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Awkward: Here Is How To Kill Through That Awkward Small Talk

I’m going to be honest here, there have been plenty (plenty!) of “slightly” awkward, don’t-know-what-to-say, come-up-with-something-fast moments – and they are hell! I mean anything worst than that would probably be the missed high-five moment you have with your new co-workers. I’m glad to say though, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are definitely a couple of tricks I keep up my sleeve to smoothly ride through any conversation, turning small talk into an intellectual conversation. So, the number one rule is, “break the mirror.” Now I know it sounds crazy, but according to TED blogger, Chris Colin, small talk tends to come across as awkward and stalled-out because of you “mirroring” the conversation all the time – you know, that symmetrical happening where you tend to answer someones’ question directly, repeating their “obvious” observation right back to them – or worse, agreeing with whatever they have to say. Results? A long, boring and really uncomfortable situation ( I wouldn’t call it a conversation).

Here is what you do!

TED surfaced a brilliant trick that broke the conventional mirror talk. By mirroring an observation or an opinion, you simply follow a social norm that’s been injected into most of us. By just reflecting and agreeing on something, it doesn’t only make you sound boring, but it also paralyzes you from a potential discussion that may lead to a business idea, a date or even land you a job. Here, let me hit you up with an example:

Oliver: It’s a beautiful day!
Michelle: Yes, it really is a beautiful day!  

So wrong!

Oliver: It’s a beautiful day!
Michelle: They say that the weather was just like this when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. If that actually even happened.

See, now that we like! While it may sound strange at first, you leading a simple observation into a discussion, it’s creating small talk! Though notice that you don’t necessarily need to use American tragedies as a conversation starter, but the core message is kinda there: Instead of just reflecting the same thing that the person in front of you is clearly stating, try to innovate and advance the conversation in an unexpected fashion – trust me, they’ll like it!

Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox/Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps