We’ve all been there… saying hi to the new neighbor, a new mom at the playground, or heaven forbid the spouse mandatory family day (😉). Ever struggle with what to say after you ask what duty station they just moved from? I got you!
Here’s THREE open ended questions to help you bridge the gap (and maybe make a friend). Commit them to memory and see what happens the next time you’re meeting someone new!
1. Tell me about your family- (better than “do you have kids which can at best be a short answer and at worst be painful for parents who just don’t have their babies earth side any longer). Asking them to tell you about their family puts the ball in their court! Maybe they love their golden retriever like a child or maybe they don’t want to talk about trying to have kids.. but not being able to, they get to share what they want!
2. What did you enjoy about your last duty station? This gives a great lead into hobbies, activities they might be interested in hearing about, things you might have in common or a connection you can give her to someone else!
3. What’s something you’re looking forward to while being here?! I’ve found that our default is to complain.. it takes zero effort to find something that has or is going wrong. Sometimes we need a reminder to be hopeful (and a nudge to be vulnerable about it). Maybe she’ll have to pause after you ask it, but hopefully you discover something a little deeper about her in the process.