Oh JoyOh Joy

happy friday + what to say to strangers at a party...

Oh Joy / The Confetti Project

A while back, I was having a conversation with my friend Caroline about how I often feel awkward at parties where I don't know anyone and have to figure out what to talk about. She mentioned how in the States, one of the first things people tend to ask someone they've first met is "What do you do?" or "What do you do for work?" Whereas in other countries, strangers tend to ask each other about their hobbies or what they enjoy doing. I thought a lot about that as I find myself in social situations often where it's not a work-related event, I am trying to have a friendly conversation with someone new, and I don't want to focus solely on their job. What if they don't like their job? What if they don't have a job? Or maybe they just don't want to talk about work? So instead (inspired by Caroline), I have been saying THIS to new people in these new conversations...

What are you excited about right now?

I love that so much because it allows the person to answer it in any way they want and about whatever they want. If something amazing is going on at work, they can talk about it. Or, if they want to talk about their kids, their upcoming vacation, their home renovation, or the new gym they found...great! It's all open and fair game and still gives you some insight into this new person without assuming that their job defines them.

What do you think? Will you try that next time you meet someone new?

{Photo by The Confetti Project. Written by Joy Cho.}

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