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.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time