Love Small Talk?
Ok, let’s be honest… How many people really like small talk? Not many!
Why do YOU avoid small talk?
It’s a pointless waste of time.
I don’t have time to chit chat.
It makes me anxious.
I’m better than that – it’s beneath me…
Have you ever had a new acquaintance launch right into deep, important, serious conversation? I have! Let me tell you, it was certainly more awkward than easing into conversation with a little bit of “How do you do” small talk.
To put it in plain language, skipping the pleasantries of small talk is a lot like jumping straight to best friend status in conversation. VERY few people are up for that. High quality people are willing to take their time to assess new friends and contacts.
In fact, it’s always a safer bet to get to know the person to whom you are talking. It helps you to do several important things…
A little bit of small talk goes a long way!
Check out the companion video here!
First, it will help you to calibrate for the conversation. With gentle and respectful chit chat, you will be able to determine the other person’s mood, general attitude, humor, and interest in you. You will get a feel for the other person and be able to decide whether or not to continue the conversation.
It will also help you to set a precedent for all of your future interactions with the other person. If you pay attention to the other person and listen carefully to them, they will know that you value what they have to say. It lays a foundation for clear and respectful communication between you.
It can lead to wonderful things for YOU.
Small talk will lead to lasting, beneficial relationships. It may not happen with every person you meet but it will happen with some of them. Some of the people you meet will end up being friends. Others will end up as good career contacts, collaborators, or maybe even mentors.
By networking and, yes, small talking, you will grow your support network, your friend base, and your sphere of influence. If that is not enough reason to engage in small talk, consider this…
Studies show that people who have a robust social support system are physically and mentally healthier than those who do not. They weather stress and traumatic experiences better. They have fewer incidences of mental health issues.
Having a good social support system may actually help you to live longer! In a study involving data from over 300,000 people (and over three decades), researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered that people who have a strong social support network live an average of 3.7 years longer than less connected people. They said the effect was comparable to that of quitting smoking.
It may also lead to greater life satisfaction and happiness. A 2013 Oxford study found that people who perceive their family and friends as supportive report greater happiness than those who doubt their social network’s supportiveness.
Are you ready to small talk yet?
Tap into small talk!
Click here to tap along with me
If you are still not convinced that small talk is worth the awkwardness and shyness that it brings up for you, try tapping. It will help you to work through (and eliminate) some of the old beliefs and fears that you have around interacting with new people.
Start by thinking of the last time you were in a social setting with new people. You can also think of an upcoming networking or social event. Imagine it in your mind as vividly as possible.
Tap this protocol out loud.
On your Karate Chop (KC) Point:
Even though I hate small talk, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I avoid small talk, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I look down on people who small talk, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Top of your head (TH): Small talk is stupid.
Eye Brow (EB): I hate it.
Outside of the Eye (OE): It is a complete waste of time.
Under Eye (UE): I have better things to do than chit chat.
Under Nose (UN): It’s an outdated song and dance
Chin (CH): I want no part of it.
Collarbone (CB): I am above that sort of thing.
KC: besides, I shouldn’t HAVE to small talk.
TH: I don’t really like other people anyway.
EB: I keep to my own, thank you.
OE: But this bravado isn’t real.
UE: I am afraid.
UN: What if they reject me?
CH: What if I fail?
CB: What if they don’t like me.
KC: I pretend not to care but I do.
TH: Because of my fear, I feel awkward around new people.
EB: I like being around my old friends and family.
OE: They know me.
UE: They know my quirks and accept me anyway.
UN: I don’t have to small talk and play that game with them.
CH: I can relax and be myself.
CB: We can dive right in to talking about important things – things that matter.
KC: Meeting new people isn’t worth exposing myself to rejection.
TH: I have enough friends.
EB: I earn enough money.
OE: I have enough opportunities.
UE: I don’t want to improve and grow through interaction.
UN: Well…that’s not entirely true.
CH: I would love to have more friends who shared my interests.
CB: I would love to earn more money.
KC: I want to have more opportunities for career advancement.
TH: I want to have a more robust and loving support system.
EB: And on some level I know how important small talk really is.
OE: I can’t jump into deep conversation with a new acquaintance.
UE: It scares people. It scares me when someone does that to me!
UN: I know that small talk serves to guide the conversation
CH: It helps us to calibrate our approach to each other so that we can connect well.
CB: By asking simple questions, I show the other person that they are important.
KC: By listening with respect and attention, I can better understand the other person (like I want to be understood).
TH: It sets a precedent for our future relations.
EB: Every time I take the time for small talk…
EB: I have the opportunity to build a strong relationship from scratch.
OE: I choose to embrace small talk.
UE: I choose to give my full attention to the people I meet.
UN: They may become a friend or beneficial contact.
CH: It won’t happen with everybody but it will happen with some people.
CB: I choose to honor my new acquaintances with my time and attention.
KC: Because I never know who that new friend or great contact will be .
Take a deep breath.
You can tap through this sequence as may times as needed prior to a social or business event. It will help you to relax and experience genuine interest towards other people. It will help you to approach social networking opportunities with curiosity and enthusiasm.
If you have deeper concerns or a greater aversion to approaching new people, contact me. We can work together to help you develop a genuine zeal for socializing that works with your strengths.
Have a wonderful weekend!