Often small talk appears to be an art form that not all of us master without difficulties. Over the past year, I learned that like so many things in life it’s all about one thing: Balance.
Small talk has a lot to do with keeping a balance between opposites and today I’m going to explain to you how.
#1 Balance talking with listening.
I assume this is what is hardest for most of us to keep: The balance between talking and listening. If you don’t listen enough, you will sooner or later find yourself in quite a one-sided conversation. “Mhmm…yeah…*nods*…mhmm.” But If you don’t talk enough, neither will your conversation partner.
My two tips in order to keep the balance would be first, to always let the other one finish what he or she has to say, and second, to talk more than the other person rather than remain silent. Because once both of you are silent, things quickly get uncomfortable. Somebody cue the tumbleweed.
#2 Balance being interesting with being nice.
A friend of mine likes to say, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” In many conversations, I feel like people are trying to show off way too much and trying too hard to be interesting – which can sometimes come across as bragging. Try bringing in your own points and own experiences in order to bring forward the conversation, but be careful though to not focus the conversation too much on yourself. Try to be interesting, but try harder to be nice.
#3 Balance revealing with asking.
This balance is similar to what I mentioned before: It will liven up a conversation if include your own experiences and to tell a similar story to what another person has said before. But you should also be interested in the other person and ask questions about his or her personal experiences.
When you don’t ask questions, the other one might believe that you’re not interested in him or her. But if you don’t reveal anything about yourself, though, the other one might not find it as interesting to hear your experience.
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