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  • A lot of people tend to be really

  • scared of small talk.

  • They don't wanna end up in awkward

  • situations where they don't

  • know what to say.

  • >> Yeah,

  • how bout them Dodgers, though?

  • [MUSIC]

  • >> Hey everybody, welcome back to

  • another video from Think Tank with

  • Hannah Cranston and John Iadarola.

  • We're gonna have a little bit of

  • awkward small talk bout small talk.

  • >> Yeah.

  • >> So sometimes you will be out

  • there and the natural inclination

  • for a lot of humans, despite the

  • fact that we are social creatures

  • is to just wanna go through your

  • day without interacting with

  • people you don't know.

  • I think that's very natural.

  • >> I like to go through my day

  • without interacting with

  • any people.

  • Doesn't matter if I know them or

  • strangers.

  • >> Especially the people I don't.

  • Yeah, and so that's very often how

  • I feel and various strategies have

  • been developed to help people cope

  • with this.

  • Whether they think they should fix

  • it or not, there are benefits to

  • talking to people you don't know.

  • And so we're gonna talk about some

  • the advice from a book by Kio Stark

  • called When Strangers Meet,

  • How People You Don't Know

  • Can Transform You.

  • And so

  • one of the easy sort of short cuts

  • to small talk that hopefully avoids

  • some of the how's the weather, how

  • are the Dodgers type things is to

  • find a third thing that both of you

  • can be in a relation to and form

  • a conversational triangle out of.

  • So there's you, there's a stranger,

  • there's some third thing that you

  • both might see and comment on,

  • like a piece of public art or

  • somebody preaching in the street or

  • somebody wearing funny clothes.

  • So basically- >> Just make fun of

  • somebody else.

  • >> Yeah.

  • >> Just throw all of

  • the awkwardness on to that person.

  • Be like, that person's an idiot!

  • Am I right?

  • Am I right? Am I right? >> Well,

  • if there isn't a third person

  • wearing funny clothes,

  • make fun of their clothes.

  • >> Yeah, that's good.

  • >> And then they have to

  • defend themselves.

  • >> It does break the ice.

  • It's not gonna be positive, but

  • it does break the ice.

  • >> Really.

  • So look, I will say from my

  • personal experience,

  • although I generally am very much

  • in the camp of when I'm outside and

  • trying to do something.

  • I'm not just let's go and

  • see what happens about town and

  • maybe I'll meet a nice chap.

  • And maybe I'll have a latte and

  • then things will happen.

  • >> No, I'm here- >> That sounds

  • like a great day.

  • >> I need to get to there because

  • there doesn't deliver on Amazon.

  • That's the only reason I'm going

  • there and then I'm going home.

  • >> But maybe there's chaps there.

  • >> There might be chaps,

  • I might have to buy chaps.

  • But when I have had small talk,

  • it does tend to be

  • from that third thing.

  • And so the few conversations I had

  • with celebrities at Current,

  • like with Bill Nye and

  • Mark Hamill, was always,

  • I'm in this little foodie area.

  • They're in the foodie area waiting.

  • And then something happens,

  • [CROSSTALK] >> How about dem

  • bagels?

  • >> No, not about the food but

  • about something else that happens.

  • And I'll bring it up,

  • that way it's not like, hi,

  • let's talk about your life.

  • You don't know me, but

  • you're gonna.

  • No, it's just, hey, we're two

  • people conversing about this.

  • And you can do that whether it's

  • a random person or a celebrity or

  • someone you're

  • trying to bang or whatever.

  • >> Yes, this is true.

  • I think for a lot of people,

  • small talk, it's not like they're

  • seeking it out, right.

  • They don't leave the house to seek

  • out small talk.

  • Maybe there are people who do that.

  • >> That's so weird.

  • >> But a lot of the time that

  • happens in elevators or

  • if you're meeting somebody for

  • the first time maybe at a work

  • event or something like that.

  • And so you do kind of have,

  • find that commonality so

  • it doesn't necessarily have to be

  • a third thing that's in the room or

  • something like that.

  • But it could be a third thing

  • where you feel like they might

  • have something to comment on.

  • Right now, it's very easy to bring

  • up politics or something like that.

  • You're not supposed

  • to do that generally in small talk.

  • >> [LAUGH] How about Trump?

  • >> But it is, right now,

  • I feel like all of the small talk

  • conversations somehow

  • lead to Trump.

  • Do you know what I mean?

  • And so- >> How about them Dodgers?

  • Fucking Trump >> It does,

  • it's scary though,

  • you know what I mean?

  • >> So people will comment on that.

  • There's a lot of different things

  • that you can talk about and find

  • sort of that thing that you guys,

  • that connects you to people or

  • whatever.

  • But it doesnt have to be so

  • simple as the weather, or

  • something like that.

  • You [CROSSTALK] >> Because nobody

  • actually cares about the weather

  • >> Think about it.

  • >> Nobody cares.

  • >> Everybody has parents.

  • Everybody has a hometown.

  • Those are things that

  • you can talk about.

  • >> Tell me about where you live.

  • And tell me about your parents.

  • >> Where- >> I mean I generally

  • I would prefer something that it's

  • in the environment with you or

  • something like that.

  • >> I like to get personal >> But

  • maybe that's not small talk.

  • I consider it small talk.

  • Like yesterday, I was- >> No,

  • we're trying to get

  • past the awkward part,

  • not generate the awkward part.

  • >> No, I always try to generate

  • awkwardness.

  • But yesterday I went to a luncheon

  • or whatever.

  • And the conversation

  • went what do you do?

  • Right, very small talk-y

  • conversation.

  • But then it branched off like how

  • they got into it and how their

  • parents did this and did that.

  • And then it turned into this great

  • thing so you both you do something.

  • >> Yeah. >> That could be

  • a center connector.

  • >> See, I don't like that

  • kind of conversation.

  • >> You don't care?

  • >> When people ask me what I do,

  • I don't wanna talk, I don't know.

  • I just don't want to talk about it.

  • When I get in an Uber- >> But

  • you don't care that other-

  • >> My biggest fear is that they're

  • gonna say, so what do you do?

  • I don't want to talk about my job.

  • >> Are you embarrassed

  • about what you do?

  • >> No, I'm just not- >> Is this not

  • good enough for you?

  • >> That's basically

  • what I'm saying.

  • That's basically what,

  • I just don't want to talk about it.

  • But you can find other things to

  • talk about.

  • And we've talked previously about

  • how to meet people in college for

  • instance.

  • At a party or in a classroom,

  • understand the context of

  • how you feel, and

  • then realize that it's likely that

  • the other people around you

  • probably feel something like it.

  • And although you want to have

  • good conversations but you're

  • scared about initiating it, other

  • people probably feel the same way.

  • They're looking for

  • interesting people to talk to them,

  • So long as you're not a weirdo.

  • Unfortunately if you

  • are you won't know.

  • >> I was at a dinner

  • party last week where there was a,

  • it was a buffet table, right?

  • And somebody next to me I think was

  • trying to small talk and they

  • were like yeah the, salmon's big.

  • [LAUGH] It's just like

  • ,that's true.

  • >> That's the third thing that's

  • happening there.

  • >> That's true, that is true,

  • that is a true statement.

  • And then we started talking.

  • >> About salmon?

  • >> It was awkward for

  • a quick second but

  • then we just started talking.

  • I was like yeah it is big,

  • it's kinda hard to cut.

  • And then it branched.

  • >> Kinda hard to cut?

  • >> It was one of those fish,

  • full fish.

  • >> So this weekend you went to

  • a luncheon in a place that

  • had a massive fish.

  • >> That wasn't this weekend,

  • that was- >> Where people just

  • dug out chunks of salmon.

  • Hard to cut,

  • that's why I used my paw.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> Are you a bear?

  • Are you a fancy,

  • mimosa drinking bear?

  • >> [LAUGH] >> Anyway- >> Yes.

  • >> Talk about that when you go out.