Breaking The Ice: An Expats Guide Into Starting A Conversation

Whether you want to make a new friend or just start a conversation with a guy or girl, a good icebreaker can help you make the perfect first impression. That first encounter with someone new can turn into a special friendship – or even a new relationship down the road.

To learn how to use the right type of icebreaker you must first understand which ones not to use:

Bad Jokes 

Bad jokes can lead to an awkward and uncomfortable situation when starting a conversation with a complete stranger. They might not find your joke as amusing as you do and this may lead to an embarrassing moment for both of you.  

Inappropriate Comments 

Saying the wrong thing can lead to a downward spiral pretty quickly for you, especially when you make an inappropriate comment that can offend the person you are trying to talk to. What you think is appropriate, might differ from person to person, so keep your icebreaker general and appropriate.

Don’t mention religion, political views or professions 

People are easily offended, especially when they don’t know who you are and where you are coming from. That being said, when beginning your conversation with someone be sure to keep it simple and don’t mention any religions, political views or professions.

Now that we covered what icebreakers not to use, it’s time to go over the type of icebreakers that work:


Giving someone a compliment can be one of the most effective ways to break the ice. When you give someone a compliment, they are more likely to look at you in a positive manner, potentially leading to a full out conversation. Also, a compliment is the best way in finding out if the other person is at all interested in talking to you. For example, if you say, “Hey, I really like your hair” and the person responds, “Thanks! I just got it done a few days ago.” then you can assume that person wants to continue a conversation with you. They would have just said ‘Thank you’ and left it at that if they do not want to engage in a conversation.

Ask about their day

Simply asking, “How is your day?” can be a great form of breaking the ice. If they respond with a lengthy answer and give off the right energy then they want to continue the conversation.


Sometimes the best icebreaker is just being honest to a person. For example, if you see someone who you want to interact with then simply approach them and say, “I couldn’t help but notice you, so I thought I should just come over and say hi.” Depending on the type of person you approach, this could work for you. People want honesty to be a trait of someone they just met. So be honest.

Whether you want to make a new friend or just start a conversation with someone, a good icebreaker is required. Try out some of these good icebreakers and stay away from the bad.  Most importantly, be yourself and don’t push your personal boundaries when it comes to getting to know someone.

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