How to move beyond small talk: a step-by-step guide

How to move beyond small talk: a step-by-step guide

Image in Creative Commons

Have you ever found yourself at an event stuck answering boring questions like “what do you do?” or “where are you from?” and wondering what to talk about next?

I call this the Small Talk Trap.

At first, everything seems to be going well, but after a few basic questions the conversation stalls. Due to my introversion, I often found myself talking to extroverts and stuck in the Small Talk Trap. As a result, my conversations would fizzle. Eventually, the other person would say something like, “Okay… nice to meet you…” while walking away.

It took me a lot of reading and some uncomfortable experimentation to find a way out of the Small Talk Trap. Today, I want to share the simple system I use to get to an interesting conversation.

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AWAKE #introverts! Work from your strengths for smoother sailing

There’s a metaphor online which I referenced in my book Communication Toolkit for Introverts. It ties in with this chapter of AWAKE #introverts! Work from your introvert strengths for smoother sailing. In general, it’s this:

In some ways, we are like a sailboat. A sailboat can have problems. These problems are like our weaknesses. Could be holes in sails or, worse, holes in the boat.

If any hole in a sailboat is not patched up – trouble!

Sailboats have sails to manage their travels. Consider sails like our strengths. Sails get hoisted, trimmed, and deserve attention to know how they are working and their condition. If we don’t pay attention to maximizing what the sails do, we can find ourselves not going anywhere, going slower than we want, or not at all.

† How has your belief or disbelief of commonly stated introvert myths helped you or hurt you in your everyday communication? It may be time to …[Continue Reading…]

Top 10 Chicken Quotations Disguised as One Introverts Humor

Everyday sayings, Top 10 Chicken Quotations Disguised as One Introverts Humor, about chickens, can give a person pause to think about how one of God’s little creatures could be so prevalent in our daily lives. It just seemed like an interesting comparison. If you’re more of an introvert and ever find yourself feeling “chicken” in any way, consider some chicken quotations to help you the next time you feel – chicken-hearted. [Continue Reading…]

9 worst people for introverts to be with in elevators #infographic

9 worst people for introverts to be with in elevators #infographic

If mindfulness, meditation and being grateful can’t get you to a place of peace, this just might be the little bit of humor to help ease whatever pain you might find!

When I saw this elevator #infographic I smiled, chuckled and laughed aloud. Of course with it being in the context of the more introverted of us it rings all too true an experience.

Caveat: it’s really not elevators that are a problem. The issue is what people who ride elevators often do that can be disruptive.

Here are a few highlights for me of some of

9 worst people for introverts to be with in elevators

Chime in!

9 worst people for introverts to be with in elevators #infographic#2 The Hot Seat – Whether a boss, a co-worker or an acquaintance, small talk is something I just avoid, and not just in an elevator. When it is it an elevator, pressing the number to my floor to get me to my destination more quickly seems like a solution.

#4 Front Row at the Peep Show – I’m married to an extrovert. What I appreciate is a venture out into different experiences in the world because of him. Take going to a local comedy for over a year. At first, we sat in comfortable mid-theater seats. Then he wanted to move right up front. Eventually, he wanted to wear his most outrageous shirt up front, first row. Why? Because he loves being “on stage” with the comedians. Being that close makes me wish I’d said no.[Continue Reading…]

Labels serve a purpose but are they any good? #introverts

Do you label people? How does that work for you?

How do you think labeling ourselves as introvert or extrovert affects us?

I’ve grown up with “label with caution.” Even when I facilitate a workshop, I ask people to place a tent card with their name on it, so I don’t acknowledge them with a, “Hey you” label. Oh dear, but aren’t names labels? If they are, is there anything wrong with that kind of label?[Continue Reading…]