It doesn’t take rocket science to discover why introverts love keeping things to themselves and hate small talk. If you’re an introvert like me, you know there’s no need to figure things out because that’s just who we are — we love our company.
However, this doesn’t mean we can’t engage in simple “hi-hello” and “how’s-the-weather” types of conversation.
We shouldn’t let our misconceptions about others get in the way of building new friendships, and vice-versa. Over time, words will come naturally if we’re comfortable with the person we speak to. Consider small talk examples as practice.
How Can I Improve My Small Talk?
People mistake us introverts for being loners, meek, emotionless, and even rude. If we often get lost in our thoughts and worlds, we pay less attention to things happening around us.
We don’t mean to make others feel that way, but unfortunately, people around us think that we act this way because we feel superior.
These are the reasons for most of the misconceptions about us.
While leaving things as they are is okay, we can’t exist in a vacuum. We rob ourselves of the opportunity to meet exciting people by limiting who we interact with.
Consider these tips if you want to know how you talk without being awkward and improve how you handle small talk and your relationships with people.
1. Change your perception of small talk.
If small talks are people, they would also be misunderstood. Why? Because when people hear “small talk,” they often think of trivial, meaningless, and shallow conversations. Apparently, this is not true at all.
Small talk could go beyond trivial questions.
You’re not just making the situation less awkward when you ask someone what they think about the weather. You’re not just being polite. Instead, you’re building a springboard for a deeper, more meaningful conversation.
Remember that jumping to the heavy stuff is more awkward when you meet somebody. Use these simple and light conversational topics to let the other person warm up to you. How you engage in the conversation could tell whether or not you have things in common.
2. Put your anxious thoughts to rest.
As an introvert, I understand how anxious we can get when interacting with people we’re not close with. It’s like getting caught off guard or pushed against the wall; we don’t have enough elbow room to make up excuses and escape.
This explains why we get too anxious. However, I realized that it shouldn’t be this way. Interacting with people isn’t a chore. It’s also not something that requires us to get a good grade. Instead, it should be something fun and exciting.
We don’t need to get worked up thinking we might mess up. Be natural, and just let your personality shine through.
You’re not boring, and these people look forward to knowing you. You’re also not a burden to the people you talk to.
The environment may make you anxious, but remember you control it. You can disregard the pressure the environment brings and focus on having fun.
3. Establish a reason for every interaction.
What do you want to get from a conversation with a new person? Do you want to know this person better, or do you want to practice your communication skills?
If you know what you want, it’s easier for you to develop a structure. We love order and a well-thought plan, right?
Let’s have a clear objective and determine how to get the conversation going.
4. Leave your negative thoughts behind.
I set a high standard for myself, so I always think I need to do a great job. I need to impress people for them to like me. I realized that this “need to please others” gets in the way of building a meaningful relationship with them.
Since I fear being judged, I refuse to try. Why bother talking when I will mess it up later, right? They will laugh at me if I say the wrong things.
If we want to improve how we relate to others, we must be ready to give up the need to please and the fear of messing up. Instead, let’s focus on the people we’re trying to know.
Fear is just a false experience appearing real. It’s not true. It’s not accurate.
Why not leave these stressful thoughts behind and enjoy the conversation? This is like hitting two birds with one stone – you overcome your fear while also winning a friend.
5. Reward yourself for every small talk you ace.
Try positive reinforcement if you’re still adamant about engaging in small talk. For every small talk you engage in, treat yourself.
This routine of positive reinforcement may encourage you to repeat the process. It won’t take long before you can master every conversation you get into.
Small Talk Ideas for Introverts
Here are some scenarios and sample conversation starters to help you out. Try these small talk ideas for introverts and see yourself change over time.
⭐Encourage people to tell a story.
Whether at work or a party, you can significantly spice up every small talk by asking the other person to tell a story. The great thing about this strategy is you convey a message that you’re genuinely invested in the conversation.
And as the other person expounds, you also feel that you’re going beyond the “shallow” convo and transitioning into something more profound.
Instead of asking the following questions:
- Where are you assigned? What department do you work in?
- Did you do something interesting over the weekend?
- How are you?
- When did you start working for the company?
Use these questions instead:
- Tell me more about your role in the company. What’s your success story?
- How was your weekend?
- How are you spending the holiday?
- What do you love about the company?
⭐Open up and share details about yourself.
This could be hard for introverts like us, but let’s challenge ourselves with this one. If you want to go beyond the casual conversation with a workmate or a new friend, it’s worth the effort to go above and beyond.
When someone asks you, “How’s your day?” try to spill a few details instead of answering, “It’s okay.” Maybe you can say something like this – “Actually, I started this day on a high note,” then proceed to share your activities like jogging at 4 AM, exchanging hellos with neighbors, or eating a hearty breakfast.
You can also throw the probing question back by asking, “How about you? How’s your day going?”
You tell the other person you’re willing to converse by opening up and throwing the question back. It also shows genuine interest — a trait that would make people warm up to you faster.
You can also get the other person’s trust if you share your ideas and feelings. Sometimes, we resort to replies like “I’m okay” or “That’s fine” because we hate elaborating. These statements are great conversation-enders. They’re subtle ways of saying, “Go away and don’t bother me again.”
Instead of these, consider expressing your genuine feelings. If you’re hurt, tell the other person you were offended by what they said.
If you’re anxious about not having a suitable reply, you can confess that you may not be good at saying the right words, but you’re a great listener. If someone asks you if you like a particular activity, answer truthfully.
Being genuine can go a long way when you’re trying to build relationships.
Loving small talk may be challenging for introverts like us, but it’s not impossible to master. You may not change the way you handle conversations overnight.
However, you can do much better with genuine interest and continuous practice. Try these tips we shared and see how you win new friends faster and with ease. Good luck, and have a great time out there!
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