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9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even if You’re an Introvert)

9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even if You're an

“That’s all small talk is – a quick way to connect on a human level – which is why it is by no means as irrelevant as the people who are bad at it insist. In short, it’s worth making the effort.”— Lynn Coady

 Introverts naturally despite small talk because, in some ways, it seems forced or unnatural. However, deeper connections have to begin somewhere, which means sitting through a few generic conversations to start with. An easy question like “What do you do for work?” can easily lead to other exciting topics. Just because the discussion doesn’t include in-depth issues right off the bat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know someone.

If you think about it, all connections begin with some form of small talk that an introvert seems to dread. Thinking back to your very first date with your significant other. You can probably recall it being a little awkward. You may also have not talked about anything beyond surface-level stuff, like your jobs, family, or favorite movies. Humans need to build up a level of comfort before they delve into the more complex or sensitive conversation.

An introvert doesn’t digest this well, however, as they have a more challenging time with small talk. They crave stimulating, deep conversations and want to skip the awkward phases. Many introverts (and maybe even some extroverts) find typical conversation topics uninteresting and impersonal. For introverts, the societal rules surrounding social interactions between new people seem oppressive and inauthentic.

Why introverts hate small talk

  • It usually lacks in depth and meaning. Introverts need either in-depth intellectual discussion or an emotional connection. They don’t want to know “what’s up.”
  • It creates barriers between people. Talking about societally acceptable topics such as jobs, the economy, or kids gets boring for introverts. They believe this doesn’t allow room actually to get to know someone on a soul level.
  • It seems forced or fake. An introvert needs authenticity, and small talk seems like the exact opposite of that. They crave conversations where they can get lost for hours and truly vibe with someone.
  • Small talk lacks real emotion. Since introverts thrive on emotional connections, small talk drains them. They may overshare when getting to know someone because of this.

If you have trouble with small talk as either an introvert or extrovert, perhaps the following tips can help you.

9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even as an Introvert)

1 – Ask the other person to tell a story, or suggest one yourself.

If you feel unsatisfied in your conversation with someone, maybe ask them to tell a story about themselves. People usually love to tell personal information about themselves, which gives you a chance to get to know them. Try these questions when the conversation stalls or you want to shift in a new direction:

  • “What’s the most interesting thing about your job?”
  • “What’s your favorite thing about where you grew up?”
  • “How did you choose your career/job?”
  • “What would you do to earn an income if money was no object?”
  • “What is the coolest place you’ve traveled to?”

These questions don’t cross any lines or push boundaries, so they still fit in with small talk. However, they allow you to get a little more out of a person than the usual questions. They can also make great icebreakers that lead to even more in-depth conversation.

2 – Be authentic.

Introverts crave authentic conversation and people but may have trouble expressing themselves honestly. However, if you want to attract these types of people, you have to be bold. Don’t pretend or hide who you are for the sake of fitting in. People love honesty, and if you don’t want boring conversation, bring something interesting to the table.

Express your real thoughts and feelings, even if you feel afraid of what others may say. Just remember that your people will love your realness, and the people meant for you will stick around. Not everyone will love you, but don’t let this stop you from being yourself.

For example, if you find yourself at a party, you can use these as your guide:

  • “I honestly don’t go to parties much. I feel kind of awkward being here.”
  • “I am kind of bashful at first, but I warm up after a while.”
  • “I’m better at listening than talking, honestly.”
  • “Sometimes, I want to walk away from my job and travel. Do you ever feel that way?”
  • “It took all my energy to come to this party! Being an introvert is hard.”

Of course, you can tweak these to fit your personality and life circumstances. This will hopefully give you a few fresh topic ideas for your next social event, though, and help you feel more comfortable.

3 – Share small details about yourself.

It would help if you did not get too deep with this, but sharing facts about yourself helps others feel comfortable, too. For example, you could talk about what you love to do after work or a cool place you recently traveled to. Small talk doesn’t have to equate with the mind-numbing, flat conversation. The more you contribute and share, the more others will follow your lead.

4 – Ask more why questions.

If you ask someone’s favorite ice cream flavor, you get an answer and then move on to something else. However, when you ask why questions, it helps the conversation expand. For example, if you ask someone about their career, you could ask why they chose it. This could apply to anything, such as why someone prefers nighttime to daytime or why they drink black coffee.

Simply put, asking people why makes them contemplate their answer more, which can lead to some interesting conversation avenues.

Here are the habits of introverts that most people.misunderstand.

5 – Keep in mind that small talk can boost your happiness.

If you have an aversion to small talk, keep in mind that even an introvert can benefit from a brief conversation. In fact, studies have proven that idle chit-chat or “shooting the breeze” increases feelings of belonging. It also boosts people’s happiness, whether they had a quick conversation with a mailman or their barista. Humans were wired for connection, but in our fast-paced world, we often miss out on it.

We spend train rides staring at our phone screen or listening to music instead of saying hi to the person next to us. However, this disconnection only increases tension and anxiety. If you want to feel more engaged with your surroundings, smile at a stranger or give a compliment to your neighbor. You’ll feel better, even as an introvert.

6 – Don’t overthink it.

We realize that overthinking and introvert often belong in the same sentence, but they don’t have to! We overcomplicate so many mundand things in our lives by thinking about them too much. When you socialize with people, go with the flow and don’t force conversation. Listen if you feel more comfortable doing that, and talk when you have something to contribute.

If you worry about awkward silences, remember that the other person probably feels the same way. Try to remember that other people are human too and that we all have some degree of social anxiety. If you genuinely listen and act friendly toward people, you’ll make a good impression.

7 – Talk about something meaningful to you.

Small talk only gets a bad rap because people expect of others what they won’t give themselves. In other words, conversations with people don’t have to stay superficial and devoid of meaning. If you want to steer any conversation in a different direction, talk about things you enjoy. Perhaps the other person will find the topic just as interesting and have a lot to contribute as well.

8 – Try to find some common ground.

Maybe you and other people have similar hobbies or went to school for the same degree. Finding common ground with people helps you establish a bond and perhaps a friendship. If you find similarities between you and someone else, you’ll feel less awkward during small talk.

9 – Listen and be engaged with the conversation.

You don’t have to talk constantly to have a good connection with someone. Do not put a lot of added stress on yourself about what you’ll say next. Instead, practice active listening, don’t look at your phone while they talk, and smile when appropriate. If you decide to look forward to social interactions rather than dread them, it could change your whole outlook on small talk.

Final thoughts about how to master small talk as an introvert

Many introverts loathe small talk, but perhaps it just requires a change in perspective. Instead of dreading it, think about how you and the other person can benefit from it. What can you learn from the other person? What can you share with them that could improve their life? Look at social interactions as a chance to make an impact on someone’s life and vice versa.

This way, you’ll start looking forward to small talk instead of wanting to avoid it at all costs.


15 Character Traits That Reveal Someone Is an Introvert

15 Character Traits That Reveal Someone Is an Introvert

The character traits of an introvert are ones that indicate a life of solitude. Introverts feel most comfortable when they are alone and left to their thoughts and ideas. They come across as shy and quiet, but sometimes that isn’t the case.

They tend to rely on their mind to recharge their energy, whereas extroverts rely on others to recharge. Neither of these methods is wrong, it’s just the differences between the personality types.

Introverts tend to share many of the same character traits. With up to half of the people in the United States being an introvert, you likely know a few of them. It can be easy to identify an introvert if you know the character traits associate with the personality type.

15 Character Traits of an Introvert

1. They Enjoy Being Alone

Introverts look forward to time alone, while other people may dread the thought of alone time. They require solitude often to stay happy. The activities they enjoy tend to be ones that can be done alone because that’s when they feel the best.

This fact does not mean that your introverted pal will never want your companionship. Instead, it means that they thrive when they’ve spent time recharging their batteries–alone!

2. They Need Quiet to Concentrate

When there are things or sounds happening around them, introverts will struggle to focus. They may begin to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Introverts become distracted more often than extroverts do, which is why they need quiet.

3. They Take Time to Make Decisions

Making decisions right away is not something an introvert can do. They have to think about it, weigh the options, and reflect on their feelings first. Then, after thinking about it and making a plan, they will be ready to make a decision.

4. Social Interaction Drains Introverts

Some people want to have plans every weekend, whereas introverts are the opposite. An introvert may still go out of go to a party, but they won’t stay as late and they won’t go every time. By the end of the night, they are ready to be comfortably back in their own home.

Introverts will feel exhausted after they’ve spent time around a crowd of people. They may feel stressed out and need a quiet day to themselves afterward to recuperate.

5. They are Often Thought to be Shy (and this misconception happens often!)

By people who don’t know them well, introverts are often described as being shy. This is because they prefer to be quiet and reserved.

They think about what they want to say and consider it heavily before speaking, so they may not speak much. Small talk isn’t something they will enjoy, so they would rather sit quietly instead of participating in a conversation.

6. They are Introspective

Introverts are often daydreamers who plan things out in their mind before things into action. They won’t begin on any project until they have had a good amount of time to think it through.

Often, they spend time self-reflecting and learning more about the things on their mind. This allows them to understand themselves and their feelings better. They are highly interested in making progress on their interests, and they prefer to feel prepared and ready.

7. They Learn by Watching

Introverts prefer to learn by watching the task be done. Through repeated observation, they can focus on the motions until they can do the task on their own. If they are required to learn in a hands-on way, they prefer to do it alone until they perfect it.

8. They Work Better Alone

Introverts dread group projects and can become overwhelmed quickly when they have to participate in one. They can work better on their own because they can focus better, allowing them to work more effectively.

It’s not that introverts don’t work well with others, it’s just that they can focus better alone. Some of this could come from the socialization aspects because it can cause anxiety or distraction for an introvert.

Due to this, they tend to look for jobs that allow them to always work alone. They gravitate toward careers such as being a writer, accountant, programmer, graphic designer, or artist.

9. They Love Deeply

Introverts might shy away from falling in love quickly. But when they finally find someone special, look out! They love deeply and genuinely care about the people in their life. They keep their group of friends and loved ones small, and they highly value those relationships. This is one of the reasons that they love more deeply than extroverts.

Since they think things through so much, introverts like to show people how much they love them. They tend to do this by surprising their loved ones with small acts of kindness.

10. They Zone Out Often

This could be related to their introspective qualities. When they can, they will zone out to escape their current situation.

They let their mind wander from what they are supposed to be doing to what they would rather be doing. This happens most often when they are feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable in the present environment. Others may think it means they are unfocused or being rude, but it’s a way of survival for the introvert.

11. They are Loyal

Introverts take a long time to get to know someone. They also keep their group of friends small. So, when you become close to them, they will always be loyal to you.

Since they have invested so much into the relationship, you can expect they won’t blow you off or betray you. They will also be extremely hurt if you betray them or end the friendship.

12. They Have a Close Group of Friends and Like to Keep it That Way

While they prefer to be alone, introverts do have close friends who they enjoy spending time with. They will keep their group of friends small, and will often resist new friends. It’s normal that they only have relationships that make them happy and are quality relationships.

13. They Like People to Make a Plan Before Coming Over

Introverts don’t like anything to be unexpected, but unexpected visitors are a big issue for them. Since they think things through so much, they tend to have plans for themselves. Unexpected visitors throw off their plans, and they may not have the energy to host anyone.

They want to plan for visitors and they have to prepare themselves for the company. It’s a big source of discomfort and annoyance to them when this isn’t how it works out.

14. Their Preferred Method of Communication is Through Writing

They are more comfortable writing their words than speaking them. This is especially true when they haven’t had time to prepare what they are going to say. They like to focus on their words and consider how it sounds, which is only possible through writing.

So while you won’t get many phone calls, expect lots of long text message to keep in touch!

15. They Don’t Answer the Phone

If they don’t recognize the phone number, they won’t ever answer the phone. Sometimes, even when they do recognize the number, they still won’t answer. They don’t like to talk in certain places or situations, so they’ll avoid all phone calls during those times.

Another reason they may avoid phone calls is that it could be interrupting a personal project they are working on. They also won’t answer if they are in a bad mood or thinking something through.

Plus, you have to remember that introverts don’t enjoy small talk. Oftentimes, phone calls require small talk and it makes them feel uncomfortable just thinking about it. To get ahold of them quickly, you will want to send a text message so they know what it’s about.

More to Know About Introversion

There are Different Levels

Not all introverts will exhibit every character trait associated with it. Sometimes they will have a few characteristics that are common to extroversion, but more of the qualities of an introvert. Their characteristics may also change as they grow older and they process things differently.

What Causes Introversion?

While no one is certain about what causes someone to be an introvert or extrovert, there are some ideas. There is some evidence that supports the idea that genetics plays a role in someone’s characteristics. Evidence also shows that it can depend on a person’s childhood and their environment.

Research shows that introverted brains work differently, and these folks have more blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brain. This is the part of the brain that helps with memory, problem-solving, and planning.

Introverted people are also affected by dopamine differently than those who are extroverted. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is directly related to pleasure and reward. For introverts, it creates a feeling of exhaustion and stress while extroverts become excited by it.

Final Thoughts on Character Traits That Reveal an Introvert>

Introverts share many of the same character traits, although they may not have all of the traits on this list. Knowing these character traits can help you understand introverts better, allowing you to communicate and interact appropriately.

Although they are much different than extroverts, introverts still like to spend time with extroverts. They enjoy going out once in a while, although they may want to be back home earlier. Even if they love solitude, they will participate in fun events and socialize regularly.

They tend to be more reflective, thoughtful, and loyal. Plus, they seem to love more deeply. If you have an introvert in your life, you should value the relationship and keep them around.