Small talk tips – Mental health


Talk to anyone, about (almost) anything! Here are tips on how to be good at light talks both at work and in personal relationships.

– So it's still raining? asked a woman in what you came dripping wet into the waiting room in the doctor's office. You have never seen it before, but answer politely: – Yes! Guess when you hug the umbrella together.

The woman who asked it could easily look out the window and quickly find her own weather conditions. But because he asked you, you start a small conversation.

But why are we really talking about rain, wind and "nothing" with strangers?

Can we not let others live in peace and keep our minds for ourselves?

10 small talk tips

1. Smile and ask for eye contact. Don't hesitate to lend a hand. Think about your body language.

2. Remember the information you get is "free", that's what you see and hear about you. Reach for the moment and curiosity and use it!

3. Show something about yourself. This creates security.

4. Show empathy in the conversation partner theme. This shows that you are interested in the lives and actions of others.

5. Praise people if you can.

6. Use the person's name if it falls naturally.

7. Be a good and active listener. By being aware of what is being said, you get information that makes it easier to keep the conversation going.

8. Dig deeper. Ask about "what" and "how". Be careful not to pump up conversation partners so much information that it is considered a clean interview.

9. Religion and politics are complicated topics when you meet unknown so it is not a problem to be there. Remember that other people really disagree with you.

10. Don't give "good" advice unless you are asked.

(Source: Birgitte Sally,

How to Become a Social Winner

Important smallprats

The answer is that small space, or small talk, is far more than a superficial statement about the weather.

In fact, this chat is very valuable in most social contexts. Small snacks that we can't get out of, whether in a work situation, company, in a shop or in a doctor's office.

This can be a door opener for friendship, work, partners, new knowledge or can only help make the day a little more social.

Sometimes it's just a matter of "surviving" a seminar, a wedding where you only know the bride and sit at a table with strangers for hours or family relationships with relatives you haven't met for a long time.

Far from everyone feeling very comfortable with this little snap.

Fortunately, everyone can learn small talk and avoid embarrassing and silent moments in situations where it is actually better and more valuable to use lectures!

Also read: You don't know what introverts and extroverts mean

Ignition key

Thomas Leikvoll, along with Erling Arvola, has written the book "Small talk – how to talk about most with most".

As a programmer and reporter on a number of programs on TV2 and TV3, he could not help just talking about most.

-In this book we are talking about finding a ignition key. That is, themes or interests that capture conversation partners and you can easily get involved, said Leikvoll.

BE: Stay away from topics such as death, divorce, and illness, right, the tone is not easy and unclear, like here. Tjohei!
BE: Stay away from topics such as death, divorce, and illness, right, the tone is not easy and unclear, like here. Tjohei!
photo: Colourbox

Smoke levels are not easy

"To find this contact key, you must start talking about general topics, but still invite you to go deeper," Leikvoll explained.

-Use the context that you meet as the starting point. For example, you can ask questions like: Do you like music / music tonight? Do you play your own instrument? Do you attend concerts / festivals? What is your best / worst music experience? What do you think about the food? Do you like to cook? Have you ever found interesting dishes / restaurants in the past? Smuggling is not always simple – even for those who like it, Leikvoll entertains.

Make a competition

But if you manage to start and hold a conversation, the first rule is to raise your mind and try.

– Challenge yourself and set goals: How many new people should I talk to tonight? Can I find two new personal things about someone I've never met before? In other words, do a little competition for yourself, he suggests.

"You have to tell yourself that other people feel very grateful for taking the initiative so they don't have to do it. And if you fail, it's someone else who has a problem, not you. You at least try and continue to raise your head.

Also read: Check whether you have social anxiety

Safe to ask

Sometimes, a small pizza is something you have to go through.

At mandatory events, such as work meetings or birthday parties with distant relatives, you happen to really want to be home alone in front of the TV rather than talking about the cookies served.

If you want to survive the tiring social context, Leikvoll believes that it is good to ask questions so that the conversation continues.

-Please ask and answer the answer if it fails. If not, ask new questions. For example:

"I just arrived. Did something happen before I came?"

"I've never been here before. Do you have one?

"Will there be entertainment and music afterwards?"

"I like / don't like to dance."

Avoid death and corruption

What should not be discussed?

– Avoid being too personal too fast. In other words, stay away from topics such as death, divorce and illness. True, the tone is not easy and scary and the topics are discussed later, said Leikvoll.

He added that it is usually always safe to ask questions to the people spoken to, and to share their own experiences and live gradually.

Also read: How to get better self-esteem and self-esteem

Creating contact and trust

That we must dare to talk, Birgitte Sally agreed.

He has written two books on small talk and owns the Danish company Sally Kommunikation, which organizes courses on relationships and communication.

In his latest book, Take Contact – Guide to Small Talk, Sally tells you how to get better at chatting.

He stated that if you increase your ability to make contacts and trust, you will be able to use smallprats as a strategy and good in many social contexts, such as contact with neighbors, bosses, coworkers, and other networks.

Make life work better

At work, Sally believes that small roads only make life work better.

However, there is now someone who thinks it's a bit scary to have a conversation with someone you don't know.

Sally, who was educated in psychotherapy, believed it was natural to feel that way. But you can better overcome fear and talk less if you practice.

– The fear of rejection lies deep within humans. You get better at chatting, the more you practice, Sally makes sure.

Brave banal

– What tips do you want to give to people who feel bad in small talk? And how did they start the conversation?

– Have the courage to be shallow. Use all the free information around you. Places, opportunities, buildings, weather, photos, art, nature – Everything you see around you can comment, Sally said.

– Current topics can also work, family, hobbies, education and things in the future, he added.


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