How To Survive Small Talk

Something I realised recently is that I am actually terrible at small talk. I only realised this when I went to my friend’s friend’s. I had nothing to say to them and the whole night was just awkward.

I’ve never been one to attempt to make small talk. I always laughed at how people would try to make small talk to fill ‘awkward’ silences. I don’t think I’ve ever actually thought a silence was all that awkward either. Hairdressers are notorious for trying to make small talk. They always ask questions like “Are you going anywhere nice on holiday?” or “What are you doing at the weekend?”. I always found these questions a little funny because, let’s be real’ no one cares.

I’ve always seen small talk as something that is completely pointless. I’d rather talk about something more interesting such as aliens or how terrible the education system is. I doubt I would make a good first impression by talking about how the education system is failing people though.


So, I have taken it upon myself to develop my small talk skills. I made these 10 rules to follow to be a small talk pro!

  1. Prepare at least 3 things to talk about before going to meet someone.
  2. Ask about the other person.
  3. Remember the other person’s name.
  4. Don’t just walk away while the other person is talking no matter how boring they are.
  5. Stick to basics if you panic. For example, ask what they are doing on the weekend.
  6. Find a common interest.
  7. Listen more than you talk.
  8. Don’t look around the room while the other person is talking. It makes you look bored and uninterested.
  9. If someone offers you food or drink, try to take it. (Apparently, if you don’t take it you look rude)
  10. If the conversation starts running dry, talk about your surroundings.

*Please note, I take no responsibility if you follow these rules and your small talk is still bad. I never claimed to be a small talk expert. In fact, I am the opposite.

Is anyone else as bad at small talk as me? If you have any tips on how to not be a awkward human during any social situation then please let me know

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  1. January 12, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    This is going to sound horrible, but the best way for me to get comfortable at a party, especially around people I don’t know, is a little friend called alcohol. Then I get along with everyone. I’m horrible at small talk as well and often pretend to be interested in something far into the distance.

  2. abbeylouisarose
    September 30, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    FABULOUS post, thank you so much, Eleanor! Super relevant for me today as I’m meeting a whole new load of people and uni and I’m kinda nervous about making really boring small talk and not making any friends 🙈 If I’m in an awkward situation I just try to remember that it’s probably as bad for the other person as it is for me and that we’re both in the same boat haha!

    Abbey ✨

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