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Tips for having a meaningful conversation

We are not alone. Talking with friends or loved ones about experiences and feelings can help us cope in challenging times. Use these tips and suggestions to get the conversation going. 

  • Be flexible about the format. A conversation can be over the phone, in person or through video chat.
  • Be ready to listen. It can help to put aside things that may be distracting. 
  • Ask open-ended questions. Use the questions below to get the conversation started. You may want to share your own experiences first to get things going.
  • Show your concern and support by using phrases like “I understand” or “I’m with you” or “That sounds rough, how can I help?” We all need to be heard and validated.
  • End on a positive note. Close with some hopeful words and make a plan to stay connected! 
  • If you or your family, friends or neighbors are in crisis or need immediate help, go to

Conversation Starters 

  • How are you feeling? 
  • How’s it going for you these days? 
  • How are you keeping in touch with family or friends?
  • What are you doing to get by?
  • What are you doing to take care of yourself? 
  • Are there things we can do together to help each other? 

Page Last Reviewed: April 16, 2021

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