Think about the people you see all the time. How well do you know them? You could be missing out on great conversation or making a good friend. Use great conversation questions to get people to tell you their stories. People will tell you amazing stories when you care enough to ask. Your new best friend could be one question away.

Let’s Start With Ruth

My elderly friend Ruth lives in Florida. When we talk on the phone, she complains about her blindness and her health troubles. She gripes about the staff in her nursing home. They’re mostly Haitian immigrants (bless their brave hearts), who care for her and clean the apartment. Is she appreciative?


She says, “They don’t speak English. I can’t understand them.”

The truth is, they do speak English. With a Haitian flair. But Ruth doesn’t TRY to understand them. So she’s missing the chance to connect with them. I know she’s missing out on good conversation.

These energetic women see Ruth every day. With very little effort she could turn their routine jobs into interesting, pleasurable visits that would brighten all their lives. They would be eager to see each other every day. They might even become friends.

Plan Your Conversation Starters

The way for Ruth—and you—to make friends is simple. Ask great conversation questions. If Ruth can’t think of any great conversation starters on the spot, she could think of some ahead of time. Here’s what I would want to know about her caregivers:

* Tell me the story of how you left Haiti and came to Florida.
* What was your life like before you left Haiti?
* How do you keep in touch with friends and family back home?
* What kind of house did you live in?
* What did you eat?
* Is voodoo for real or is it a myth?
* What are your favorite foods?
* It costs more to live here. How are you getting by?
* What America what you expected? Tell me more….

I’d have those women chatting away, and if I couldn’t understand their accent at first, I’d ask them to talk s-l-o-w-l-y.

A note of caution here:

Only ask conversation questions when you’re truly interested. If you don’t give a rat’s aspirin about the answers, don’t ask.

Ruth isn’t interested in the staff women, so they do their job in her apartment and leave. Ruth claims she’s “too old to change.”

Too old to start great conversation? Too old to stop being stubborn and lonely?


Who is delighted to see you? Do you wish that more people felt happy when you’re around? You can make it happen, even if you’re quiet and shy. Just show your interest in other people. Ask questions, start conversations. Listen to their stories.

And now I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free newsletter full of useful conversation tips. You’ll also get “15 Sure-Fire Conversation Questions for Dates, Parties, and Hanging Out With Friends.”

Author's Bio: 

Have you ever wanted to get to know someone, and you didn't know what to say? I supply the questions that start the conversation and keep it going. Go to

My Mission:
to help people connect through questions. It’s my passion! I love putting people together and seeing them open up to each other and get connected.