10 Simple Conversation Starters for Introverts

Written by Ahmed El Faramawy

As an introverted person, I find it very difficult to start conversations, especially with someone I’m meeting for the first time and who is a stranger to me. I don’t know how to quickly connect with people, especially at work. I always wait for someone else to initiate the conversation, talk to me, and open up topics with me, then accompany me. After that, all barriers are broken, and we become friends.

But you should know that I’m talking about a stranger to us, meaning new people we meet for the first time, whether at work, university, volunteer work, or at the gym, not strangers who might pose a threat to you.

What Stops You from Starting Conversations

Some barriers hold us back from initiating conversations with new people:

  • Your phone, which you keep in front of you for hours without getting bored. This makes you feel isolated, especially if you’re introverted. You find comfort in distancing yourself from people, talking behind a screen, and feeling more courageous.
  • Feeling shy and tense, and fearing that the person in front of you won’t be receptive, which makes you feel embarrassed.
  • The fear of not being able to fit in with a specific group of people, like a clique of friends who are closed off to others. You worry that they might talk about you as soon as you turn away, commenting on how thick-skinned you are.
  • You might seek help from a friend to introduce you to new people, making the process easier and more comfortable for you.

How to Overcome These Obstacles

  • Every problem has a solution, and what scares you or makes you embarrassed to talk about today will become a memory with a friend tomorrow. You can overcome these obstacles by:
  • Instead of dwelling on things that scare you and make you tense, think of a psychologically comforting situation to calm yourself and overcome your fear. For example, imagine yourself sitting by the sea on the coast.
  • Practice talking to people you know and are familiar with, and as you strengthen your social relationships, your self-confidence will increase.
  • Encourage yourself and tell yourself that everything will be okay and will improve. Just because you haven’t mastered talking to people and overcoming your fear doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

Prepare Before Speaking

The first impression lasts a lifetime, so if you’re talking to someone for the first time, you must leave a good impression. Pay attention to body language, which many people may see as simple but is actually influential in continuing the conversation:

  • Don’t turn your back too much while speaking, as this can give the impression that you are arrogant and disinterested. Keep your back straight but relaxed.
  • Look into the eyes of the person you’re speaking to so they feel you are interested and listening. If you speak without looking at them, it gives the impression that you’re not interested and trying to shut down the conversation.
  • Don’t nod your head too much in agreement with every word being said. It will seem like you’re not focused on the conversation and just moving your head aimlessly.
  • Avoid excessive hand movements while speaking, and don’t put your hands in your pockets as it gives an aggressive impression.
  • Don’t have a wooden expression on your face; instead, smile and be friendly.
  • Avoid looking at your watch or phone too much, as it indicates you are uncomfortable, don’t want to continue the conversation, and are eager to leave.

Easy Conversation Starters You can Try

To overcome your fear and mentally prepare yourself before speaking, and there are several ways you can use to start conversations, make your life easier, and gain what’s in front of you:

1. Compliments: One of the best ways to get closer to anyone is to compliment them. For example, compliment a colleague on her beautiful shoes, then ask where she got them from, and the conversation will continue.

2. Trends: You can talk about a current event or trend that everyone is talking about, like a TV series or a match that was played yesterday. For example, say, “Did you watch yesterday’s match? Salah was amazing!” Their eyes will light up, and they’ll respond, continuing the conversation.

3. Dive into the topic right away: This method may not work well for someone who is very introverted because of their shyness and tendency to overthink before speaking. But you can start with a gentle smile, introduce yourself, and get to know them. It works better with more social people, especially if you’re working in a new place and want to get to know your colleagues and integrate with them.

4. Ask for help: You can ask your colleagues at work for help or ask for a specific service from someone to help you. Many people like to help others and feel useful. For example, ask a colleague at work to help you write the reports required of you. You’ll learn from them, and your conversation will be ongoing.

5. Share an experience: You can ask your colleague about an experience they’ve been through or ask them for advice in a specific situation that both of you have experienced. For example, if you’re working in a new place and want to know the work system there, the salaries, and whether the people there are nice or not, you can ask them, and they’ll tell you about their experience in that place or the procedures and paperwork required of you in a government place to license a car.

6. Ask for an opinion: You can ask your colleague for their opinion on a restaurant or café you visited, their opinion on the service and food, whether it’s worth it or not, or a clothing brand you tried. For example, ask them their opinion on a course they took if it was worth it and useful.

7. Weather news: I think there’s nothing easier than asking your colleague about today’s weather and telling them it’s very cold these days, and we’re all stuck at home. They’ll respond, and the conversation will continue.

8. Play together: You can easily suggest to your colleagues that you play together, which creates a nice atmosphere. People will respond to you, such as playing a quick game like Uno or any other game on a mobile app.

9. Social events: Weddings and gatherings are the best ways to meet new people, especially if you both know the bride or groom. Ask them if they’re relatives or friends and how they know each other.

10. Hobbies: You can ask them about their hobbies that they like to do in their spare time, like drawing, reading, or sports.

Continuing the Conversation

  • Starting a conversation is easy, but keeping it going without awkward silences can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you maintain the flow:
  • Listen more than you speak to give the person you’re talking to a chance to express themselves fully. Avoid interrupting; instead, let them speak and show that you’re actively listening. Also, try not to move your head too much; maintaining steady eye contact signals your engagement and respect.
  • Look for common ground between you and the other person, such as shared interests, experiences, or opinions. This can be anything from a recent movie you both watched to a hobby you both enjoy.
  • Ask open-ended questions that encourage the other person to elaborate on their thoughts and feelings. Avoid closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” as they can lead to dead ends in the conversation. By asking open-ended questions, you create opportunities for deeper discussions and connections.
  • Choose the right timing to speak. Avoid initiating a conversation when the other person seems upset, tired, or preoccupied. Instead, look for moments when they appear receptive and open to engaging in dialogue.

Handling Rejection

  • Facing rejection is a natural part of social interaction, and how you respond to it can significantly impact your self-esteem and future interactions. Here’s how to navigate rejection:
  • Accept the rejection gracefully, acknowledging that not everyone will connect with you or share your sentiments. Avoid dwelling on the reasons behind the rejection or attempting to change the other person’s mind.
  • Recognize and process your emotions without letting them overwhelm you. It’s normal to feel hurt, disappointed, or embarrassed after being rejected, but try not to dwell on these feelings indefinitely.
  • Avoid internalizing the rejection as a reflection of your self-worth. Remind yourself that rejection is often situational and doesn’t diminish your value as a person.
  • Take constructive steps to learn from the experience and grow. Consider whether there are areas where you can improve your communication skills or approach to social interactions.
  • Engage in self-care activities that promote emotional well-being, such as spending time with supportive friends, pursuing hobbies you enjoy, or practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
  • Ultimately, view rejection as a learning opportunity that can help you refine your social skills and resilience for future interactions. By embracing rejection as a natural part of life, you’ll become better equipped to handle setbacks and navigate social dynamics with confidence and grace.

“People are treasures.” That’s why you shouldn’t stop trying to connect with others, and you should overcome your fear and shyness. Give them your time and attention, listen to them, and engage in conversation. Be kind and smile, and don’t be discouraged by rejection; it’s a natural part of life. What’s important is to learn from the experience, develop your personality and skills, and move forward.

About the author


Ahmed El Faramawy

Proud founder of hurly-burly.net. & I write here about psychology & my personal life experiences, in a trial to help you feel better & succeed in your life. I'm really into writing about negative thoughts... Or maybe negative thoughts are just really into me :D