1.1 Sub-heading: How much do you need to know about a topic to have a conversation
As an example, if one is talking about politics with someone they just met, its not so much about the detail and how smart you are
1.2 Small Talk isn’t About Substance, It’s About Making Connections
When you’re first talking to someone new, there are a host of questions that your subconscious wants answered that can’t be dealt with via explicit conversation. You want to feel safe, feel welcomed, and have a sense of belonging. Small talk may feel like you’re not saying anything of substance, but if you do it right, you’re communicating plenty of very important information. It’s just not overtly verbalized.
Most people don’t really enjoy small talk, because it’s tedious, feels draining, and can give you a case of acute onset imposter syndrome.
Most people don’t really enjoy small talk, because it’s tedious, feels draining, and can give you a case of acute onset imposter syndrome. That may just be because we don’t realize small talk’s true function: it’s not about substance. It’s about making a connection.
You probably don’t have a ton of small talk with people you already know and like. Sure, you may have to go through routine pleasantries with someone at the office, or a distant relative. When it comes to the people you know well and choose to associate with, however, you’ve already moved on to more worthwhile conversations.
Peter Murphy, Always Know What to Say:
“A common habit among people who avoid meeting people and dislike making small talk is the lack of a clearly defined goal for social interactions. So what can serve as a conversation goal? It can be anything from something as simple as looking for what you have in common to something more involved like asking for opinions, perspectives or insights on local changes in your community.
Always be on the lookout for common goals, concerns or worries. When you share a passion or a problem with someone there is ample scope for a lively conversation as you put your minds together”
1.3 Expert: Deep conversations
Why do we shy away from talking about our feelings, aspirations, religious convictions and/or things that aren’t entertainment or sports? I’m not saying there is anything wrong with popular culture-based talks or sport chats, but try and think critically about what you have seen and speak original thoughts. Don’t just spew what you read online or heard on TV.
Some of my closest friendships were spawned from spontaneous, personal conversations. One doesn’t have to pour their soul out to a stranger, but opening up shouldn’t strike fear into their heart.
Everyone has a history. Every individual has a unique story. Each person you come across probably possesses the memory of an experience that you would find intriguing.
There aren’t many things better than those long, all-night conversations with someone. The ones in which you can feel the friendship forming into a long-lasting bond. The ones where you think “I should probably go to sleep,” but your friend has you so encompassed and on the edge of your seat that you throw the ideas of morning exhaustion out the window and listen onward.
I strongly urge everyone out there to strike up a real conversation with that one person who catches your eye in the Union or the girl who sits by you in class or the professor who makes you feel like a human being and not just another kid in class.
1.4 Levels of Communication