5 Tips for Talking to Taxi Drivers

Posted on: 24 March 2016

Recent studies have found that even though most people think that they would rather complete their travel in silence, they actually have a more pleasurable transportation experience if they engage in conversation with someone else. This can include morning commutes on a train or bus or a more personal taxi ride. During taxi service, you are set up to have a pleasant conversation since it is only you and the driver and you will not be disturbing additional passengers. However, many people find it difficult to make small talk with people they do not know. Below are some things to keep in mind if you want to strike up a conversation with your taxi driver. 

Make Sure Conversation Is Not a Distraction 

Most taxi drivers will be willing to have a conversation with you as long as you are pleasant and respectful. However, it is important to keep in mind that their actual job entails getting you safely and efficiently from one place to another. If there is heavy traffic or bad weather, you may want to avoid starting a conversation in order to allow the taxi driver to concentrate on driving. 

Respect the Driver's Boundaries 

Just like anyone else, taxi drivers have fun work days and more challenging work days. Some drivers may enjoy conversation and others may not like it. If you attempt to start a conversation with the driver and they do not seem to be open to continuing the conversation, do not be offended. It is possible that they are nearing the end of their shift and are socially tired or that they are simply having a bad day. 

Although a taxi driver may not want to engage in conversation, they should still treat you with respect. If a taxi driver is rude or mean to you as a means of ending a conversation, you should write down their badge number and inform their taxi company of their inappropriate behavior. 

Consider Neutral But Fun Topics 

Despite the common advice that religion and politics should be avoided when entering a discussion with a stranger, you may find yourself gravitating to one of these two things when your are in a taxi. Alternatively, they have an awkwardly long conversation about traffic or the weather. To avoid either of these extremes, think of a list of fun but neutral topics that you would like to discuss. 

Ask Questions and Be Prepared to Listen 

Conversation involves both talking and listening. If you want to have a fun, engaging conversation with your taxi driver, it is important that you are prepared to ask them questions and listen to their answers. When you actually concentrate on what your taxi driver is saying, you will most likely pick up on interesting topics that will help the conversation progress. For instance, if the taxi driver begins talking about their children and you are a college student with no children, you can redirect the conversation towards school issues by discussing the taxi driver's hopes for their children's education. 

Share about Yourself 

The conversation will come to a natural conclusion if neither you nor the taxi driver wants to open up about yourself. While you should not share intimate details or details that could compromise your safety, you can still open up about real, honest things such as your excitement over a raise or your stress at being a parent. However, keep in mind that being in a closed environment with a stranger can inspire you to over-share personal information. It is better to keep the conversation light but honest. 

Having a good conversation during your taxi ride can make your day better and your taxi driver's job more pleasant. However, it is important to keep personal boundaries in mind to make everyone involved comfortable and safe. 


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