As introverts many times we find our selves meeting new people and just being exhausted by all of the small talk. We are not good at it, but we have to do it anyway because that is what society expects us to be doing when we meet someone for the first time.
So how can you avoid this? How can you make sure your conversation with a stranger doesn’t turn into an hour long monologue about yourself?
What is small talk?
It is basically any type of social interaction where two or more people are talking in order to get to know each other better.
Small talk and party chitchat is in mass at parties, events, waiting in line… you get the point.
This could include asking questions like “what do you do?” or “how did you end up here today?”
These types of casual conversations usually take place between strangers who don’t really know one another very well. The goal of these interactions is to learn something about the person so that they will feel comfortable enough around them to ask them out on a date later down the road.
In reality though most of these fake conversations go nowhere. They start off as interesting and fun but then quickly become boring and repetitive. Most people hate having to keep repeating themselves over and over again during their daily lives.
The easiest way to avoid small talk is to go to the event with a friend that can be your conversation partner. If this friend is more talkative they will be great to pull in the chatty neighbor too.
Making Small Talk More Meaning Full
In some situations small talk will be unavoidable but you can use some of these techniques to get into more authentic conversations faster and remember to try an keep eye contact.
Ask Them Deeper Questions for Deeper Connections
The goal of small talk is either to kinda waste time or to find a common thing to chat about. Try out some of the below list of questions to move the conversation a little just try not to hit that awkward note, no inappropriate questions.
- What is your dream job?
- What is something you wish you knew when you were younger?
- What is one thing you would change about yourself?
- What is a hobby you have that you love?
- What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
Try To Get Them To Tell A Story
If you want to get into a deeper conversation try getting them to tell a story about something. For example if they say they had a great day yesterday why don’t you ask them what happened? Or maybe they said they went hiking last week and you should ask them what kind of hike was it? You might even be able to get them to give you a little background information about the subject which will help you understand it better.
Find Common Interests By Sharing Details About Yourself
If you want to share details about yourself try sharing things that relate to the topic of discussion. For example if you are discussing hobbies you might say:
- I am a big fan of ___________
- My favorite movie is _________________
- When I was young my biggest fear was __________________________
- If I could travel anywhere I would go _____________ because…
This way you both can bond over something that relates to the subject matter without feeling forced to talk about anything else.
For an introvert the goal of small talk should be to find common interest so you will have something more interesting and in depth to talk about. Maybe even create a meaningful connection.
Ask Why Instead Of What
While making small talk if you have the opportunity to ask why questions instead of simple answer closed questions like who or what then you might find yourself in a meaningful conversation.
Everybody will come up with different why answers since they need to think about it. While who or what questions can sometimes be answered in as little as one word.
Just remember that open-ended questions lead to more honest interaction and usually do not lead to closed answers.
Have An Elevator Pitch As A Conversation Starter
An elevator pitch is a short introduction that allows someone to understand how you fit into the situation at hand. It helps break the ice by giving a quick summary of who you are, what you do, and why you are there. You can also make this part of your opening line for introductions.
A quick 15-30 second introduction that includes some of your interests, what you do, or other things that you would like to talk about might get the ball rolling quicker than talking about the weather.
So while you are getting ready to go to an event work on getting something ready.
You will have to be part of some small talk to get to the good stuff probably…
But most things that are easy are not worth it, put in the hard work and you might end up in a conversation that will turn into a friendship.
Here are some tips on how to survive those awkward moments:
1) Don’t try too hard – If you want to get out of talking about yourself then don’t force yourself to start up conversations or ask questions. Just let them come naturally. You will feel more comfortable if they initiate the topic themselves.
2) Be open-minded – When you go out in public remember that everyone has their own story and there is no reason why you should judge anyone else based on theirs. It might seem like common sense but most people still think that other people must be boring as hell so they only speak about themselves. This isn’t true though! Everyone has something interesting going on inside their head which makes them unique from one another.
3) Ask open-ended questions – The best way to learn about someone is through asking questions. People love answering questions and they also enjoy telling stories. Asking questions allows you to listen to others without having to say anything yourself.
Go get’em introverts!
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