Making friends comes easily to some people but for shy kids, it can be a difficult and somewhat daunting task. Just saying hi can be frightening for some kids and teens so starting a conversation might be out of the question for them. They may feel that they will automatically be rejected, ignored or made fun of so they just don’t even bothering trying. Good conversation starters may not turn an introvert into an extravert overnight but they can help to break the ice and ease a shy kid out of his shell.
Basic conversation starters are usually the best. The goal is to get the other person talking so ask questions and make statements. You can start with things like, “I hate homework,” or “What’s your favorite food?” Let your statements and questions relate to where you are and what you’re doing at the moment. In gym class, ask “What’s your favorite sport?” In the cafeteria, say “I wish we had pizza more often.” General questions like, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” or “What are you doing this weekend?” can be good conversation starters.
If you’re attending a new school and moved from another state or country, introduce yourself and state where you moved from. Other kids will usually respond by saying something like, “What’s it like there?” or “Why did you move?” That gets you and other kids talking. Returning to school after summer vacation always leaves everyone with the classic conversation starter, “What did you do for the summer?” This question works well with kids you know and kids you want to know. Some kids will brag about where they went for the summer and others will whine about where they didn’t go but at least everyone will be talking.
Using compliments as conversation starters may succeed where other tactics fail. For example, “I love your jeans. Where did you get them?” Kids, like adults often worry about how they sound when they try to talk to someone. Don’t worry about sounding dumb. Don’t try to impress anyone. Just be yourself. If others are going to like you, they will like you for the person you are so be yourself. When told to be themselves, kids often respond with statements like, “I’m too boring.” No, you’re not. There are interesting things about everyone. Focus on the things you do best and use those things as ways to start conversations with others.
If you have a great sense of humor, use it to your advantage. If you don’t think you have a good sense of humor, then work on developing it. Cut and dry jokes from a joke book can be a conversation stopper before you even get started. The best sense of humor is one that is natural and comes from within. People with a good sense of humor just seem to attract other people. Laughter is contagious. Take a chance and say something silly once in a while. You’ll likely get a smile in return. Just remember to show that you have a serious side too.