Boy,isn't it hot today? Yeah it is...
Did you see the game last night? What a catch...
It's called small talk. Some people excel in it, others loath it. For the latter, new studies indicate that happy people have more substantive conversations than those who engage solely in small talk. The data don't disclose whether profound conversations causes happiness or vice versa, but a combination of both is likely. Small talk is a useful social skill, even a way to enter into deeper conversations, but intimacy is necessary to build and maintain real bonds.
Matthais Mehl of the University of Arizona suggests four ways to create more rewarding conversations:
- Dare to disclose - substantive conversations don't need to be driven by emotions, but they must involve some personal disclosure. The next time you're having a dialog, try inserting something revealing about yourself and watch the conversation open up.
- Be a full participant - Give your full attention to the person you're talking to instead of thinking of the next five things you've got to do. It will be noticed, and your conversation will be more lively and connecting.
- Find common ground - if you can find common ground, you're on your way to having more meaningful conversations.
- Embrace your environment - Find a place where you feel secure and confident. Whether a discussion is one-on-one or in a group, its important to go where everyone feels comfortable. When people feel relaxed, the guards go down and the conversations go up.
So, what do you think of the latest on cognitive surplus? What a concept! Do you realize...