Questions to ask an introvert

30 Great Conversation Starters For Introverts

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If you’ve tried to start a conversation with an introvert and only received one-word replies, you might be asking the wrong questions. We have 30 “instead of this, try this” conversation starters to work some magic on the introverts among us. 

Why Are Conversation Starters For Introverts Different?

Conversation starters for introverts are different because introverts often struggle with small talk. They value genuine connections and can find small talk draining. For an introvert, relationships take time to build, so don’t expect every introvert to answer deep and personal questions if they don’t trust you already. 

Quick Tips for Extroverts
  • Talking louder and pushing for answers may give you the opposite result than you’re looking for. If an introvert feels pressured or bullied, they might withdraw.
  • Be patient. If an introvert is quiet, they may think deeply about the conversation. Or, they may not trust you yet. 
  • Include introverts in conversation by asking directly for their input.
  • Introverts often need time to respond; asking quickfire questions can make them feel overwhelmed and pressured. 
  • Introversion ≠ shyness. Don’t assume all individuals like a conversation.

How To Lead Into a Conversation Starter

Some of these questions can feel random and out of the blue, so acknowledge that before asking the question. Preface these questions with: 

  • Here’s a fun question….
  • I was wondering…
  • Someone asked me this question the other day, which was so interesting. I wanted to ask you also… 

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Whether you’re at work or talking about work, skip the boring questions! Introverts may tend to be awkward, but they also love stimulating conversation. You can help set them (and you!) up for conversation success by asking these questions. 

  1. Instead of: What do you do? Say: What’s been interesting to you recently?
  2. Instead of: We’re all going to grab lunch. Are you coming? Say: We’re all going to grab lunch; want me to hold you something? If your coworker regularly says no to group lunches, offer to bring something back for them.
  3. Instead of: What do you like to do? Say: Have you been learning anything new lately?
  4. Instead of: What do you like about your job? Say: Working on anything exciting these days? 
  5. Instead of: Do you like your job? Say: How long have you been with your company?

Hobbies and Interests to Spark Conversation

Why asking an introvert about their plans stresses them out:

  • You might be about to ask them to do something, and they’ve already planned to stay home and recharge.
  • They don’t want to look like they have no life beyond their cat and couch. 

Give all the homebody introverts in the world a break by asking better questions than, “What are your plans for the weekend?”. 

  1. Instead of: Any fun plans this weekend? Say: Reading anything interesting?
  2. Instead of: What’s your sign? Say: Do you have a pet? 
  3. Instead of: What’s your secret skill or hobby most people don’t know about? Say: What are your holiday plans? 
  4. Instead of: What did you do over the weekend? Say: What’s something you are really into right now?
  5. Instead of: Going out tonight? Say: Watching any good shows on Netflix?

Passions and Beliefs

Ask questions that are structured and even include examples in the question. Introverts often go blank when asked questions.

Offering structure around the question can help them think of something to reply to.

Pro Tip: Introverts are often thinkers, so give them a minute to respond. Please resist the urge to fill the silence; wait patiently and look at them with interest. 

  1. Instead of: Tell me about you. Say: What’s something recently that inspired you?
  2. Instead of: What’s your biggest regret? Say: What’s a lesson you learned that’s been important to you?
  3. Instead of: How are you doing? Say: What’s going on in your life lately? 
  4. Instead of: What are your views on politics and religion? Say: How have your beliefs changed as you’ve gotten older?
  5. Instead of: What’s your story? Say: Working on anything exciting?

Travel Conversation Starters

Asking too many questions can make an introvert shut down. Instead of always starting with a question, try prefacing it with a short comment. This also shows you’re not going to interrogate them or dominate the conversation with all of your stories. 

  1. Instead of: Don’t you get lonely as an introvert? Say: I love traveling, but I usually go with a group of friends. I’ve never gone solo-traveling, have you? (If yes, affirm how cool that is and ask what it’s like. If no, ask them what they think the significant differences are between solo travel and traveling with a group)
  2. Instead of: Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Say: I’ve always wanted to go to ___. Where have you always wanted to travel to? 
  3. Instead of: What’s your favorite country? Say: I’ve always wanted to live in ___. What about you? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  4. Instead of: What did you do over the summer? Say: I just went to ___, and I love/hated it. Have you been there? If yes, ask what they thought of it. If not, ask if they recommend another place to visit. 

Ask These Conversations Starters At Parties or Events

Instead of asking these common (sometimes annoying) questions, try flipping your perspective and use these unique conversation starters.

  1. Instead of: Why are you so quiet? Say, Have you ever attended a silent retreat? I’m curious what it’s like.
  2. Instead of: Are you sad? Say: What’s been keeping you busy lately?
  3. Instead of: Have you always been this shy? Say: Do you enjoy events like these?
  4. Instead of: What are you doing with your life now? Say: What habits or improvements are you working on?
  5. Instead of: How do you spend your days? Say: What’s your favorite splurge when you are having a bad day?

Family Life Conversation Starters

Talking about family can be risky, so pay attention to the nonverbals. If it looks like they feel uncomfortable, hedge on their answers, or even have a total lack of emotion, change the topic. Even better, ask them their opinion about family-related issues rather than asking about their personal experiences. 

  1. Instead of: Tell me about your family, Say: What is your birth order? 
  2. Instead of: Where did you grow up? Say: What did you like about where you grew up?
  3. Instead of: What was your favorite toy growing up? Say: Do you remember _____ (furbies, beanie babies, nerfs)? (If they don’t volunteer a story about the toy, launch into your account and ask them follow-up questions like how old they were when that toy was popular if they still have that toy, etc.)
  4. Instead of: Do you have kids? Say: What’s your family like?
  5. Instead of: Do you have a partner? Say: Have you ever been on a blind date? 
  6. Instead of: What’s your best childhood memory? Say: Where did you grow up–did you like it?

Learn more about what it means to be extroverted, What is Extroversion and the Advantages of Being an Extrovert.

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19 Things Introverts Would Rather Talk About Than Make Small Talk

It’s no secret that those of us who are introverts loathe small talk. It almost seems like our deep-diving brains weren’t made for it. We get energized by playing with ideas, analyzing information, expanding our knowledge, and connecting authentically. None of that happens when you make small talk.

Of course, small talk serves an important purpose. It can help two conversational partners “warm up” to each other, and it can be a gateway to more meaningful discussion. The problem is many conversations never move to that satisfying, deeper level. They get stuck in a predictable rut of “How was your weekend?” “Fine! How was yours?” When this happens, neither person really learns anything new about the other person, so the relationship stagnates. And for introverts, who value a few close, meaningful relationships over an entourage of surface-level ones, these shallow interactions are what make us want to hide in the bathroom during our lunch breaks.

So, what kinds of things would introverts rather talk about than make small talk? To find out, I asked introverts who are members of the Introvert, Dear Facebook group, as well as introverts who follow my personal Facebook profile. Here’s what they would enjoy talking about:

1. What your biggest dreams in life are. “My favorite is to talk about dreams. What are you working towards, what are your goals and plans? What inspires or motivates you, and brings you back to life?” —Sara

2. “Why” questions. “I like talking about reasons or motivations for human actions, struggles, and triumphs.” —Sadie

3. What moves you and keeps you going. “What’s something recently that you found a surprising amount of inspiration in?” —Brandon

4. What’s really going on in your life. “I enjoy talking about the reality of life… sorrows, how to heal from pain, celebrations, love and its pain, interactions with others, how to know oneself. The list is endless. ” —Estino

5. The big stuff. “I enjoy conversations about the nature of reality, extraterrestrial beings, the origin of life, who are we, why am I here, whether any of this is even real, social constructs that are ingrained within me, and so forth.” —Ryan

6. What you’re struggling with right now.Being an INFJ personality type, I like to hear about problems one is going through and see if I can provide a solution to make their life less miserable. It’s not because of sympathy but out of empathy.” —Shivani

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)

7. Life lessons you’ve learned the hard way. “I enjoy hearing about things people have been through in life and the lessons they learned.” —Ashley

8. Your creative endeavors. “If it’s someone I’ve clicked with, I love love love hearing about creative projects people are in the process of building, especially if they revolve around filmmaking and storytelling (but basically just any project that seems out of the ordinary). ” —Julie

9. The hobbies and interests that you could spend hours and hours pursuing. “I usually ask folks about their hobbies so that I can drill down and find out what truly makes them happy.” —Grace

10. A tricky problem that needs solving. “I feel most comfortable exploring a problem I can help solve, but I’ll talk about anything for a while if I like and respect the person.” —Brad

11. Things that go bump in the night. Nicole: “What keeps people up at night.” Scott: “What dreams mean.”

12. The parts of you that you don’t share with just anyone. “I am really fascinated with people, and I like trying to figure them out, so when someone is comfortable enough with me to open up and discuss the deeper aspects of themselves that they don’t always share, I love that!” —Deanna

13. How your values and ideas are evolving. “Personal evolution — how are you seeking in some way to further refine yourself?” —Jake

14. An event that changed your life. “What’s one thing that changed the trajectory of your life? A pivotal moment that lead to your purpose?” —Jae

15. The universe. “I love discussing the ideas of parallel universes, black holes, and the size of the universe. How our planet may just be a blip on the radar of a much greater existence.” —Shireen

16. Books. “Ask me about what books I’ve read lately and I will talk forever.” —Megan

17. The topics that are usually absent from party chitchat. “I like talking about economics, politics, the markets, cosmology, cultural development, history, the big picture, logic, extradimensionality, and God.” —Paul

18. Anything genuine. “Honestly, I’ll talk about anything. Just don’t ask me what I do for a living if you don’t want to hear about it, and don’t tell me about the weather we’re having. Just be genuine. That makes me feel comfortable enough to do the same.” —Jill

19. Anything intelligent. “I will listen to any intelligent conversation anyone is willing to have with me. Every day is a school day — we are all still learning, and listening to people who know a subject is the best way to learn. Also, it means I don’t have to talk much!” —Jacqueline

My book, The Secret Lives of Introverts, has been called a “decoder ring for introverts” and “one of the best books [on] introvert empowerment.” It’s available on Amazon, and wherever books are sold.

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Read this: 21 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’re an Introvert 

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25 things that only introverts will understand

March 25, 2021Life

To determine your temperament, it is not necessary to pass psychological tests. You are prone to introversion if you notice these oddities in yourself.



1. You don't leave the apartment until the neighbor leaves

Situation: you hear that the neighbor's door opens in the hallway or on the landing. In order not to once again intersect with a person, you calm down and wait until he leaves. Yes, it's strange, but sometimes introverts hide from even the nicest people, just to avoid having to exchange a few words with them.

2. You are secretly glad that your friends canceled the meeting

In order not to be considered a hermit, sometimes you have to go out to meet with friends. But when the general plans are canceled, in your soul you rejoice: you can stay at home and not pretend to be a sociable type.

3. You feel uncomfortable at a party

Despite the dislike for noisy companies, there are events that you cannot avoid: a corporate party, a friend's wedding or a New Year's feast with relatives. The first thought that visits you at any meeting is: “What am I doing here ?!”

4. The Internet is not just a hobby for you, but a way of life

It is much easier for introverts to formulate thoughts on paper than to talk. It is difficult for you to communicate live, but in social networks you feel like a fish in water. In online correspondence, you can joke, and show off your mind, and leave a well-aimed comment.

5. You shy away from sales assistants while shopping

It's understandable: it's easier to find the right model and size yourself than to keep up a conversation with a stranger.

6. You try to be inconspicuous

You are not against communication, you are just not always ready to talk: it requires attitude and energy. In order to be less tired, introverts unconsciously limit themselves in communications, and in order to replenish their strength, they spend time alone.

In life, it manifests itself like this: you need to get something out of the refrigerator, and at this time your neighbor with a friend or parents with guests are sitting in the kitchen. The way out is to act like this guy from the gif:

7. Instead of a noisy company, you choose loneliness

You are invited to spend the weekend together, and you say that you are very busy. Everyone understands that this is not so: in fact, you will stay at home and enjoy being alone. For introverts, this is the norm: they are not in a hurry to party and are able to enjoy the time spent alone with themselves.

8. You answer questions in monosyllables

What's new? and "How are you?" you try to answer as briefly as possible so that, God forbid, a conversation does not start. Small talk about anything is easy for extroverts, and introverts do not like this format of conversation.

9. You try to sneak out of the party

And try to do it as early as possible. You have an escape plan in reserve, for this you get to a meeting in your car. This is especially true for parties that you don’t want to go to in advance.

10. You rarely answer phone calls

By default, you do not answer calls from numbers you do not know, and prefer texting to a conversation with a friend or colleague.

11. You like to go to the cinema alone

You enjoy watching a movie alone or with a loved one. Afternoon sessions on weekdays, morning sessions on weekends - you try to choose a time when the hall is almost empty. Together with you, there are 2-3 more people in the hall - the same introverts who avoid large crowds of people.

12. You pretend not to notice someone you know.

Situation: after work you went to the grocery store. Everything is going well until you notice a friend between the rows of buckwheat and pasta. Your standard reaction is to turn away and quickly leave before he sees you.

13. Never open the door if you are not expecting guests

Why? You never know: a too friendly neighbor came for salt and will complain about the management company for 15 minutes, or the manager of an Internet company obsessively asks you to connect their new tariff.

14. Are you afraid to be alone with strangers

Maintain a conversation with a person you see for the first time? Never! This is what you look like when your friends leave you for a few minutes alone with their acquaintances:


Never order over the phone when you can online

Why call when you can write?

16. Don't know how to behave when people sing the song "Happy birthday to you!"

You feel awkward and uncomfortable around people. Birthday becomes a special torture: you are talked to more than usual and paid too much attention. I want to hide under the table or run away!

17. Try to solve work issues through correspondence

While colleagues annoy you with phone calls, you prefer to solve everything by correspondence. Working in open space becomes a real tragedy: the noise and people around paralyze your work. "Please, can we have a quiet place?" - you think in especially difficult days.

18. Don't like to keep up a conversation with a stranger

You wish you could be invisible when someone in a bar or on an airplane starts talking to you. “Don’t start a conversation with me just because we are sitting next to each other,” you mentally tell your interlocutor. It's not that introverts do not like people and live communication. They are simply not ready to carry on a conversation with a stranger: this causes terrible discomfort.

19. An ideal day on the beach for you is a day on a completely empty beach.

Any person has such thoughts from time to time, especially when the beach is crowded, and you can swim calmly only 50 meters from the shore. But for introverts, such a desire appears much more often: an empty beach is more comfortable for them by default than a crowded one.

20. You like to train alone

You hate personal trainers, group classes and chatters during sports because training time is your own time. No joint runs and jokes with a trainer in the gym - why, when you can be alone with your thoughts and listen to your favorite tracks?

21. You don't reply to messages right away

Before you write a reply, you need to think about the content of the letter. Sometimes you completely forget to answer, and then justify yourself, coming up with stupid excuses.

22. You are not happy to meet new people

Even the very thought that you will have to meet new people is terrifying. This does not mean that you do not know how to make friends, it just makes it difficult for you to meet new people.

23. You shy away from too friendly acquaintances

Every time someone violates your personal space, you have an irresistible desire to disappear into thin air, disappear, run away, or give a good blow to the person who came to hug you.

24. You don't like large crowds

Concerts, parties, pub quizzes or work conferences make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. You, of course, do not panic, but subconsciously dream of leaving this place as soon as possible.

25. You are not a misanthrope, you are an introvert

You love people and understand the value of human communication, so you quite consciously go out to parties and social events. But you are more comfortable alone with yourself: you value the time you spend alone or with loved ones.

Read also 🧐

  • 9 books every introvert should read
  • How an extrovert and an introvert get along together
  • 5 techniques that will help introverts to successfully communicate with the outside world

How to communicate with introverts correctly - GBPOU RS (Y) "Vilyui Vocational Pedagogical College named after N. G. Chernyshevsky"

Very often we receive letters with a variety of questions concerning relationships between people. And one of the main general recommendations of our psychologists at a psychological consultation is a frank conversation.

But what if the conversation does not come out? If you need to talk and in response - silence, if your interlocutor does not want to talk? And constantly! You can seek more detailed advice for psychological counseling, or just read this article.

There is a special type of people. A sort of chronic silent. Scientific language - introverts.

A typical introvert is a calm, shy, even reserved person. The personal qualities of an introvert are interpreted in different ways, but one thing unites them - these people do not like and do not know how to talk, in any case, to talk in the way that relatives require them to.

But a silent person - an introvert - is not a diagnosis! Given some features, you can discover the secret - how to communicate with an introvert?

It is important to understand that you are very different, you think differently. The same thing can have completely different meanings for you and for the “silent person”. Their personal space should not be invaded unexpectedly. Probably, the main difficulties for these people arise precisely in order to quickly find an answer, therefore, in a conversation with them, one cannot demand an immediate reaction. What for you is a way to reduce stress, let off steam, for them, on the contrary, it may be very difficult. After a short, serious conversation, such people may feel exhausted. Your perception is different, and you need to ask if you understand what is said correctly. But very carefully - if you are suspected of being unable to understand - write wasted. Better yet, consult with a psychologist first.

Often, people who are reserved and uncommunicative simply take longer to establish trust. To begin with, it is especially important to give them the opportunity to talk - no matter what, about something that is interesting and important to them. Do not interrupt, do not react emotionally (it's scary). Active listening means giving occasional signals that you are listening and asking questions to allow the story to continue. It will have to be expressed clearly and specifically, very clearly. In order not to confuse. And don't get confused.

A common feature of introverts is the secrecy that so often offends loved ones. In this case, it is important to understand that you are not being deceived, you are simply not being told the truth. The same sometimes introverts can lie. But it's more of a childish method of ripping pages out of a diary and forging grades to avoid a serious conversation.

It is interesting that there is a completely physiological reason for such behavior - some people have a constantly high level of electrical activity of the brain, therefore, a higher excitation of the cortex than extroverts, which is why they learn from early childhood to limit their communication in order to avoid the extreme point arousal level. A great way to transfer part of the communication into writing is really easier.

Also, such people may have a strong fear that if they “take off the mask” and start talking, they will become more vulnerable and manageable, such fears should be dealt with in consultations with a psychologist, and not left to chance. If you have problems communicating with a closed person, it is better to contact a psychologist for advice so as not to make mistakes.

Reclusion is not always an innate feature, often it is the consequences of a mental trauma, and in this case it is necessary to be even more careful, even more patient. The best solution to the problem of isolation is psychological counseling.

Learn more