From: Business Insider
People hate small talk so much that some hosts have started banning it from their parties
We’d just left a crowded birthday party when a friend told me he admired the way I made small talk.
It’s painful for him, he said, to do the idle chit-chat thing with every new and old acquaintance he meets.
Well, thanks, I wanted to respond. I’ve been watching the Weather Channel all week?
I should have been more sympathetic to his plight. The prospect of making small talk is paralyzing for many people — which is why parties outright banning it are sprouting up across the globe.
The inspiration in many cases appears to be a 2016 article in Wired, in which behavioral scientists Kristen Berman and Dan Ariely write about a dinner party they hosted in this vein. The hosts provided guests with index cards featuring examples of meaningful conversation starters, like suicide prevention and dominatrixes.
According to the authors, “everyone was happier” without the obligation of talking about such trivial topics as the weather or the latest sports game. (The party apparently led to two dates as well.)
Small-talk-free party organizers often cite a 2010 study as evidence that their method is preferable. The (small) study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that college students who held more meaningful conversations were happier than those who engaged in more small talk.
Read the whole story (subscription may be required): Business InsiderMore of our Members in the Media >
So I can never understand how people cannot turn small talk in to an interesting conversation. You have to start somewhere and I honestly cannot see myself saying. “Hi. I’m June, what do you think about the suicide rate in farmers?” I mean if you talk about the weather then our current drought and out of control fires should come up and then how the farmers (who grow our food by the way) comes up and then how they are coping etc. to me this is just normal. Am I a guilty small talk person then?
No @JunePrice, what you say totally makes sense. I think small talk helps you establish that initial connection with the opposite person and helps you gauge their personality, so you can accordingly decide what topic you want to shift the conversation to.
APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.
Please login with your APS account to comment.