How to Have Great Conversations At Any Social Gathering This Season


The holidays are a time for gathering with friends and family. For many, it’s a chance to reconnect with people you may not see on a regular basis. 

Even if you cherish these times together, the conversation may not be effortless. It can be hard to know what to talk about!  

When trying to chat, you may find your age and stage of life are completely different. Perhaps you don’t know much about their interests, hobbies, or jobs.

Maybe you are feeling a bit self-conscious as a senior adult. Your children may now be adults or you’ve retired from the job you once loved. But really, there is no need to feel this way. Absolutely everyone has something interesting to share. 

Have no fear – with a few tips and tricks you can make small talk with just about anyone. 

Ask About Their Lives

Use social media to your advantage. Do you remember seeing photos of a new grandbaby? Perhaps they’ve posted pictures from a fabulous trip. 

Ask those around you to tell you more about what’s going on in their lives.

Start a conversation by asking, “What’s going on in your world? It’s a great place to get the conversation started whether you follow them on social media or not. 


Avoid Obvious Landmines

We all know what topics are a recipe for trouble. Do your best to steer the conversation away from politics, religion and other touchy subjects.

In this case, the best defense is a good offense. When you have plenty of other things to discuss, you can avoid these fraught topics.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Whatever you decide to talk about, try your best to avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.

Open-ended questions invite conversation. This is particularly true when talking to children and teens. If your conversation partner is not particularly forthcoming, you can always encourage them by saying, “Tell me more about that.” 

Share Memories​​

Funny stories about the days gone by are always a good way to keep gatherings fun and festive. Throw out a “Remember when…” and see how many people chime in. Start a story and then ask friends or family to help fill in details you didn’t know or may have forgotten. 

Share some stories of your own and share memories of your friends or family. Kids and grandkids especially enjoy hearing about what they were like as babies and toddlers. 

The “Would You Rather” Game

How it works: Each person takes turns asking, “Would you rather…” questions. It’s up to you and your clan to come up with crazy choices to make. 

A couple of fun examples:

  • “Would you rather travel into the past to meet your ancestors, or travel into the future to meet your grandchildren?”
  • “Would you rather travel to Antarctica or the Sahara Desert? 
  • “Would you rather be able to fly or have superhuman strength?


Start With a Smile 

No matter if you are the life of the party or a little more reserved, a smile is the best way you can show others you are enjoying their company. 

A warm greeting and a happy face will go a long way to ease any nerves as you approach gatherings and celebrations. 

The best part – as a senior you are uniquely advantaged to be a great conversationalist. You have decades of life experience to draw from. You can relate to almost anyone with all of the wonderful things you’ve done, seen, and experienced throughout your life. 

Plus, you have the wisdom to know that being genuinely interested in other people is one of the best ways to show others that you care. 

If you have questions about senior living, contact us to learn more.