Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Smarter Small Talk

Gila Arnold

Do social situations leave you feeling insecure and awkward? Free your inner social butterfly from its cocoon by mastering the art of small talk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

You walk into a crowded simchah hall, only to discover that you don’t know a soul. Do you a) introduce yourself to the first lady you see and launch effortlessly into a half-hour schmooze, b) take a long, deliberate time filling your plate at the shmorg, c) wake up from the nightmare in a cold sweat? If you’re like most people, you probably did not choose the first answer. Few of us are natural-born socialites, gliding through conversations with delightful repartee. For most, the art of small talk is a forced skill, born out of social necessity, not one we look forward to practicing. Yet the advantages of being a proficient small talker go beyond making it through a kiddush with your self-esteem intact. While the term may imply something trivial, small talk is the gateway to so much that we want in our lives. Whether it’s forming meaningful relationships or succeeding in business, using conversation to connect to another person can open doors where brains or talent alone fail.  So for all of you who’ve contemplated skipping an important social event because your couch and a good book were so much more inviting, here’s what to do — and what not to do — to successfully wend your way through small talk in a variety of situations.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Out with the Girls
Yonoson Rosenblum Another progressive revolution that eats its own
And I Will Glorify Him
Eytan Kobre Herman Wouk “made G-d a bestseller”
What You've Learned
Alexandra Fleksher Allow me to let you in on what school is all about
Going Broke
Mishpacha Readers Reader feedback for “The Kids Are Going to Camp..."
Top 5 Ways Jews Try to Lose Weight
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Gaining weight and talking about losing weight
He Soaked Up Our Pain
Rabbi Yaakov Klein A tribute to Reb Shlomo Cheshin ztz”l
Leaving on a High Note
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman And then it happened. I knew it would
Family Matters
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP Not the answers they teach in medical school
Play the Night Away
Riki Goldstein May we all share simchahs, no strings attached!
Fast Thinking
Faigy Peritzman How we react when we're exempt from a mitzvah
Baalat Teshuvah
Rachel Karasenti Don’t ask, “So how did you become frum?”
Confessions of a PhD Graduate
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When it comes to parenting, we’re always learning
Dear Favorite Little Sis
Anonymous I ended up wanting to be like you
Who's Making My Phone Calls?
Sara Eisemann Should I be upfront that I’m calling for myself?