The weather affects so many decisions we make each day: what to wear, where to eat lunch, how to travel. We have these things in common, and we can talk about them if we try.
We need to reach out to people we don't know as it connects us in a world that seems to want to keep us apart.
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Talking about the weather is good for us. Starting a conversation about the weather may provide some cues as to how, or if, you should continue with the conversation.
Perhaps you'll say, "It's a scorcher out there, isn't it?" and the other person will reply with a comment about climate change or something witty that sends your heart aflutter. Or they may put their head down and grumble something inaudible and leave in silence.
Small talk can be defined by how much information is exchanged. If you know nothing more about the other person than you knew before the conversation, then it is small talk.
Research shows that small talk with people, even with strangers, can boost our mood. While small talk often feels boring and awkward, one can turn it into enjoyable small talk by commenting on a shared experience or asking open-ended questions.
Much like our gut microbiome - the diverse ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes in our gastrointestinal system that keeps us healthy when balance - so our social biome is the unique ecosystem of relationships and interactions that keep us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy.
The term contains the pattern of social interactions throughout your life, the who, what you talk about, and how you communicate.
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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