Many people hate it when the small talk is of the weather, but fail to understand that it is actually a kind of code that helps people overcome their inhibitions and be ready to actually talk to the other person.
Once the person who has been approached feels comfortable, real talk can happen.
Everyone is interested in a really deep, engaging conversation, but they will not show it, and it is up to us to discover the same.
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Most people sound despicable because they just keep on talking about themselves.
According to psychologists, talking to strangers can be taxing on the brain, and even small talk can seem stressful, tiring and cognitively demanding.
On the flip side, talking to strangers is a kind of workout that boosts our mental performance.
Listening can be for:
We need to work more into the deep levels of listening for motivations, values and feelings.
The point is to be different and vulnerable so that you sound intriguing and yet do not come across as a psychopath!
Asking something specific and humorous to a stranger is a risk, but if the timing is right, one can give a great first impression about being complex, empathetic, humourous and human.
Once the stranger recognizes you as a human, a bond is created and real conversation can start.
The main reason we don’t talk to strangers is simply because we don’t talk to strangers. People are simply not supposed to violate the norm of leaving other people alone at back alleys, parks and subways.
The trick is to acknowledge this handicap and pre-frame the negative thoughts of the other person by reassuring them that you know you are breaking the norm.
Most of us are laughably bad at striking up good conversations with strangers, and can hope to improve ourselves if we learn what all is lacking to break the ice.
The conversation is mostly initiated by small talk, the opener that gets everything started. Most people hate small talk, but one cannot talk to strangers without initiating the conversation with something familiar and reassuring.
Talking to strangers is worth it, as it offers a certain profound joy, a real communion. If more people start talking to strangers, our broken society can be healed.
We use scripted conversations to be on the safe side, as we fear that saying any unscripted word can trigger something unwanted in the other person.
While scripted conversations are efficient, they deny us the actuality of the other person, the stranger who may be just a friend we haven’t met yet.
By talking off-script or replying in a unique, unheard of manner, we make it comfortable for the stranger to mirror us and say something similar.
Another way to signal your attentive listening is to simply echo what the other person is saying.
The Stranger says: At that moment, I felt frustrated.
You: You were frustrated.
In the past decade and a half, professors have begun to wonder if interacting with strangers could be good for us too: not as a replacement for close relationships, but as a complement to them. The results of that research have been striking. Again and again, studies have shown that talking with strangers can make us happier, more connected to our communities, mentally sharper, healthier, less lonely, and more trustful and optimistic.
“We want to be liked, or at least accepted by other people, In order to not break these norms, we sometimes act like we’re treading on eggshells.”
Everyone likes to feel like they’re an expert on something. Even if you know a lot about the subject you end up talking about, ask the person to explain things to you. For example,
if a news event comes up, say “Oh, I saw some headlines, but didn’t have time to read the article at work today. Can you tell me what that was about?” People enjoy conversations more when they feel like they have something to teach.
Also, letting someone know that you’re there if they need help, (e.g., solving a problem with a school or work assignment, or even with some heavy lifting) is a great away to approach them and subtly let them know that you’re interested in being friends. This can work out especially well if you’re able to work together toward a common goal.
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