A Neurotic’s Guide To Small Talk
Did you read this hilarious Guide To Small Talk?
It’s like a thoughtful gift from a dear friend. That is how much I resonate with it.
I am deadbeat when it comes to acing small talk. I’ve tried to memorise icebreaker jokes, listen to podcasts like “The Dinner Party Download” that is aimed at spicing up your cultural knowledge to be able to come across as an engaging personality in parties.
After years, I now have accepted that the first 30 secs are going to be awkward. Eloquent one liners will not always come to me or that I won’t always be armed with a captivating question. And scintillating inquires into the deepest meaning of life does not have to made with thin the first few minutes.
For the longest, when someone asked me the question, “How are you doing?” I wondered if it were a rhetorical question or it needed me to hand out an honest answer.
Apparently this is a common problem.
Q: “Hey, how’s it going?”
In this instance, the speaker is somewhat interested in knowing how you are, but only the smallest details. Don’t over-share, but don’t under-share, either. Keep your answer succinct and stop doing that thing with your hands. Everyone is watching you do that thing with your hands and the longer you stand there, the more prominent the hand thing becomes.
Q: “What time is it?”
Look at your watch. It’s 6:47. Do you say “quarter to 7”? Maybe. That’s probably safe. But then what if this person has somewhere to be at 7? Now your whole “quarter to 7” statement makes her think she has an extra two minutes to get there. Cut to 13 minutes from now and that person is late for her extremely important obligation. Say “6:48.” Yes. That’s good. Breathe.
Read the whole guide here. It made me laugh out loud and reminds of all the times my brain ties my tongue in a strange knot.
Where are you from is my favorite.
Illustration by Leif Parsons