Small talk

It’s a brief conversation between you and someone you don’t know very well. 

Small talk is an essential stage of a casual conversation, especially in English-speaking cultures.

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

How to get better at small talk
  • Have a genuine interest in getting to know a person you’re talking to and learn from them.
  • Ask open-ended questions. It encourages the other person you're speaking with to open up.“What do you do?” followed by “Why did you choose that type of work? How did you enter that profession?”
  • Never talk about something too personal.
  • Practice active listening. By paying attention to the speaker’s words, you’ll create much stronger connections.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Speech communicates information or ideas. It is the semantic content of speech.
  • On another level, talking is a social behavior. Every speech does something. It reassures, acknowledges, nurtures, enjoins, rejects, dominates, encourages, or just fill an awkward silence.

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IDEAS

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.

When small talk dries up, it's often due to "mirroring." In our efforts to be polite, we answer questions directly, repeat their observations, or just agree with whatever they say.

For example, one person would say, "It's a beautiful day," and we might answer, "Yes, it's a beautiful day." Instead, we could practice the art of disruption. To move the dialogue forward, we could reply: "They say that the weather was just like this when ... happened (insert a historical or personal moment)"

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