What topics should not be spoken to strangers: rules of etiquette

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Properly selected topics for the first conversation will help to make an excellent impression of you

The first conversation with a stranger determines whether or not you will be able to communicate further. That is why etiquette pays so much attention to this conversation. It should be pleasant, relaxed and in no case provoke conflicts - so you will leave a good first impression.

But how to make sure that the conversation does not go into dangerous territory? Experts advise to bypass a certain list of topics. OBOZREVATEL tells about these topics in more detail.

Personal finances

For some people money can be a very sensitive topic, while for others it can be a way to express themselves. Failing to agree on this point can give you a false impression of each other. Therefore, questions of salary, debts, loans, investments and other personal finances should be avoided when talking to strangers.


Political disagreements can cause extremely heated discussions, because the polarization in society is almost the greatest in terms of political preferences. If it turns out that you and your vis-a-vis belong to different political camps, the conversation can turn into an uncontrollable quarrel and turn two even the most pleasant people against each other. Therefore, it is best to avoid political topics until you know each other a little better and are sure that you can respect all views.


Issues of faith and religion are very personal, they touch people's deepest feelings and can provoke very strong reactions. In addition, it is usually very easy to offend someone about their religious beliefs. Therefore, etiquette advises to simply avoid this topic with those with whom you are not familiar enough.

Sexual orientation and gender

Another topic on the list of very personal topics is sexuality. Perhaps your interlocutor has problems with gender identity or for some reason has to hide his or her orientation and such a conversation is traumatizing for him or her. After all, you may have radically different views on such issues. So just avoid discussing them.

Diet and eating habits

It would seem that food - what a great topic for casual conversation. Especially if you are talking to a stranger during a meal. But in reality, this topic has many pitfalls. Some people have to limit themselves because of their health, and for some people, eating is a whole philosophy. And before you know it, you're already arguing about whether or not there is a gluten intolerance or arguing to the point of hoarseness about how ethical it is to eat meat. So just praise the food on the table and move on to something else.

Divorce or breakup

Probably all of us have experienced a difficult breakup at least once in our lives. In doing so, your experience may have shaped your views and beliefs, which may completely contradict the opinions and ideas of the strangers you are talking to. Therefore, try to avoid this topic. It is better to complain about heartache to trusted friends or a psychologist. And with strangers to discuss relationships is not worth it.

Health problems

You can probably easily think of someone in your family or acquaintance who can recount in great detail for hours the details of their illnesses or interactions with doctors. Such monologues are pretty depressing, aren't they? Just as toxic are those who have invented their own health support system (from morning jogs to alternative therapies) and preach it at the drop of a hat. And why would you want to leave a depressing impression on someone who is seeing you for the first time?

Violence and accidents

We all live in an atmosphere of hard and tragic news, and we all experience it deeply. But that's no reason to tell your feelings to the first person you see. It is possible that you will become friends and will soon support each other in the darkest times. But at first it is better not to spoil each other's mood with gloomy topics.


The desire of parents and grandparents to talk endlessly about the youngest members of the family is understandable. They are overwhelmed with love - and every step, every success of the baby seems to be an event. But you can't know if your vis-a-vis are not going through a difficult process of infertility treatment, or maybe they are convinced Childfree and they will just not like your enthusiasm. So postpone this discussion until a time when you are sure that you will be understood and your passion will be shared.


There is no escaping the truth - discussing other people's lives is extremely interesting. The whole yellow press industry is still based on it. Everyone gossips in one form or another. Some scientists suggest that it was the thirst for gossip that taught primitive people to talk. But socially accepted rules of etiquette don't recommend rushing off to gossip with the first person you meet. You never know how people may be related to the object of gossip. Also, gossiping at first meetings gives a bad impression of who you are and what you do. Be careful with gossip - most likely nothing good will come of it.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL told how to answer the phone correctly, so as not to violate the rules of etiquette.

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