Why is small talk important? –It is the ‘open sesame’ to success!
The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives. - Tony Robbins
‘You are very good in making conversation even with strangers, amma’ my daughter told me. She is a rather reserved girl and will not open out easily unless she knew the person very well. But I am the exact opposite to her and I feel easy to converse fluently with others. This I think is one of the reasons why I am able to write about varied topics. There is so much to learn from others and it is amazing how a small talk with them makes you aware of things you never knew existed.
What is small talk?
- It is an innocuous conversation you have with others.
- This conversation is not about your work or any serious matters.
- It can be about the weather, sports or even the color of the dress the person is wearing.
Is small talk important?
You attach great importance to your interaction with people of higher standard and you talk with them in awe. This sort of conversation might make you feel elated that you were able to converse with an important person, but the talk is meaningless as it is very formal. You talk with reverence and the person reciprocates with his mind elsewhere.
But sometimes when you talk with strangers you find your conversation becoming exciting and engrossing. Why is it so? It is because you have touched a mutual chord with that person which makes you continue your conversation eagerly.
- Do you stand aloof when you are with people?
- Do you feel tongue tied when you are among strangers?
- Are you wondering as to what to talk about and freeze within yourself?
If you say ‘yes’ to these questions, it means you do not have the talent to interact with others and so stand alone watching others talk.
Is small talk important in family life also?
It is the core to a successful family life!
Small talk with your spouse!
Do you know that most marriages are boring because there is no small talk among couples? You invariably talk about family issues with your spouse and the talk is always serious and argumentative. You are worried about your family and so your discussions often lead to fights and bitter arguments.
Small talk about mild matters can enliven your marriage in an effective way. When you talk about movies, sports or hobbies, it is not a tense topic and so you can just say whatever comes to your mind. The time you spend together lengthens and brings your closer.
Try small talking with your spouse and you will find such conversations taking away the boredom in your marriage and you feel like talking with your spouse always. She\he becomes more like a friend to you and as with friends it is all fun and joy. When you open your mouth only to talk about serious matters with your spouse you find it boring to talk with him\her.
Small talk with your children!
Parents too make the grave mistake of interacting with their children only to give instructions or advice. Your children do not feel close to you as they cannot interact freely with you and this is the main reason for generation gap between both of you.
Treat your children as your friend and come down to their level. Ask about their friends and what they did with them. Laugh with them when they tell you about some funny incidents in their school\college. You do not find it funny because you look at it from the viewpoint of your age and so maintain a tight lip.
When I interact with my daughter I leave my age behind me and talk with her as a youngster. This way I am able to be very friendly with her. If on the other hand, I was always preachy and advising she would found me boring. Your children should look upon you as friend and not as a dictator.
Why is it you find it easy to small talk with your friends?
- You can talk about anything you like without fear of retaliation.
- You take everything in the right spirit.
- You do not have to rehearse before you talk.
- You and friends have common things to share.
How to small talk?
Is it difficult to start a conversation with a person you never know? It is one the easiest things when you realize that you are interacting with an ordinary human being and not with someone who is superior to you.
- Your body language should imply that you are very approachable and friendly.
- You should maintain direct eye contact.
- You should not show off as a very knowledgeable person.
- You should talk about topics which are of common interest.
- You should smile when you talk.
- You should not keep texting or checking your mobile.
- You should take leave before departing from that place. ‘See you’ ‘we will meet later’ it was wonderful talking to you’ are words which easily makes the person want to meet you again.
What are the common topics which lead to small talk?
- TV shows
- Common civic problems
- Appreciating the appearance- gets instant response.
‘Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.’ –William Butler Yeats
This way you are able to start conversation with someone who is a total stranger to you. You will find looking at life a different way when you interact with persons from all walks of life. Life is not about yours alone; it is understanding about other people’s life also. It is when you know the other side of life will you be able to see your life in its proper perspective.
© 2013 mathira