• On Good Things Utah this morning – We have help this morning to get you through all of those busy holiday get togethers this week. Politics and religion are out, and gossip should be. There’s only so much juice to be squeezed out of sports, the weather, and what a fabulous job has been done with the decorations. But you can break the ice at any holiday party with a few easy comments like these:
    • Don’t chat. Interview.
      You’re not a hapless social zero, desperate to find something to say that will make a proximate human say something back. You’re a journalist covering this party. Once you’re on deadline, digging for a quote, believe me: You won’t settle for an exchange of wan pleasantries by the buffet. “This ham is delicious. Have you ever been to Parma?” “Three kids! Is the middle one a pleaser, or do you think the whole birth-order thing is bull?” “Oh, you’re a stockbroker/vet/dental hygienist! If there was one thing you wish the average person knew about your job, what would it be?” Note on that last one: The less flashy the job, the greater the interest you should express in following up—and not just to be polite.
    • Pour spicy opinions on mild subjects.
      Contrary to frequent advice, it’s great to express strong views—provided the heat in your take has an inverse relationship to the heat in the topic. Strike a verbal match around Donald Trump and you’ll burn the party down. Strike that match around the psychosocial ramifications of Love Actually and you’ll spark some lively repartee that will burn merrily for a while.
    • Come as your own conversation piece.
      I stumbled upon this one by accident, at a professional event of my husband’s. The invitation having stipulated “creative cocktail” attire, I dug into my closet for a fascinator I had gotten about a hundred New Year’s Eves ago: a couple of plastic, sparkle-rimmed martini glasses stapled to a glittery headband and some netting—literally, a creative cocktail. Traveling separately, I beat Sean to the event, where I knew no one. Had I not plunked that martini-band on my head, I would have spent the first hour either in the rest room with my phone or slinking around with a stupid “I love taking up space!” grin on my face. But since I did have that martini-band on my head, I spent that hour parrying inquiries about it. “Did you make that?” “Where did you get it?” “Can I take your picture?” It’s counterintuitive but true: The more tongue-tied you tend to get, the more eagerly you should say yes to the dress—or the shoes, or the purse, or the ornamental stemware—that will do the talking for you. Tune in for more Hot Topics or click here to read the article: https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/relationships-love/a42245847/holiday-party-conversation-starters/