I hate small talk. Really. If you ask any of my close friends, they will agree. They know this about me. I don’t like the pretentious smiles and introductions. The meaningless information you share with strangers don’t make any sense to me.
But we all live in a society that values small talk. We are surrounded by strangers and if we want to get into contact with them, we need to suffer through the small talk and get to know them. At least that’s how I though it works. But I am starting to see that there is more to these first conversations than I thought. There are most certainly what you make of them. I think I have learned a few things talking to strangers. First of all, burst through that barrier. Go out and talk to people. It sounds so difficult, trust me I know. But it helps. Don’t be scared, because what could happen? They won’t talk to you? Well, they are not talking to you right now, so there’s that. And make the conversation meaningful. Be present and ask questions that actually matter. Go into detail and be specific. Nobody likes talking about the weather so be a little more creative. Be generous, be kind. Listen to understand, don’t listen to talk.
Just try it. Believe me, as an introvert, it is draining for me to go out and talk to people. But I learn and I grow from each conversation and I am a little prouder afterwards. Be aware of your environment and take the little chances the day gives you.
Because small talks are actually doors. They can let you in and share with you anything or nothing. It is all up to us. So leave your door open from time to time.