Getting to know someone can be intimidating, especially as an adult. Meeting someone and getting to know them can be challenging, especially if you are shy and if you have a disability. Thinking of questions to ask and ways to start and hold conversations can be difficult.
Here are some helpful ways to break the ice when meeting someone new and getting to know more about them.
Ask about their family and home life
After you learn each other’s name and likely shake their hand, it is common to start a conversation about something basic like their family or life at home. This can include discussing how many siblings they have or if they live with others or on their own.
Inquire about their hometown or city where they are from
It is always interesting to find out where someone grew up and where they live. Sometimes people grow up miles away from where they end up living as an adult. Other times, maybe it will surprise you that they live closer to you or that you are from the same town or city.
Ask what they do for work or what they’d like to do
It is commonly assumed that people with disabilities can’t or do not work. This is not the case as many within the disabled community work. If the person you are communicating with does work, ask what they do, if they like it, and what some of their tasks are at their job. You can also discuss your own job. If the person does not work, you could ask questions such as what their ideal occupation would be and why.
Discuss each other’s likes and dislikes
This topic is very open-ended and can open doors for a wide range of discussion. Likes and dislikes can include many things such as which type of music you listen to or your favorite foods. This is a great way to find out if you have a lot in common with the other person and if your interests and hobbies align.
Ask if they have any pets or which animals they would like to have
Many people like animals and are curious to know if others have pets. Asking if the person has any animals at home can help you bond. Sharing information about a pet can show how caring the other person is and how much animals mean to them.
Discuss favorite hobbies and activities
Discussing hobbies is a great way to continue exploring common interests. For example, you both may enjoy playing sports, being outdoors, working on art, or going to the movies. Finding similar activities of interest can help keep a conversation going and help it to run smoothly.
Consider different conversation starters at the next event or social gathering you attend.