When you are around unfamiliar people, it is important to strike up and maintain a conversation. Maintain the «small talk» topic and give the right direction to the conversation and in the end, you will be heard. But not sure where to start? Which topics should be discussed, and which should not? Now a great tip for you — F.O.R.M. — developed by American psychologists. FORM: family + occupation, profession + rest, hobby + money.
— Family:- Most people are happy to talk about the places where they were born and share the achievements of their parents, children and grandchildren. It is very important here to be tactful and avoid direct questions, so focus on positive answers. Thus, a pleasant conversation, or even expanding your social contacts is guaranteed to you.
— Occupation + profession:- If you need a serious topic for a conversation, then this category is perfect. Indeed, when discussing the type of activity with the speaker, their way of obtaining education, social, economic and social issues may arise and the conversation will become more diverse. But perhaps there is one but. Many people like to complain about their work and discuss their bosses. So be careful.
— Rest + holiday:- People love to share where they vacationed and interesting moments of their trip. Listen about an unusual hobby, share your travel experience … this is a neutral and enjoyable topic — a frequently used topic.
— Money:- Nothing brings unfamiliar people closer together than discussing the prices of utility rates, medicines, food, etc… Here even very different sorts of people with different characters will unite against a third party. The conversation promises to be interesting. But not discussing the salaries of bosses and colleagues!
You can also add weather, food, healthy lifestyle, pets, music, news about stars and culture to the list of allowed themes.
And now — taboo topics. The main thing is not to confuse them.
There are also topics that absolutely should not be brought up in conversations. The consequences can be extremely unpleasant. Indeed, in these matters, each person has their own unshakable opinion.
— Religion:- Everyone has their own faith and religious beliefs. So, convincing someone of the correctness or incorrectness of their chosen faith is a path to misunderstanding and even conflict. Arguments about religious differences, often became the beginning of violent wars. Therefore, you should not start conversations and debate on this topic.
— Politics. A destructive topic! You can not «hack down» their opinion at the beginning, but it can also lead to conflict, causing negativity and hostility. Nobody needs to impose political ideals and views. Our own opinion on this matter is better kept at home.
— Diseases + personal life. Are you satisfied when the speaker begins to discuss his own illnesses, talks about the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and returns the conversation to a different, negative channel? And also, personal life is everyone’s own territory, so you shouldn’t infringe it. A tactless question on a personal topic like: «When will you get married?», «When will you have children?» crosses the border.
It is also not recommended to discuss topics such as profit and income of other people in the conversation, their plans for the future, problems in their family or their own generosity.
In order not to get hung up on FORM topics and be an interesting conversationalist — read some books on this subject. The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to strike up a casual conversation and simplicity is the first rule of a sociable person. The main thing is to feel in touch with the other person, find common themes, make sincere compliments and use this article. Good luck…