Whether you’re stuck in the office kitchen waiting for your bagel to toast next to a quiet co-worker… or you’re washing your hands in a bathroom sink next to someone you kind of know, but aren’t too friendly with… or you’re standing next to a friend’sfriend that you have nothing in common with at a bar, you’re going to feel awkward. But instead of staying silent, try to break the awkwardness and bring something up. Whether it’s a one-liner, a silence-filler, or a question that anyone can answer, we’ve got you covered on what topics to bring up when the going gets awk:
1. The Weekend.
What to say: How was your weekend? What are you doing this weekend? I can’t wait for the weekend! How is it only Wednesday? I, like, really need it to be the weekend already.
Everyone has a weekend, so when things get quiet just ask someone what they’re doing this weekend. And if you already know, just complain that it’s not the weekend. And if it is in fact the weekend, just bring up next weekend.
2. How Tired You Are.
What to say: I’m so tired. I could not wake up this morning. I can’t wait to go back to bed. I am, like, falling alseep. Ahh, so tired.
YAWN, YAWN, YAWN. Even if you’re not tired, pretend you are. It’s a silence-filling phrase. Sometimes you’ll just feel the words coming out of your mouth without warning.
3. Soft News.
What to say: Did you hear about ___? Can you believe ____? What do you think about ____?
Whether you’re contemplating whether or not Beyonce lip-synced the National Anthem or wondering if Manti Te’o is gay, a moron, or just likes to fuck with people, I’m sure someone else is too. And if they’re not, its national fucking controversy-turned-news. Educate them. Some people can’t handle hard news, but most people can deal with taking in and discussing soft news.
4. Something That Was On TV Last Night.
What to say: Did you see that episode of ___ last night? Do you watch ___. The most ridiculous happened on ___ last night. You should definitely start watching ___ if you don’t already.
Everyone has access to television except for, like, Amish people… so if you’re not talking to someone with a very long beard decked head to toe in clothing straight out of the 1800s, bring up a TV show. Even if they don’t watch, it’s worth a try.
5. Your Cell Phone Service.
What to say: Do you get service in here? I never get service in here. What cell phone provider do you have? How many bars do you have?
Everyone has a cell phone. And everyone loves to complain about them… and compare them… and use them. Even if you actually have awesome service at the moment, pretend you don’t. It will spark a conversation about phones and/or a fight about Apple vs everything that is not Apple. Whatever the outcome, it’s better than awkwardly standing around, staring at said phone, with nothing to talk about.
6. The time of day.
What to say: It’s only 3pm? It feels so much later! I can’t believe it’s dark out already. Wow, this day is flying by. Can it just be _pm already?
One thing we all have in common is that we live by the same clock. If it’s 4pm for you, it is also 4pm for the person standing next to you. So talk about it. Maybe it will lead to a conv about what you have to do after 4pm. Who knows?!
What to say: I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. Work is the worst. I can’t wait to leave work. What do you do for work? Why do we have to work?
Who doesn’t love to complain about work?
What to say: Did you see that game? Can you believe they won? What’s your team?
Sports are a year round thing. They’re always happening – the actual event being played is the only thing that changes. Even if someone is not a fan of a certain sport you bring up, talking about teams you root for can actually lead to conversations about cities and where people are from.
What to say: I am so full. It’s almost lunch time. What are you having for lunch?
People love food. Talking about how full or hungry you are is a great silence filler… and asking people about what they’re eating later is a good question because, like, everyone has to eat… except anorexic people. Or fat people. Actually don’t ask people what they’re eating. That might make things more awk.
10. (and my go-to) The Weather.
What to say: Wow it’s cold out today. I heard tomorrow’s going to be really nice! Did you know we might be getting a snow storm later this week?
When you run out of things to talk about – no worries – there’s always the weather!