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From Small Conversations To Big Relationships. How To Have A Conversation Even In An Unfamiliar Company - Image, Society
From Small Conversations To Big Relationships. How To Have A Conversation Even In An Unfamiliar Company - Image, Society

Video: From Small Conversations To Big Relationships. How To Have A Conversation Even In An Unfamiliar Company - Image, Society

Video: From Small Conversations To Big Relationships. How To Have A Conversation Even In An Unfamiliar Company - Image, Society
Video: How To Skip the Small Talk and Connect With Anyone | Kalina Silverman | TEDxWestminsterCollege 2023, December

Imagine hearing a conversation like this:

- What awful weather today! The wind almost knocked off my feet until I got to work!

- That's for sure, the wind is hurricane. It seems to me that like yesterday a storm warning was sent to the phone from the Ministry of Emergencies?

- I don’t know, I didn’t receive SMS. Maybe it depends on the operator? What is yours?

- I have MTS.

- Ah, got it! I have YOTA, they rarely send any kind of service information …

- Wow, this is the first time I communicate with a person who has a YOTA operator! And how is their connection, normal?

What's your first impression of this conversation? Everyone to whom I asked a similar question answered: “This is some kind of exchange of platitudes, a conversation about nothing. Probably, either completely strangers or those who are bound by formal relationships, for example, work colleagues, can communicate in this way. This answer is quite plausible because the above dialogue is part of what is called a small talk.

In English-speaking culture, it is customary to divide all communication situations into "big" and "small conversations". "Big" are conducted exclusively "on business" and are more reminiscent of negotiations in which it is necessary to bring your arguments to the interlocutor, make a joint decision and outline a plan for further actions. “Big conversations” always have a clear purpose and lead to a change in the behavior of one or both of the interlocutors.

"Small conversations" are communication on neutral "secular" topics, which most often happens between unfamiliar (or not at all familiar) people.

Why do we need such "empty talk"?

In fact, their meaning is very important:

  • they help to make contact, it is easy to start communication with a stranger;
  • they represent an exchange of positive emotions between interlocutors, create a positive emotional climate of communication;
  • on a psychological level, such a conversation is an exchange of "emotional strokes" that increase the interlocutor's self-esteem;
  • they create a safe environment for the gradual self-disclosure of interlocutors, thereby forming and strengthening trust in each other;
  • they are a necessary prelude to "big conversations", because business issues are easier to discuss when a positive emotional climate is created, we trust the interlocutor.

Technically, it is very simple to start a "small conversation": you must either "throw in" a remark on some neutral topic yourself or support a similar remark of the interlocutor. In the above dialogue, one of the interlocutors shares his impression of the weather, and the other supports and develops (by asking a question) this topic.

What to talk about

In addition to weather, which is the most versatile and safe topic of "small conversations", topics traditionally suitable for small talks are:

1. Life (experience of shopping and / or using things). The above example of exchange of experience about the services of different mobile operators is just about this.

2. Food (new experience - who tried what; branded recipes, etc.).

3. Pets (if they match).

4. Local news (for example, the opening of a new park in your city).

5. New bright positive impressions (from travel, trips, visits to cultural events, etc.).

6. Lifestyle, hobbies, hobbies (if they match).

7. Amusing incidents from your life, anecdotes, humor (use with caution, since the sense of humor is individual and there is a risk of "not getting" into what the interlocutor considers funny).

8. Common acquaintances, colleagues, public figures / celebrities (it is important that this is an exchange of good news, not gossip!).

What not to talk about

There are forbidden topics for "small conversations":

  • problems in your personal life or at work;
  • politics;
  • personal financial situation;
  • family / love relationships;
  • religious or ideological beliefs;
  • "Favorite sores";
  • tragic events (for example, the death of a loved one);
  • appearance and / or age of the interlocutor (even if you compliment someone else's appearance, there is a risk that he will be misunderstood).

I am sure that you have probably met unfamiliar people who have a habit of starting "small conversations" precisely with not recommended topics. And some of the interlocutors, out of politeness, can even keep the conversation going. But it is unlikely that communication on such controversial topics will be pleasant for them, and it is unlikely that this conversation will develop into some kind of permanent relationship.

In conclusion, we add that it would be wrong to perceive "small conversations" as some kind of exotic communication technique that can be used either only at social events or in business relations.

It's quite difficult, but you will surely succeed: try to remember your very, very first conversation with your best friend / girlfriend or with your loved one. What kind of conversation was that? Surely it was the most successful small talk in your life, and not something abstract on the topic of "internal contradictions in the philosophy of Schopenhauer." So take "small conversations" seriously! Perhaps one of them will become the first brick in the foundation of a long and good relationship.