Small-talk is what comes naturally to us. We’d all like to believe that we have an innate ability to connect with everyone we meet on such a profound level that deep conversations pour out of us like hot coffee out a jug – but it doesn’t. It’s often a struggle and maybe that’s what makes meaningful conversation so desired, it’s rare.
On a slow Sunday, the mind tends to wander. You ask yourself, why is it so hard to have memorable conversation with people, we are, after all, all human. We have the fact that we’re alive in common and a vast universe of topics to talk about, so why is it so taxing to strike up deep chats on a daily basis?
Well, for the very reason you just said – we are all human. And being ‘all human’ comes with a great deal of insecurity and what is born out of the repugnant depths of insecurity is small-talk. Are you starting to see the cyclical nature of sociology here?
Business Insider have condensed the limitless complexities of human connection into a few clear points of how to transform your boring by-the-watercooler chat into deep and memorable conversations.
1. Have some deep conversation starters ready (but don’t be too eager to use them)
Spontaneity can sometimes be overrated. And if you’re looking for a flawless deep conversation, you shouldn’t be relying on your improv skills. Come with a few topics prepared but try to bring them up organically, see below for what top avoid.
Them: “So, like, what do you do?”
You: “Contemplate a lot about my place in the universe, whether anything matters, or whether our infinitesimal stature in the wider plain of existence nullifies any consequences we consider impactful. In essence, is there a point of anything?”
2. Focus on what they’re interested in
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People are far more willing to open up to you if you show an interest in them and their interests. You’re the one looking to get deep so explore a band or piece of art or hobby that your conversation partner is interested in and crack them open like a nut.
3. Avoid run-of-the-mill topics
This one should be simple but when it comes to making the small-talk to deep-talk transition, nothing kills the connection like mundane chatter. Stay away from any weather or climate led discussions at all costs.
4. Let them into your world
Show a bit of yourself off. Show that you can converse respectfully and interestingly. The golden rule to having profound conversations boils down to two singular things: Be interesting and, more importantly, be interested.