Do parties—or other gatherings that require you to interact with strangers or acquaintances—strike panic in your soul?
You’re not alone.
As I conduct research for my upcoming book on friendship, I’ve found that most people have experienced discomfort when attempting to strike up and maintain a conversation with someone they don’t know well.
But here’s an important observation. If we tried to avoid small talk, because of the tensions involved, it would likely prevent us from making friendships over time.
While small talk may sometimes be dismissed as the meaningless “fluff” of communication, it’s actually an essential building block for connecting with others.
To help take the mystery out of the daunting task of small talking, I’ve engaged another round of experts who’ve devoted themselves to studying human interaction. (If you missed the first round of interviews on friendship, you can check out that series here.) Continue reading →