MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
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)"