Every now and again you're in that terrible situation where you need to meet new people so you have a conversation. It's trite, it's some loose facts about the other person, it's the same information listed on their facebook page. It's forgettable and useless information.
I decided that shit is boring. I don't care where you work, I'm not going to remember that. Hell, I will forget your occupation the second you finish the sentence. That's a problem. I have a shoddy memory for names, I have an okay memory for faces but let's make this interaction more interesting.
How can we do that? You quandary I'm going to use quandary as a verb, I think it's a noun but this is me having fun while writing so you quandary the fuck out of what I'm saying.
Start by asking abnormal questions that lead to a story, stories give you follow up questions and something more memorable. It also forces them to think before responding to you as opposed to the mechanical, cold response of listing things like like or what they do.
- Have you ever broken something? How much did that suck?
- What is the most exciting thing that happened to you last week?
- What was the last show (concert, play, stand up etc) you went to?
- What's the suckiest book you read in English class? What's the best book you read in English class?
- What's the last movie you saw in theaters?
- What's the dumbest way you hurt yourself that you can remember?
- If there were no consequences and money were not a problem, what would you do on your day off? Like, a dream vacation day off?
- Coffee, tea or me?
- How many dogs would be too many to be stuck in this room with? (If outside, suggest their bedroom. Cats or any other animal can be substituted for dogs)
- Quick! We're 1920s gangsters, what's our name and our primary crime? Faster! The cops are after us, no time to think!
- You're in the shower and the fire alarm goes off, do you go outside in a towel, do you try to grab clothes on the way out, or do you proudly wear your birthday suit?
- Who do you wish you were?
- Describe what you think your best quality is in one word.
- Three wishes, no money or more wishes. What would you wish for?
- What is home to you? What makes some place comfortable?
- You're dropped in a foreign city for a day, you don't speak the language and you have the equivalent of $100 US in your pocket, what would you try to do?
That's as many questions as I can think of right now, but think about these questions and these types of questions. When meeting someone it's not just about learning their laundry list of facts and deets that can be found on almost any profile, if you want to make a connection try to get them to think. Asking someone to tell you who they wish they were isn't supposed to be an existential crisis of a question, they could answer Bill Gates or Galileo. They could also answer with a more personal response, like they could wish they were nicer or more compassionate. It being a first meeting and them knowing nothing about you could lead to a more open response or something more closed.
It just gets really boring talking to someone then them just being another face you met, or maybe I'm just really shitty as remembering and meeting people. I say this, but this is something I'd like to try.
On Friday I met a friend's girlfriend at an art show without thinking, I asked 'what are some of your interests' is still leads to a list of facebook likes, but the question was unexpected. It caught her off guard, I've since forgotten her name because I'm shit at names, and I guess I did that thing where I made myself more memorable to someone else than they did to me, but it was an attempt which is better than my usual instances of meeting someone different.
So, go quandary the fuck out of someone new, ask a question that makes someone think, it could lead to a more interesting conversation otherwise.