Break the Mirror - Deepstash

Break the Mirror

Small talk stalls out due to the mirror talk phenomenon.

Mirrored Example:

James: It's a beautiful day!

John: Yes, it is a beautiful day!

Practice the art of disruption and move the dialogue forward:

Non-mirrored Example:

James: It's a beautiful day!

John: They say that the weather was just like this when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. If that actually happened.

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MORE IDEAS FROM How to Turn Small Talk Into Smart Conversation

Be Bold

Go ahead, be bold. Upend the dinner table conversation! Turn small talk into big ideas at the next summer wedding reception you’re forced to attend! You never know which ideas will be worth spreading next.

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Try to implore interesting questions

“What’s your story?”

“What did you do today?”

“What’s the strangest thing about where you grew up?”

“What’s the most interesting thing that happened at work today?”

“How’d you end up in your line of work?”

“What does your name mean?

What would you like it to mean?”

“What was the best part of your weekend?”

“What are you looking forward to this week?”

“Who do you think is the luckiest person in this room?”

“What does this house remind you of?”

“If you could teleport by blinking your eyes, where would you go right now?”

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One way to get beyond small talk is to ask open-ended questions. Aim for questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers.

Instead of . . .

“How are you?”

“How was your day?”

“Where are you from?”

“What do you do?”

“What line of work are you in?”

“What’s your name?”

“How was your weekend?”

“What’s up?”

“Would you like some wine?”

“How long have you been living here?”

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Tips from a comedian and a journalist on the art of going from

What do these situations have in common? Almost all of them involve people trying to talk with each other. But in these very moments where a conversation would enhance an encounter, we often fall short. We can’t think of a thing to say.

We do a passable job at talking. We stagger through our romantic, professional and social worlds with the goal merely of not crashing, never considering that we might soar. We go home sweaty and puffy, and eat birthday cake in the shower.

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Instead of:

Ron: How was your flight?

Carlos: My flight was good!

Beverly: It’s hot today.

Gino: Yeah, it sure is hot.

Riz: What’s up?

Keil: Hey, what’s up?

Try:

Ron: How was your flight?

Carlos: I’d be more intrigued by an airline where your ticket price was based on your body weight and IQ.

Beverly: It’s hot today.

Gino: In this dimension, yes.

Riz: What’s up?

Keil: Washing your chicken just splatters the bacteria everywhere.

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RELATED IDEA

Awkward conversations with strangers

In a situation where people are gathered together, it always involves people trying to talk to each other. In these moments, we often fall short and can't think of anything to say, or worse; we fumble through with the aim of not crashing.

However, we can soar in conversations and learn to turn small talk into big ideas.

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Hating Small Talk At Parties

Most of us are beyond weather, parking and traffic-related conversations at parties. We have deep, substantial topics to discuss, which are not hollow and unproductive like most party small talks are.

Small talk has its benefits, it is designed to prevent controversies and hurt, smartly avoids religion and politics, and is a way to test the waters before we decide to talk about other stuff with someone.

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Attending conferences
Conferences are overwhelming:  the rush of presentations, conversations, and potential meet-ups, and it can make it tough for you if you want to find focus.

But skipping them isn't the best solution: you’re missing out on the benefits of networking.

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