Having dinner with friends is a joy, partially because talk flows freely and naturally. Topics, though unpredictable, often include weather, news, health, sports, challenges, politics, good books, new restaurants in town, travel. There are seldom lulls because curiosity and the desire to connect keep conversations alive and vibrant.
But, “just in case” and for the fun of it, a while ago I bought a little 4×4 inch clear box of cards with questions on them called “Table Topics: Questions to Start Great Conversations.” Created by a company called Table Topics (tabletopics.com), my version contains 135 questions. There are many other editions that I want to explore like “Dinner Party,” “Happiness,” and “Family Gathering,” and even some “To Go” ones like “Travel,” “Wine’ etc., in smaller, more portable packaging.
Though the questions might be especially useful with a group of people who don’t know each other, I have only used my topic box with good friends, taking it along when we went out to dinner. Though we really didn’t need any prompts for conversation, the questions provided pleasant diversions and new avenues for exploration.
Here are just a few questions included in my Table Topics box to ponder and possibly ignite a good conversation:
Which book dramatically influenced your life?
What’s your favorite quotation?
Which sports team has the best mascot?
Which piece of land would you preserve forever?
What changes have you made to reduce your impact on the environment?
Who do you think is the most inspirational person alive today?
What would you try if you had no fear?
Who taught you how to ride a bike?
and on they go, all 135 of them…
There you have it. May your conversations be nurturing and enlivening!
“Good conversation is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”
–Anne Morrow Lindbergh