Small talk is an abhorrent chore to most people. Yet chances are most of the non-family relationships you’ve built started with small talk. It’s a key way we get to know others. This video will show you the basics if you’re uncomfortable with it.
As this video from the Art of Manliness explains, many people are uncomfortable with small talk because it’s not very substantive conversation. However, it’s the method we use to get to more “real” talk. You’re also not the only who hates it. Everyone hates small talk, and everyone is just as awkward about it as you are. However, by playing the host and using the ARE method, you can smooth the transition from stranger to friend. The ARE method works like this:
- Anchor: The first step with small talk is called the “anchor”. This is merely establishing something you have in common with the people around you. You’re sharing some kind of experience with the person you want to talk to, so use that as a springboard.
- Reveal: In the reveal stage, you add a little bit about yourself. Don’t get overly personal, but give the other person something about yourself they can find some common ground with. Conversation is mutual.
- Encourage: Once you’ve given someone a little about yourself, encourage them to open up as well. This is usually accomplished by asking questions. As the conversation goes on, ask more questions and make fewer statements about yourself to keep the other person open.
You can adapt these rules as your conversations dictate, but the important thing is that you allow them to happen. Small talk isn’t the enemy of real conversations. They’re the means by which you get there. The video above has a few more tips and examples that can help you learn how to use this method to effectively make new connections.
How to Make Small Talk With Strangers [YouTube]