripping down to go to the bathroom. And with the zipper in the front, it's a lot easier to operate. If the zipper was in the back...well that would be a different story. I've had a lot of horror stories with not being able to get the zipper down from the back.....way too many....but we will save that for a different day. 

Overall, onesies are a necessity in life.  The ability to tap into your inner spirit animal. The comfort. The warmth. The easy mobility. It's all there. Life in a onesie truly is a good life. 

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