Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Small Talkin'

Recently I found myself in a conversation with close friends on the subject of "small" talk.  The majority of them were quite skilled in the art of random breezy conversation and are almost always willing to approach anyone, anywhere. not.  They found this initially surprising seeing as how I love to talk.  I do immensely enjoy it a lot, which is why I tend to be a great conversationalist.  When it comes to trying to land a topic to converse about with an acquaintance or mere stranger though, well that always seems a bit daunting to me.  Where do you start?  The evolution of Jay-Z's career from mere rapper to true visionary?  The sudden over-saturation of whiskey bars in the city?  Perhaps something more simple such as eReader or paper copy?  It's all so superficial, and yet very personal at the same time.  Not to mention the sheer vastness of topics available of which to converse on.  While my friends did not leave me to feel bad about this personal flaw of mine, and even offered up some helpful suggestions, I could not help but still think I must be one of just a few grown adults suffering from this affliciton.  As luck would have it though, a blog post by one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, entitled "Do You Struggle to Make Conversation? A Menu of Options for Small Talk" turned up in my inbox a couple days later as a recommended read for myself. [Don't worry, the irony is not lost on me.]  Such a post made me a feel a little more validated, and a lot less like an awkward-adult-for-my-age.  All the better still, the advice seemed very...advisable.  At no point on the list did I see anything suggesting to talk about something as pointless as what someone's favorite shot is.  [That's a pointless topic of conversation, because I don't even take shots, and the question then only leads into further provoking, which inevitably ends in me becoming comepletely and utterly annoyed.  So it's more of an argument between two people who don't know each other well at all, rather than it would ever be a conversation.  And you think you have problems...]  With that then I am excited to unveil my new grab bag of small tlk topics as inspired by Rubin's post.

1.  Comment on a topic common at the moment.  Seeing as Target is the place I most spend my time at while out in public, I now will be dropping the line "Have you ever really broken down the economics of these seven year light bulbs versus the two year ones?"
2.  Comment on a topic of general interest.  I think it's safe to say that everyone is a Housewives fan so this is an easy one..."Which housewife do you most identify with?"
3.  Ask a question people can answer as they please.  I mean again, "Which housewife do you most identify with?"
4.  Ask questions that can't be answered with a single word.  So "where did you go to high school" isn't going to fly on this one.  Instead though opting for something along the lines of "where else have you lived since high school?" should give a more elaborate response, and greater insight into what kind of weird this person really is without prying too much.
5.  Ask getting-to-know-you questions.  "Why do you identify as that houswife?" should suffice.
6.  Be slightly inappropriate.  "What the f**k were you doing beforehand?" spices up a quick meet and greet, when the voice pitch is correct.

So who's up to chat sometime soon?

{Image Credit: The Sartorialist}

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