Do You Have the Right Mindset for Small Talk?
If small talk makes you feel uncomfortable, then you’ve found the right article.
Does the thought of small talk make you feel awkward? Do you question the purpose of small talk? Actually, small talk is probably one of the most useful skills to improve your professional and social life.
Social interactions are not means for you to benefit from others, but for you to help others become more successful.
It doesn’t matter who you are, there are things you know a lot about. This could be your college major, your professional area of expertise, your network, or your unique viewpoint. What you know could immensely benefit another person, whether you realize it or not. Pause for a second and let this sink in. Realize your value. Once you believe in this, the way you view social interactions will be different. To socialize is not to control another person or ask for something, but rather to look for opportunities to collaborate and help each other. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved in social interaction.
Small talk happens to be one of the best ways to start a social interaction.
If you’re reading this article, I assume that you don’t consider yourself very good at small talk. A lot of times, this is psychological. It’s not that you’re not able to do it, it’s that you’re not setting yourself up with the right mindset to be at your best. For this, I recommend two things:
ONE: Tell yourself: “I am the host.”
This is your home court, and you have a home-court advantage. If possible, arrive at the event a bit earlier, act as if you’re the host, and welcome other people. Be proactive. You can ask questions like, “How do you like this event so far?” “What do you think about the catering?” This will indirectly make you feel more confident.
TWO: Tell yourself: “We are just friends who haven’t met each other yet.”
Start with the premise that most people are genuinely nice people. And if you take a step to say hi, they will say hi back, and you can have a pleasant conversation together. And heck, what’s the worst…