Divorce brings changes which could be finding a different job or needing to acquire a new set of friends.
Small talk is the vehicle to establishing connections with others in one’s post-divorce world.
It can be challenging to make small talk. Individuals have avoided parties and gatherings because the thought of engaging in this is scary.
Small talk is an important skill – whether on the social scene or in networking. It enables one to make crucial contacts in their field. Small talk is necessary to establish a relationship which can result in a sale or a regular client.
Small talk starts out on the surface. You are both fishing around initially to discover a common link – an interest or activity. It might be the stage of life you are currently in – getting a divorce, or being parents to a toddler, etc.
When the common link is found, then a portal opens to a deeper place of communication. You took the plunge and are now having a fulfilling conversation.
There are ways to make small talk less painful and more spontaneous. Attend an event. You have an instant topic of conversation – the concert, rugby match, school play or whatever it is.
A co-worker who loathes small talk joined several MeetUp.com groups. The initial conversations are focused on the specific purpose of the group (hiking, books, travel). She can handle talking about the subject and picking up tips from the other members.
At a party, a good ice breaker is to ask how a person knows the hosts. You may find out that you both have things in common. Other sure topics to get things started, is to inquire about pets/children/grandchildren/holidays.
I comment on a person’s unique jewellery or article of clothing. This often leads to “I bought it in India” and we go on from there. Even something as banal as the weather can start an involved conversation on sports. I talk about how weather impacts my running and they may talk about skiing.
An acquaintance feels small talk can be superficial. She does not like it when strangers at a gathering, ask her questions. She feels this is an invasion of her privacy. People may ask questions to loosen your tongue.
These individuals are merely trying learn a little bit about Rose. If she would volunteer information first, then it would not seem like an interrogation. Rose could turn the table around and ask them questions, thus not feeling on the spot.
People have different levels of what they consider is private. An introvert like Rose, finds it more challenging to open up about their life.
In this digital world, small talk seems to have disappeared. Texting gets right to the point, by-passing the nuances which are picked up when being face-to-face. When in person, if one skips small talk and communicates in the digital style, it would be perceived as too abrupt.
Small talk takes practice, like other things in life.
One does not pick up a violin and play it like a virtuoso on the first try. Nor be proficient at getting goals when learning football.
Start in little increments. Talk to a person standing in the queue at the grocers. Chat with a sales clerk. Work up to more challenging encounters, such as at a wedding reception or Bar Mitzva celebration.
I have made close, life-long friends by starting with small talk.
About Wendi Schuller
Wendi wrote The Global Guide To Divorce.
She is a hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and nurse. She is a dating consultant and releases weekly podcasts.
She has a series of children’s books with the first being, Jack Jack The Jungle Cat.