But here are a few of the lessons I've learned about small talk (I've also learned that every single time I go to type "lessons", I end up with "lesions" instead):
1. Say, "How are you?" And mean it. And if someone says it to you first, answer with sincerity, then say it back. Can you believe I actually had to consciously remind myself of this for a long time?
2. If you don't know what to say, ask a question. Preferably about the other person. As in, "I love your shoes! Where did you get them?" Or, "how do you get your kids to listen so well?" I have one friend who was such a blessing in my teen years. She went out of her way to talk to me. I asked myself one day why she was so easy to talk to. It was because she kept asking me questions. And they were the kind of questions that slowly led me to be more and more vulnerable with her, and really feel like I had a friend who cared. She is a sweetheart.
3. Don't talk only about yourself. It took me a lot longer to learn this particular lesson. I'm still learning it. As sweet as my friend was, we could have been much closer if I had made the same effort. That's where the questions come in handy.
And that's it. With these three tips, I can pretty much talk to anyone about anything. I do struggle in big groups, or if I'm tired or head-achy, but most of the time, I'm ok. Oh, and teenagers are difficult. Teenagers scare me! I never know what to say to them.
Do you have any small-talk tips? How do you start a conversation?
Day One: 31 Days to Real-Life Relationships
Day Two: Be a Good Hostess
Day Three: The Cultivate Family Friendships Challenge
Day Four: The Book Club Bench
Day Five: The Ask-a-Friend-for-Help Challenge
Day Six: The Do-Something-Scary-with-a-Friend Challenge
Day Seven: The Most Important Relationship
Day Eight: Be Thankful in Relationships
Day Nine: Girls' Night!
Day Ten: Accept Offers from Others (No Guilt Allowed!)
Day Eleven: How to Make Friends
Day Twelve: A Pleasant Home
Day Thirteen: A Different View of Birthday Cards
Day Fourteen: Laugh Together
Day Fifteen: The Plan-A-Family-Outing Challenge
Day Sixteen: The Smile Challenge
Day Seventeen: Get Enough Alone Time
Day Eighteen: The Power of an Apology
Day Nineteen: Give Your Time
Day Twenty: Mail Letters to Friends and Family