As we enter our twenties we tend to find ourselves with more occasions that call for some small talk. But here’s the problem: we don’t know what to say! Have you ever been in this situation? It can be a real challenge to find something to talk about with people you just met.
Luckily, I have a few solutions.
Whether you are at a cocktail party, sitting next to someone in class, or meeting a significant other’s family, here are some basics to fill that soon to be awkward silence:
1. Prepare ahead of time.
Before you head out to that gathering of yours, prepare in advance of topics to talk about. This might sound silly, but all I’m saying is keep up with the news!
Everyone has some form of news cross his or her path throughout the week. Catch up on the latest celebrity scandals and what’s being debated about in the newspapers. You’ll be glad you did when you can fill that conversation with your own opinions about what’s going on in the world.
P.S. Sign up for theSkimm to get today’s news straight to your inbox. The best part? You can read all of the happenings in the world in less than 5 minutes. Instant conversation.
2. Give a little to get a little.
When trying to have a small side conversation with someone, you can briefly bring up something that you like. Let them know the latest book you’ve read or a movie you’ve seen. Maybe they just read or watched the same thing, or something similar. By suggesting something personal that you like they may feel comfortable enough to share something that they like as well.
3. Let it be all about them.
While we can all only hope that we get stuck with the one person who loves to talk about themselves and fill the silence, this is not always the case. By subtly asking a person questions and urging them to talk about themselves, you’ll be flying through your short conversation!
Ask your companion how their day was or about their job. Generic questions will really do the trick to get you started! Now is the time to become a great listener.
4. Location, location, location.
If all else fails and you’re really stuck in a dead end conversation, talk about your surroundings.
For example, if you’re at a wedding and you’re sitting next to someone you don’t know well, talk about the decorations. What do the centerpieces look like? Isn’t the bride’s dress beautiful? How about that ceremony?
This technique will work for many different occasions such as outdoor events, holiday parties, baby showers, etc.
While no one can really perfect the art of small talk, these tips can certainly help you get through the next uncomfortable silence that crosses your path!