What do you small talk about? : Prashant Mendiratta

smalltalk1Often while travelling in a metro or in a party or in networking luncheons during conferences, person next to you tries to engage in a small talk.

This talk could be about weather, cricket. Usually such conversations have no informative or a functional value.  The main purpose of this small talk could be to start a conversation with you or to just fill up the awkward silence.

How to you respond? Do you go along and keep talking or abruptly end the small talk by simply walking away.

Sometimes a small talk could also be between two very well acquainted people. You meet someone who you know very well on the way to a bank and you are already running late. This is how it happens:

You: How are you?
Other Person: I am fine.  Thanks. How about you?
You: I have to run. Catch you later.

small talkThe main purpose to this small talk was to just acknowledge each other and not a conversation opener.

Small talking with your spouse is little different in the sense that with people you are really close to, you don’t talk about weather or cricket or movies. Usually you would complement how good other person is looking. Oh.. this dress really suits you. Suck kind of small talk is more collaborative and personal.

So usually by observing the pattern of small talk you could judge the relationship between them and the circumstances around which the small talk occurred.

Once you initiate the small talk you can judge by the other person response if he is really interested in striking a conversation with you. For instance

You: Lovely weather; isn’t it.
Other Person: Yes.

A short and curt reply like this means that it is time to move away and try small talk with someone else.

You: Lovely weather; isn’t it.
Other Person: Yes. Very unusual for this time of the year.

A reply like this is a clear invitation that you are very welcome to pursue further in your talk and often this leads to a closer relationship.


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