Avoid These 4 Mistakes to Make Better Small Talk
By: April Carson
The prospect of returning to the office can be rather daunting, especially for those who are introverted. Whether or not you enjoy working in an office environment, it is important to be a good worker. It's common knowledge that many people feel anxious about having to interact socially with their colleagues and coworkers once again after a long break from work; as if small talk skills were based on personality alone! But it turns out they're not. Building up your social intelligence takes time and empathy - being able to understand how others think so you know what words resonate best in conversation, which topics might make them laugh or cringe depending on where they come from etc., is quite an undertaking but ultimately very rewarding when done right!
So why are we such social creatures? It's a question that has puzzled philosophers for centuries.
This article will help you to understand how to make better small talk using related concepts from social psychology and evolutionary biology. Let us start by defining what we mean by 'small talk'. In the context of this article, small talk refers to those conversations that take place in the comfort of our personal space, e.g., over coffee or drinks with your friends, during a meal at a restaurant, while walking down the street etc.
Small talk is the small part of any social interaction that precedes (and sometimes follows) a deeper dialogue between two people. It includes chit-chat, banter, gossiping and other types of brief exchanges that convey little information about the person you're talking to.
English is an incredibly rich language for talking about different kinds of relationships and there are even lists that categorize all possible words into sub-relationships such as Love Words , Friendship Words , Enemies Words and Jealousy Words . And so, it is not difficult to understand why we humans are an incredibly social species. In fact, if you total all the time we spend on each of the major activities in our daily routine and socializing with friends and family, more than half of the time we spend is just for social interaction.
4 Mistakes To Avoid:
1. Don't jump the gun - It's fine if you don't know what to say, but waiting for too long before committing something to conversation will make you look lame and uncomfortable. by using ready topics, your conversations will start more easily and you can avoid a lot of uncomfortable situations.
2. Don't assume no one wants to talk to - Stop fretting about feeling confident. If you're worried about how to act naturally, I 'get it.' But it's not just you who feels like that - no one does this perfectly. Realize this and stop thinking so much about yourself.
3. Don't talk about yourself too much - If you're talking more than the other person, you'll come across as self-absorbed and narcissistic. You don't have to be a chatterbox, but try to make sure that the conversation is at least evenly balanced between you and your partner. There is a way to talk about yourself without being self-absorbed.
4. Don't forget your environment - Some environments actually encourage small talk more than others. Offices tend to discourage idle chit-chat because people want to get their work done.
Now, it could also be true that your partner has no idea what they are doing and is just terrible at small talk (or any kind of talk). That's fine. It doesn't mean that you should give up on them for good. If you're willing to put in some time and effort, then it can be worked out. A great way to practice this is with your co-workers or friends. Just observe how they communicate and when they do a good job of coming into conversations already talking about something that relates to you.
The key here is not creating the perfect small talk topic but starting a conversation somewhere in the first place. If you're able to walk up to someone and talk about the weather or a trending topic, it doesn't matter if they don't like baseball. What matters is that you have the confidence to start talking and have them warm up to you quickly. The more people that are comfortable with you, the easier your other relationships will be.