General Question

grevin's avatar

How to have a decent conversation with someone you barely know?

Asked by grevin (72points) October 7th, 2011

I’m usually shy when I meet new people and do not know what to talk about because I don’t know them. With time, I usually adapt my sense of humor, maturity, and what I talk about with a person. But the stages of meeting someone new and finding new things about them are awkward.

I want to know your methods because there’s a cute girl that sits next to me in science class that I don’t know that well and we only briefly talk to each other for assignments in short-lived conversations, then we awkwardly sit in silence.

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42 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Start with asking her about her interests, see if there is any common ground to hook into.’
Otherwise, just be BOLD girls like a take charge kinda guy. haha
She might be thinking the same thing abut you!

grevin's avatar

@Coloma I feel like asking about her interests would make it obvious that I’m flirting. I also think she’s into another guy because she has said things on facebook like “am I not making it obvious enough”. And I don’t think that in any way shape or form she is making it obvious that she likes me.

blueiiznh's avatar

If you are interested, don’t be shy. You will not be happy if you miss the opportunity.
Ask about almost anything you wish (non creepy) and see how it goes. You will be able to tell if there is interest to talk based on how she replies. Ask her about her. Just get a conversation going.

grevin's avatar

@blueiiznh I’ve never openly flirted with a girl before, so I don’t really know what’s creepy and not creepy.
And starting the conversation is the hardest part. It’s like starting an essay. You have the ideas, you know where you want it to go, but you don’t know how to start it.

blueiiznh's avatar

@grevin dont make it flirty. Be sincere. Be funny. Be yourself.
“Hey, you look familiar, do you know who I am”. I dunno dude, it has to just come from within and natural. You have to try. If it doesn’t work, move seats to you next victim crush.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Coloma's avatar


Forget the facebook stuff, young girls can change their romantic interests overnight. If YOU jump in and make yourself noticed you never know, she might turn her interests towards you, or…bonus, maybe there’s another girl YOU aren’t noticing that will notice you talking to the other girl and that might make her find the courage to approach you! Have fun with this, don’t be too serious, just be yourself, give it a whirl…you’ve gotta launch your rocket sooner of later. You have nothing to fear, but fear itself!
Just do it! :-D

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Here are some great lines to avoid:

Holy shit! Are those real?

Is that your real hair color?

Do you do part-time work as a model?

Now you know everything I know, and it took me a half-century to learn this.


@blueiiznh And for a girl——compliment the gentleman on the nice shoes he’s wearin’, right? ;)

@grevin I usually find that the best way to loosen up and get into the groove is to just “be bold” at the outset and say something really funny, even if you end up looking a little awkward at first. Project your voice and be bold and talk about something that both of you can relate, but dive into it with no holds bar.

grevin's avatar

This is all useful – when the conversation has already started. But how do I bring up a conversation in the first place?
I mean we talk about assignments briefly or the teacher, but I don’t see the conversation evolving from there.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh man, how could I forget!?

Your bolder male friends will tell you that this line works for some of them sometimes, but I’m here to tell you: It doesn’t work!:

“Nice shoes; wanna fuck?” That line has never worked for me. Not once. Not even when we were both drunk and did want to…

Please tell me you’re not a 13-year old talking about a girl in your freshman English class…

blueiiznh's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES for some people it is all about the shoes. you will be a god if that is the case

Ela's avatar

@CWOTUS Don’t forget the “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

@blueiiznh victim?... really? PSHT! LOL

Coloma's avatar

And, keep your eyes above her boobs. That’s HUGE! lol

grevin's avatar

@CWOTUS Nope. I’m a 16 yr old sophomore talking about a girl in my science class.


@blueiiznh You’re right about that. One of the things a lot of women notice first about a man is his shoes, and how nice or ugly they look. It’s like the feathers on a peacock for the hen to notice, an important magnet. lol

grevin's avatar

So what I’m taking away from this is get a nice pair of shiny shoes. Thank you all. haha


@grevin Hehe. Well, it certainly won’t hurt. She might even start a conversation about them. :D

Ela's avatar

@grevin I suggest finding something neutral to ask her about. A movie, tv show, a local hangout in your area, a concert that may be coming to town, a current (possibly local) event you think she may be interested…. But no politics or religion. People can have too strong of feelings/opinions in those areas imo ; )

@blueiiznh PMPLOL?

grevin's avatar

@EnchantingEla Well, there’s the homecoming dancing coming up in a month. But she is just a cute girl. I don’t know her enough to know if I want to date her or just be friends.

CWOTUS's avatar

Whew. Okay. Sixteen. Then I’m not giving you any new ideas that you haven’t already had for about eight years.

Okay, now with the kitten avatar I’m wondering if you’re a girl, too, or just a really so-secure-in-his-masculinity-sixteen-year-old-that-he-has-a-kitten-avatar guy. Just to give me an idea of how thin this ice is that I’m on, you understand.

grevin's avatar

@CWOTUS It was the default when I signed up. I just changed it as you were typing that response.

Ela's avatar

@grevin Homecomings = football games, pep rallies and other things I’m sure. Pick one or all ; ) Ask if she is going to the game?

grevin's avatar

@EnchantingEla She’s a cheerleader, so she goes to all the football games and I think is doing something at the pep rally.

Ela's avatar

@grevin Damn dude… there’s your door! Open it!!

AshLeigh's avatar

“Hi, my name is Ash-Leigh. What’s your Astrological sign?” It worked once…

grevin's avatar

@EnchantingEla I mean she cheers at all the football games and is probably cheering at the pep-rally. And I’m not sure if I wanna go out with her yet, I just want to start a decent conversation.

Ela's avatar

@grevin So ask her “Who do you think will win?” If you don’t know if you want to go out with her, why all the fret? Just hang out and take it as it comes. Why initiate?

CWOTUS's avatar

Well, this might work. It’s something I thought of when I was decades past my “innocent” age (when I was about twenty, actually), and always wanted to try. I think it could be pulled off.

Ask her for some help with a problem. A personal problem. A very particular personal problem. You won’t have to “act” shy when you ask her this, you will probably already be shy. But ask her in a sort of hesitating way for this help… with this problem that you have… that’s kind of embarrassing… but you can’t ask anyone you really know well, and… she looks like she’d be helpful and not laugh at you. (This preamble could take days, if you work it right.)

Then the problem is… you want to ask a girl on a date, but you don’t know how.

By the time she has advised you (if she will, and if you’re at least “presentable” and she’ll talk to you at all, then why would she not?), then you’ll know if you want to ask her on a date or not. Be cool, be casual, and use every piece of advice that she’s given you… to ask her on a date.

Even if she shoots you down, you at least have experience in 1) asking a girl on a date and 2) handling rejection. You’ll be so far ahead of where I was at your age that it won’t be funny. It wasn’t funny then, anyway.

grevin's avatar

@EnchantingEla Idk. I might want to go out with her, or at least be just a friend. I don’t have many friends that are girls.

augustlan's avatar

Try to walk out of class at the same time as her, so you can casually walk down the hall together. Chat about what you just learned/did in class or about the great/terrible/boring class you have next, and go from there.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Talk about at the usual class stuff… and when finished, say something like “so… what do you like to do when you’re not doing homework?”
Then whatever she tells you, you ask questions about that subject… throw in some of your own experiences, mixed in with jokes/cracks, (anything to make her laugh, smile)... and you’re in like Flynn!
And if something awkward slips out, just tell her you’re nervous & apologize. Girls are usually very forgiving, (nice ones at least). and if it crashes and burns… Point over her left shoulder and say HOLY SHIT!!! Did you see that?” and when she turns to look, BOLT!!! ;)

Thammuz's avatar

My GF’s father has been a very successful ladies’ man after his divorce, and i have to tell you: being funny and not having problems making fun of yourself appears to help a lot.

To give you an example, once he picked up this girl in a club about 20 years younger than him, with this line: (she was sitting alone at a table with her drink) “Can i sit here?” “Why?” he thinks it over for a second, as if looking for a good reason and goes: “Because i’m very rich” (implying that that was all he had going for him), she laughed, and he sat down, mission accomplished.

In short, be entertaining, the subject doesn’t matter as long as you make it pleasurable to listen to.

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Coloma's avatar

I once passed a note on a napkin to an attractive man at a restaurant. He loved it! Ya gotta be bold…go after what you want! :-)

rebbel's avatar

“Hey Amanda…, you know, I am actually having a bit trouble with starting small talk…., it’s not that I am totally noob about it, and I can talk your ears off after the troublesome start, but I thought I just be honest about it.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If you’re too shy to flirt then how is she going to know you think she’s cute and you want to know more about her, outside of class? Are you ok with looking at her a few seconds longer than feels normal? She’ll suspect you like her if you do that and if she’s been thinking she likes you too, she might take the initiative with conversation or to flirt with you.

Sunny2's avatar

Nobody has mentioned it yet, but talk about your class, homework, yesterday’s lesson, the weather, a joke you heard, compliment her on something she’s wearing. If you have other classes with her, you can refer tot hem. All of this is just to let her know you exist and have a voice. Her reactions will tell you where to go from there. Be yourself.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I don’t have that issue I can talk to anyone about just about anything and handle myself rather well.

How do I do that?

I just do… You have to be able to make other people the main concern and listen, as well as talk.

Mostly other people like to do most of the talking once you let them feel comfortable enough to do so. I talk too much actually. Sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and let someone else get a word in edgewise.

fluthering's avatar

Since she’s a cheerleader, try going to the games with a couple of your friends. Enjoy the game, goof-off, and have a good time and when you run into her (she’d bound to have to take a break from cheering at some point) be sure to say hi with your most charming smile. If you’re feeling good, strike up a conversation right then and there (hey your squad is pretty good! followed by you wanna show me a few cheers? ;) or ask her how long they’ve been practicing for, express your enthusiasm for the team, etc). Maybe the next game you can step it up a bit and cheer her on (cheerleaders need motivation too!) and shout her name, etc. Leave the game early and in science class start up a convo by saying something like “hey i had to leave the game early, did our team end up winning?”. If she responds with an un-conversational yeah or no just keep talking until you have her talking too. Be sure to give responses that are conversation invoking (easiest way to do this is to keep asking a lot of questions, but avoid doing so in a way that comes off as annoying). Hope that helps! Good luck!

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Phayteeee's avatar

You just have to be yourself but the easiest way to do this is to keep askin questions, but avoid doing so in a way that comes off as annoying.

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