Author Topic: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation  (Read 1145 times)

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SPuck

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Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:25:47 PM »
I attend an Aspergers Support group. One of the social rules the people in the group have a problem following is keeping a conversation. The group's therapist suggested asking general questions keep the information flowing so that these people didn't' need to talk themselves. I am getting better at catching up on social nuisances, so I know if people are talking about sports I could ask what a person's favorite team is or what are the statistics of their favorite players. Many of the people in the group would't be able to pick up on that. What I want suggestions for are:

General and appropriate questions that you can ask in any conversation to keep the talk going.

WillyNilly

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 09:48:20 PM »
Have you seen any good movies lately? (Or have you seen [insert curent popular movie]?)
Have you ever been to [insert museum, point of interest, city, country, etc the speaker enjoys visiting]?
What are your thoughts on [insert any current event]?
Do you have any pets?
Where are you from?
What do you do?
[If at a party] How do you know [host]?

Jones

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 09:51:56 PM »
Well, mentioning an article of clothing or jewelry someone is wearing can help. ("I love that shirt, where'd you get it?" "The color of your shoes really matches your belt, are they new?" "I like that peacock barrette in your hair, it coordinates with your dress so well.") but if the other conversationalist doesn't bite, it's easy for the compliment to just be a compliment that goes nowhere.

"So have any of you seen {movie name} yet? What was your favorite part?" If no one has seen the movie yet, don't tell them all about it, just chuckle and say "I really enjoyed it. What sorts of movies do you like?"

If someone talks about travel, ask them where/when they went {place} and what were their favorite parts.

A lot of people love to speak about themselves and, given the opportunity, will do so. I was recently at a dinner with a number of women who may have met once before, but most of us were meeting for the first time. One woman dominated after-dinner conversation with tales of breeding, raising and butchering/eating her livestock, and it swarmed into protecting her livestock from dogs/coyotes. I do NOT suggest this conversation in unknown, new company. I am very glad you are thinking about this ahead of time.

PS-Posted at the same time as Willy Nilly, good suggestions there.

SPuck

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 10:40:06 PM »
I am very glad you are thinking about this ahead of time.

It's not much for myself but for the people in the group. Many of them don't speak at all in unknown social situations not because of a fear of saying something stupid, but because they can't keep up with the flow of conversation (if the group was talking about farms they would be focused on corn while the conversation moved onto livestock) or they can't think of anything at all to say.

As for myself if I don't watch what I am saying I can slip into interrogation mode so it's good to know what and how much to ask in advance.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 10:48:43 PM »
"This cold snap has really been something, hasn't it?" (for new acquaintances and strangers)

"So do you have plans for [insert upcoming holiday here]?"  Or just, "Big plans for the weekend?" (for someone you've met already and talked to before)

"How's the family doing?" or "How's work going?" or "Any progress on that big project you're working on?" (for someone you know already)

If you're in a hosted social situation like a cocktail party, you can also go with a comment on your surroundings: "I hadn't been here before, but I really love the colors in this living room!  Green was a really good choice to go with that sofa."

Maude

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 01:19:36 AM »
Do not ask questions that will result in a YES/No answer.
Have you read any good books lately? Ans: No.

cicero

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 02:04:29 AM »
You got some great suggestions here. I want to add that sometimes conversation just *doesn't* floiw, and not because of asperger's , but because, for whatever reason, there is a lack of chemistry, or someone's rotten mood affects everyone, or something.

Otherwise, when I find conversation is lagging, I'll look around at people's shoes and compliment them, mention something interest ring I read or saw on the news, mention a book I just read, etc.

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Bijou

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 02:10:29 AM »
I'm tend to be more a listener when in a group and people are conversing, especially about things I am not real familiar with.  I usually don't ask personal questions, like what someone does or where they are from.  I would be more likely to ask about hobbies or music or, as suggested, movies they may enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 02:15:02 AM by Bijou »
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SPuck

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Re: Appropriate Questions in General Conversation
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 07:23:08 AM »
I want to add that sometimes conversation just *doesn't* floiw, and not because of asperger's , but because, for whatever reason, there is a lack of chemistry, or someone's rotten mood affects everyone, or something.

I myself can enjoy the silence, but some of the people in the group take that as a cue to fill it up with their favorite subject and not stop. In that situation a question is better than the alternative.