It isn’t always easy to establish a friendship on Interpals. The chances that you’ll meet in person vary among different situations, and busy lives can get in the way of staying in contact. Also, there are a lot of people on Interpals, which can be overwhelming! Today, we have a few tips, dos and don’ts, and thoughts for meeting people on Interpals and getting a conversation going. Scroll to the bottom for a list of 22 unusual questions to get to know new people.
Don’t be generic. When you first write to someone, don’t just say, “what’s up?” or “hi!” They probably receive similar messages every day. Also, don’t add anyone as a friend if you haven’t written to them (or if you haven’t heard back). Be sure that they’re okay with being friends before adding them.
Do read their profile. Before writing to anyone you’re interested in befriending, be sure to read his or her profile. If you don’t seem to have common interests, you might want to consider resuming your search. Try starting a conversation by mentioning what jumped out to you on their profile. More often than not, they will appreciate that you took the time to read their profile before writing to them.
Don’t troll. Although the Internet grants us with a degree of anonymity, this isn’t an invitation to troll, harass, or otherwise bother your fellow Interpals members. Our forums are a place to discuss your thoughts and opinions, but always avoid insulting or putting others down. You will not make friends if you are tactless or hurtful. To protect yourself, please report or block any users who bother you.
- On our forums, you can find topics ranging from Movies & Entertainment and Food & Drink to languages and language learning.
- If you’re looking for a language exchange partner, see our “language exchange” feature to find out who’s speaking your target language. Don’t be shy to ask somebody if they’d be willing to help you practice!
- If you’re looking for friends with common interests, or who live in certain parts of the world, you can customize the results you find through our search engine. Just type your interest (such as “tennis”) or a specific language into the “keyword” box.
Don’t take it personally if they don’t respond. It can be frustrating when people don’t write back, but try not to take it personally. There are a number of reasons why they not might respond:
- They may be out of town, busy with work or school, or otherwise unable to respond at the moment. Even if they are able to check their inbox, they may not always have time to respond.
- They may feel overwhelmed by the number of messages they receive. If they have already reached their limit of penpals they’d like to talk to at the same time, you may not hear from them.
After you send a message, it’s a good idea to move on and keep looking for friends. Try not to dwell on why they didn’t write back.
- Try changing your search preferences. Broaden your search options to look for friends of both genders in countries you know very little about. Again, be sure to read their profile before you write to anyone you’d like to befriend.
- Search for newer members. Newer members are not likely to have many friends and more likely to be looking for penpals, friends, and language exchange partners. If they’re new, send them a welcome message – they’re bound to appreciate it!
- Remember that every friendship is different. Try not to compare your friendship to that of others. Instead, do what works best for you and your friend.
- Keep things interesting. Discuss new topics, send each other postcards (if you feel comfortable sharing your snail mail address), and ask new questions to keep things going.
Keep reading for some questions ideas to keep your conversation fresh!
Fun questions to get to know your friends:
1. Where have you traveled before? Where do you most want to go in the world?
2. What is one unusual fact about you?
3. What do you do in your spare time?
4. Do you have any pets? What are their names?
5. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
6. What’s your dream job?
7. What kind of transportation do you use to get around town?
8. Do you like where you live? Have you always lived there?
9. What are some of your hobbies?
10. Which sports do you like to play or watch, if any?
11. What is something that you always carry with you when you leave the house?
12. What’s your favorite dessert?
13. Who is the most important person in your life?
14. How do you cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
15. What are some assumptions that people often make when they first meet or talk to you? Do these assumptions bother you?
16. Where are your parents’ families from? Have you ever been there?
17. What are you most afraid of? Why?
18. What do you do when you’re bored?
19. Which languages do you speak? Which do you most want to learn?
20. What is your favorite word? Least favorite word?
21. Do you blog? If you do, what about? If not, what do you think you would blog about?
22. Do you prefer to read paperbacks or read books on electronic devices?