Does the thought of it make you cringe?
Yeah, I know. I used to feel the same way.
"I hate talking about mundane s***"
"I'd rather sit in silence than talk about the weather."
But over the years, I've learned to love small talk, and it's opened doors to new friends and new opportunities.
So today I'd like to dispel 3 big myths about small talk.
MYTH #1 - Small Talk Is Shallow
Sure it seems shallow.
But there's more under the surface.
When people meet, they small talk.
On the surface, it looks like meaningless chit chat. But underneath, there's much more happening. Small talk is about getting the know the other person. And information is being collected based on words, tone, facial expressions, and tons of little bits.
Subconsciously each person is thinking "Do I like them?"
And this is when first impressions are made.
It might seem shallow but the implications are deep.
If you can't do small talk then (sorry) you ain't got a chance for the deep stuff. After all, "if you don't care about my weekend, I'm assuming you don't care about my life."
MYTH #2 - Small Talk Is Pointless
In fact, small talk is quite.. um, pointful?
Talking about the weather, the weekend, favorite TV shows... It seems silly and pointless, but it exists for a reason.
It's all about bonding and forming relationships.
I first realized this at work one day. I looked around the room and noticed the CEOs and VPs were all amazing at small talk. They knew how to bond with other people!
Life is about relationships more than anything else.
And small talk is a ritual that lets us bond in a low pressure way. It's light, easy and fun for a reason.
When people talk about the weather, they're not really talking about the weather (polar easterlies, anyone?). They're trying to find a way to connect with you.
MYTH #3 - Small Talk Is Boring
Sure, the topics might be a bit surfacy. But it's not easy.
Small talk is fast and unpredictable. And your brain has to perform millions of complex tasks. Turn taking, topic changes, facial expressions, body language, emotions, and all sorts of things...
And that's all happening on the subconscious level!
Small talk is a skill, and most people suck at it.
Once you master it though, it's a great way to learn new things from new people.
I love this quote from Mister Al Einstein: "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
Each person has some sort of genius and there's a lot you can learn from each person you meet, even if it just for a few minutes.
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. -Albert Einstein
Bottom Line: Small talk is a skill that helps you bond with others.
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