I received a great deal of help with ideas for how a person with social anxiety can start and maintain conversations at parties for instance.
Here are some of the conversation starter tips I received. They are good - these may come in handy.
Start with :
Hi, I’m Lauren, nice to meet you.
Then follow up with any of these:
How was your day?
What funny weather we’ve been having.
What do you think about (Mention an recent newsworthy trend or topic in the news) (not political or religious please)
Do you know many people here?
Have you been here before?
Did you have to travel far?
Where do you work? How long have you worked there?
Keeping the conversation going after that with topics like these:
What TV shows are you into watching?
Seen any great movies lately?
Read any great books lately?
What’s your favourite hobby?
What type of music do you like?
How do you typically enjoy the weekends?
What sports do you play or follow?
I like your tie/dress/jacket/handbag or other item
It is of course helpful to share about your self as well on any of the above topics. Share your favorite movie or your view on a recent news item, or a hobby you love. You don't want to hold a one way interview!
Further getting to know you questions can include:
What reality show would you go on and why?
Have you travelled much? Which country would you like to visit?
If you could pick any 5 famous people to attend a dinner party you would host who would you pick?
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
If you decided to author a book, what would you write about?
If you were in charge of the world what are the 3 changes you would make?
Who is the most famous person you have met?
What’s the one movie you could watch again and again?
What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
What was your first job, and what was it like?
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Other ideas to follow with after you have been in conversation and there is an uncomfortable lull or silence.
Acknowledge the silence and feeling of awkwardness - "wow I feel really awkward meeting new people and find myself not knowing what to say" (this can endear you to people by being so honest and vulnerable and may start a sharing on the other person part too)
Also see these great tips
More to come...