Conversation Corner

Welcome to the Conversation Corner

What Conversation Corner is all about!

Conversation Corner is an answer created by End Loneliness Inc to foster connections between people.

In analysing and creating solutions to the problems raised by the loneliness research by CQUniversity, we identified that creating safe and accessible spaces and opportunities for people to easily connect and talk with others was critical in ending loneliness.

Why is it difficult to start a conversation and why is conversation corner needed?

Often, the most difficult part of breaching the loneliness gap, is the small step of starting a meaningful conversation with someone.

There are many reasons that someone, of any age, can feel isolated and alone. Some reasons can include:

  • You might have moved to town for work and don’t know anyone;
  • Your existing friend group may have slowly moved away, and you find yourself with no friends in town;
  • You might have retired to a new town, and you no longer have any friends around;
  • Your children may have grown up and left the house and you feel isolated;
  • You may have young children and be stuck at home all day – living a different life to your friends who don’t have children;
  • And so on.

The reasons can be simple or complex, but the important thing is the feeling of isolation – and that’s where we want to help you move forward.

For someone who is feeling disconnected and isolated, it can be a difficult prospect to strike up a conversation with someone. What if they don’t want to talk to you? What if they don’t have time? What if you are annoying them? What if it’s not welcomed? What if the conversation is short and brief and light and you still feel isolated after a surface level chat?

So many what ifs circling through the mind or even many failed attempts can lead to silence and deepened loneliness.

The solution

So, Conversation Corner was born! In this section, we look at two things:

  • Ideas for how you can help other people overcome loneliness – initiatives that you can take up to create conversation.
  • Ideas for how you can help yourself start a conversation and help yourself to get past those initial conversation hurdles.

Helping others

  • If you already run a club or group and want to engage people more effectively, some of the following tips may help:
    • Include in your advertising very clear wording such as:
    • Have someone in your club specifically dedicated to greeting the new person, introducing them around and making them feel welcome and help them understand what is going on.
    • Include an introduction part – guests are introduced to everyone, and everyone introduces themselves to the guests. Include a specific fun question “what’s your favourite food etc” – this helps to break down walls
  • If you want to create a social group or networking group, here are some tips
    • Set a regular date so that people know when to expect the event
    • Communicate through the same consistent channel. Facebook and Instagram are passive channels that require someone to actively look and search for your event. Email and direct messaging or phone calls directly lets someone know that an event is happening.
    • Have someone dedicated to welcoming people into the room and group.
    • Let people know in the advertising who the target group is – young professionals, footy fanatics, apprentice tradies, etc. This will help people know what they are getting into.
    • Grab the support of some other people – your boss, the local paper, a publican, the library managers – if anyone you know is already connected, ask them to help you advertise the event. Most people are willing to help someone connect others.
    • Approach areas where your target audience might already be involved. For example:
      • Workplaces employ a broad cross section of people. Sending a flyer to as many workplaces you can think of, will help.
      • Flyers up in coffee shops or at sports halls or community poster boards
    • Advertise as widely as possible.
    • It’s always good to get an RSVP requirement – to help you know how many to expect.
  • If you have a workplace and someone new joins the team, ask them if they have a social group in town – connecting them to others can help retain your new team member in your business. Lonely employees are rarely happy. Adding this question on your induction folder is a great way of reminding yourself of this question. Asking them what their interests are is important to make sure that you connect them well.

Helping yourself

The hardest part about talking to someone you don’t know, can often be figuring out what to say next. It is almost a bizarre concept, but the art of conversation can really be tested when you don’t know someone – how do you create a meaningful conversation?

It can be extremely tempting to introduce yourself and make some sort of comment about the weather, or the venue or the spring rolls being offered around the venue (as an example) but these conversations often lead nowhere, and you don’t really get to know the person that well.

Fortunately, there are many books that cover this topic and arming yourself with some questions to ask, is a really good idea. We are going to suggest some books below, but you should keep in mind that these are not just good books to help you start a conversation but also to deepen your existing skills, relationships and connection ability.

Here are some relevant books and articles:

Random questions to start and continue a conversation

Remember, conversation is not about interrogating someone but is also about asking follow up questions and sharing information about yourself.

and for some deeper questions:

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