5 Reasons Why You Should Embrace Small Talk

August 24, 2022

If the idea of small talk makes you cringe, you aren’t alone.

Very few people enjoy it, while others find it excruciating. But did you know that small talk accounts for nearly one-third of our speech?

In other words, small talk plays a significant role in how we communicate. Still, if you’re the type to jump through all the hoops to avoid it, you might be preventing yourself from meeting new people and creating long-lasting friendships.

Small talk is unavoidable, so it might be best to accept its normalcy and learn how to improve. Besides, small talk is like any other skill; the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Don’t underestimate the power of small talk because one study from the University of Chicago reported that engaging in small talk improves our well-being by making us feel connected to others.

No matter how uninteresting and awkward small talk is, small talk is, in fact, a bigger deal than we think, especially when it comes to human affairs.

What Is Small Talk?

Small talk is a polite conversation about things or topics considered unimportant. Typically, such exchanges occur between people who don’t know each other very well.

Unfortunately, we often overlook the real motive behind the empty conversation.

The actual topics of small talk don’t really matter. Instead, small talk aims to open up a conversation with others, bridge a gap between people who don’t know each other very well, and open up a portal that may lead to more profound and meaningful conversations.

In most cases, bland pleasantries and mundane conversation starters are necessary. But most importantly, they are there to create opportunities to engage and connect.

Small Talk, Big Talk

Small talk is a skill anyone can develop. It doesn’t have to be weird or awkward. Recognize that small talk is normal, and it’s how we engage with people we don’t know yet.

Small talk can present several opportunities to connect with others. That’s why we should all embrace small talk instead of avoiding it.

5 Reasons Why We Should Embrace Small Talk

  1. It’s an act of politeness — Many people feel uncomfortable in situations where they may have to start talking with people they’ve just met. But small talk is a polite conversation starter that allows the other person to feel seen. It’s like saying, “I see you,” which can translate to “I acknowledge you.”
  2. It invites others to connect with you — As humans, it is our nature to socialize with each other. Small talk is just a natural way of communicating with others and letting them know you are open to connecting with them.
  3. Small talk can lead to more meaningful conversation- People don’t like it because it is awkward and boring; however, there is always the potential to engage in more meaningful conversation. Small talk is preliminary until you and the other person decide it’s appropriate to start talking about deeper topics. It’s safer to start small and work your way because starting with political discussions can seem unnatural and may even lead to an unfriendly debate.
  4. It builds collaboration — Small talk in the workplace is extremely common, and most of us miss the occasional office banter during the COVID-19 pandemic when many of us were forced to work from home. But did you know that research has shown that small talk sparks collaboration? This is because chance encounters and spontaneous conversations help us feel more connected.
  5. It helps people feel seen -Those who have mastered small talk make others feel warm, welcome, at ease, and valued. Feeling seen is an essential human experience that most of us underestimate. Feeling seen makes us feel like we matter.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Small Talk

People who excel at small talk are experts at making others feel included, valued, and comfortable. These quick and casual conversations are a great way to connect to people and allow others to feel connected to you.

Besides, people who are good at small talk are often great leaders, confident, and able to form new friendships more easily.

Small talk is a natural way for people to connect. Resenting and avoiding unproductive banter and superficial conversations may prevent you from meeting new people and creating new relationships.

Instead of talking about the weather, we all prefer to have deep and meaningful conversations but sometimes, getting there is not as straightforward as we’d like. In this case, small talk is a great way to start a conversation.

Don’t underestimate the power of small talk. In a world where we crave connection, small talk is just a tiny obstacle we may need to overcome to feel connected.

“The key to being good at small talk is to give attention to the other person without thinking about what you’ll say next.”


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