The LeSabre

Making an end to small talk

Tarah Casper, Journalist

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Our world is so full of small talk. From texting out of boredom to talking about the meaningless to fill a silence, we are bombarded with pointless chit chat. What if we upped our game when it came to conversations by asking the big questions right off the bat?

When we meet someone new, we start with the basics, our names, occupations, basic background info…and then what? Grasping for common ground, it is easy to slip into the mundane and meaningless small talk to fill the awkward space. Not only are we, as a society, afraid of silence, but we are afraid of being vulnerable and being honest. We are scared or “Big Talk,” or deeper, more meaningful conversation.

Is there something wrong with asking deeper questions upon first meeting someone? Society or the fear of being seen as “nosy” or “awkward” may push us to scream YES! But, truly, there is nothing wrong with being more open and asking more than the superfluous things. In an article in the NY Times titled The End of Small Talk, Tim Boomer shares why he sees and has found the value in engaging in “Big Talk” from the beginning. His article is very persuasive and provides a fresh perspective.

So instead of asking the simple and mundane things, let dig deeper in our conversations. People love talking about themselves. In asking questions that allow them to open up about who they are and share a part of their story will be liberating for them and help break the proverbial ice that always seems to hold people apart. It is beautiful and touching to get to look further into people’s lives. It takes guts and may not be easy or appealing at first, but what could you possibly lose from giving it a try? And if it turns out that you don’t get a positive response, well don’t let it get you down. Just follow Boomer’s example: take a deep breath and ask the questions that will connect you and bring you closer to those with whom you interact.

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