The best icebreaker
***Sound the Blog Horn – guest post emerging! *** Guest blogger, Jack, is new to writing for Best Things but his debut is a stunner. Enjoy…
Earlier this week Jon ran a welcome lunch for new students. I’m not a student but I can get into these things because I’m 22 and I don’t iron my clothes. Last year I tried to attend a lecture on the basis of being friends with 4 of the students but apparently that doesn’t cut the mustard.
Anyway, I was at this lunch and Jon asked me if I knew any good ice breaker games. I shook my head blankly. I failed him, but now I will make it right.
It isn’t an ice breaker game, like where you introduce yourself to a room of people, but it does dispel awkwardness. Actually, it’s not what Jon was looking for at all. Never mind.
It’s more like those questions you have to answer every three minutes at a party: “Where are you from?”, “What do you do?” or “How do you know party host?”. It keeps conversation flowing, only my technique is far more powerful.
With these basic questions you are relying on your stranger to say something you can relate to. Like if someone is from Crewe, then you reply “Oh yeah, I’ve been to the train station. I can’t understand anything the announcer says.” Ideally they will be from Sheffield, because then you can ask “Have you ever met Sean Bean?” and congratulations, you’ve just made friends. They are going to tell you all about this chip shop.
It’s run by Sean Bean’s nephew and it looks like it is open for minus 5 hours and 45 minutes over the weekend.
But even that gold nugget can’t break the ice when you’ve strolled into taboo territory.
Imagine you have just met a stranger and in your excitement you’ve over-shared. Maybe you told them that you kiss Mr Snuggles goodnight before bedtime. Perhaps you just realised your views on feminism are extremely controversial. Maybe you’ve gone too deep and they don’t want to share their spiritual beliefs without scuba gear.
You’re about to kick some social awkwardness right in the face. Your potential new friend is like a rabbit in the headlights, but you can save this conversation with a few simple sentences.
First acknowledge the awkwardness. “This is a bit taboo isn’t it?” Your companion will agree, relieved, hoping it will all be over soon. This is when you really blow their mind. Say “Well I want to start a revolution. Let’s break a taboo. Are you with me?” BOOM, YES THEY ARE! Feel free to continue your inappropriate conversation.
You are probably wondering if it actually works.
Well, I stumbled upon this last week and have used it almost every day since. It works amazingly. I think this is because everyone loves the romance of revolutionaries. Look at Che Guevara. Fairly racist man who shot dogs, but he stuck it to the man and he has a sexy accent so that’s alright. French Revolution? One of the bloodiest in history, but the man had it well and truly stuck to him, so it’s all good.