The Lalatalking Between Classes

Why Small Talk is Underrated

There are several reasons why small talk is not only essential but is actually rather lovely. I think people can find joy in the small interactions more and understand that we need something to start every relationship we create. It might be difficult to create a relationship with someone if you march up to someone and immediately ask where they see themself in ten years. Common decency requires us to start chatting about something light first. But what we don’t realize is how valuable that small talk really is.

It creates common ground, or a connection.

The connection that is created in a minute is sometimes one that lasts. Talking to a stranger for a moment and letting your smile linger is something we don’t appreciate enough. I remember some of the smallest interactions I’ve had as meaningful in a different way. An act of kindness doesn’t have to be big to be important. And just asking someone how they are or giving a genuine compliment is a very small, but essential act of kindness.

It opens both people up.

As I said, small talk is required in order to be respectful. Sure, we can’t go straight for the most important topics, but there’s something so essential about a small connection. You can’t have fire without a spark. You need something to build off of. Small conversations, when started with a positive attitude and best intentions, can actually really start something amazing. I can actually remember the small talk I started with for most of the friends I’ve made. Maybe I complimented them, or talked about the class we shared. But either way, it started something and was a needed bridge for the friendship.

It’s a quick way to know if someone is worth your time.

If someone is already acting rude or disinterested during small talk then they aren’t the kind of person who is willing to be patient. Someone who isn’t willing to put the time in or already shows they’re a negative person during a small conversation shows you you shouldn’t spend more time on them. People show who they are in big actions, but also in small conversations. Is their small talk always complaints? Do they seem to never care what your response is? These are little things to look out for. two women talking Mimi Thian

The hate isn’t justified, just redirected.

Small talk can be awful, I get it. But is it the small talk or the person you have to talk to? I think when we dread the small talk we’re really just dreading the person or the awkward social interaction. But a simple question like how are you or where are you from can be wonderful is asked with genuine interest and a willingness to listen. The problem isn’t small talk but our attitudes towards it. Not every conversation has to be juicy. There’s nothing wrong with bonding over something small you have in common.

It can cheer you up.

Sometimes all you need is a kind stranger. Talking about the weather in an elevator can be the one bright spot on a bad day. There’s something about a conversation with no motive and no stress that is so uplifting. Asking someone how they are may seem like something we do to just be polite, but it’s actually a really thoughtful question when asked genuinely. Sometimes all you need is a small moment to make all the difference.

Photos: Her Campus Media Library