I love to talk to people. I believe everyone has a story to tell. I love hearing others tell it. But how do you get them to start? sometimes it depends on where you are.
Where you are having a conversation has a bearing on what kind of conversation you have. Are you standing in line at the post office? Are you standing at the copier at work? Or, are you in the dining hall at your church greeting a new guest? Where you are gives you an entry into conversation.
If I am standing in a line that doesn’t want to end, I am actively trying to engage in small talk with the people around me. People love to tell their own story. Even if they think it is a small story, the still love for someone to listen. So, I start out with a general comment. Nothing invasive. A comment about the weather. Or the service. Whatever seems appropriate for who you are addressing.
When someone starts commenting on what I have said I make another comment. When they talk more, I ask a question. It is amazing how much you can find out about someone just by asking simple questions. Some people will tell you far more than you wanted to know, but that is a different story.
It can all start with where you are. You have both showed up in the same place at the same time. Gives you a small thread in common. You can build off of that commonality and have a great conversation.