While extroverts can’t wait for new opportunities to meet new people and have a Small Talk with people in general, introverts may avoid it and consider it pointless. Chitchat is a type of conversation we start at stations, airports, supermarkets, parties and all type of gatherings. Chitchat doesn’t include serious topics such as war, politics, death, etc. Talking about the weather is the most common ice-breaker, and then the conversation just flows naturally if people involved are interested in continuing it.

We can make small talk with acquaintances or complete strangers.

Why do we need small talk?

We can’t actually say it’s essential to people’s existence, but we also can’t deny some benefits of chit chatting. Small talk opens the door for deeper conversations and, since we’re sociable beings, we need those. According to Dr. Justine Coupland, this is how we build interpersonal relationships and create an opportunity for future interactions. Talking to someone about random topics can help us decide whether or not we want to keep talking to that person in the future.

It gives us a chance to see if we have something in common. Talking about weather, pets, vacation, hobbies, etc. can give us an insight into the person’s character and create an interest in them. It can, however, reveal some bad aspects of their personality and give us a sign that we shouldn’t spend more time with this person.

Work chit-chat can help build healthy work relationships

Many people, of course, have several people at work they’re really close to and with whom they share private things and woes.

With others, however, we may not be so close, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t interact at all. Chitchatting with co-workers can show your understanding, compassion, support and show your interest in them. This strengthens the bond between you and can lead to forming a really sincere friendship.

The same applies to communicating with neighbors; small talk can help a community become close.

Small talk makes us happy

While we can’t say this applies to all people, it sure works for many. As mentioned before, introverts aren’t fans of talking to strangers, mingling at the parties, etc. so chit chatting probably wouldn’t make them happy. Some people want to enjoy peace and quiet while commuting while others look forward to talking to the person sitting next to them. While it is individual, researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that talking to others on a train can, indeed, make your day better. Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University Of Chicago, claims that social connectedness can make us feel we belong somewhere and increase our health and happiness.

Feeling disconnected, on the other hand, is depressing and unhealthy, Epley says.

How to become good at it

Some people avoid chit chatting because they feel they just don’t know how to do it. They feel it’s boring or awkward, but it doesn’t have to be so. You can practice, just like everything else. Prepare some conversation starters in advance, talk about a recent movie, book, song, etc. Show interest in hearing about other people’s opinion and ask open-ended questions. Don’t talk about yourself all the time. It can be out of nervousness, but this can send a wrong message and portray you as self-centered.

Use chances for asking follow-up questions after a general one but don’t make it look like an interview, keep things relaxed and interesting.

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