3 Steps to Break Free of Small Talk
You know that feeling when a conversation full of potential downgrades to weather-talk? When you really want to hit it off, but you can’t seem to crack the shell of the interaction – that feeling where you’re both talking, but you’re not really getting anything out of it? When you’re striving to reach a deeper state of caring, a stronger sense of connection, a more important level of communication – when something or someone is important to you – small talk simply won’t do. But what will? How do you break the wall? What can you do to break free of small talk?
There is a myth most of us carry around, day in, day out: polite is right. How much can you really say, without being labeled an over-sharer? How deep can you really go, when you’re worried about things in your personal life it wouldn’t make any sense to share with a stranger or acquaintance? The fact of the matter is we know our social rules well – too well. And sometimes, they get in the way.
But here’s the thing – it’s not about how much we share. It’s about what we share. Because if you think about it, if you stay at the surface – you’re never going to get to the depths. Honesty is better. Honesty about who you are and what’s important to you.
Come Out Of Hiding
Everyone stays at the surface because no one wants to be the one to let down their walls. No one wants to be the one to say what they really think. What they really believe. How they really feel. The truth about them. And when we’re bottling it up, erecting walls around it, in a way what we’re saying is “who I am is impolite.” Sharing is a risk – but it’s the kind of risk which carries a pretty great upside. Leading the way and opening up doesn’t just open up more subjects for you – it tells the other person it’s okay to do the same.
Share What’s Important To You
We end up avoiding real honesty because of our shared understanding that conversation is reserved to celebrating weather, daily happenings, and the good things in our lives. An affirmation that our deepest selves are impolite. And nothing could have been further from the truth. Because that’s the point isn’t it? In conversation, we want to know each other. To understand what drives we have, what stories we hide, what universal truths we reveal about the human condition.
Really, we just want to connect.
So be the first to speak up, to share, to be open and honest. Be the first one to break free from small talk and see what happens.
Pedro is a student of life, podcaster, and the founder of clootzlife.com, where he helps driven and passionate 20-somethings build a life out of what’s important to them, and not the other way around.