How to Make Polite Conversation at a Cocktail Party


Stop feeling like a wallflower at parties by building up the confidence to start a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance. Even if you can't take one more attempt to talk about the weather or the local sports teams, there are plenty of ways to make polite conversation so you can enjoy the company of those around you.

Making Conversation

  • The easiest way to start a conversation with people you don't know is to ask how they're acquainted with the host. From there, continue to ask the other person polite questions: People always enjoy talking about themselves. Possible questions include what they do for a living, what they do in their free time, and if they have any children. Skip controversial subjects, such as religion and politics, until you've gotten to know the person. For an out-of-the-box conversation starter, ask the other guest how they got there -- you might get an interesting anecdote about crazy subway riders.

Exiting the Conversation

  • If you want to end the conversation, simply say, "It was good to meet you. I have to go talk to my friend." Other polite ways to end a conversation include saying you're going to freshen up in the restroom, get another drink or something to eat, or that you want a bit of fresh air outside.

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