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  • Imagine you arrive at a party, but your friends are nowhere to be seen.

  • So you have two options: the obvious one of staring mindlessly at your phone, or the terrifying one of talking to strangers.

  • Even if you want to reach out, you might worry "what if they don't like me?"

  • "What if I come off as awkward?"

  • "What do I even say to them?”

  • Never fear: recent research suggests that new acquaintances actually like you more than you think, and that talking to strangers can lead to a boost in happiness.

  • But, it can be hard to get started!

  • Luckily there are some psychological tips you can use to master small talk.

  • I'm Vanessa and you're watching BrainCraft, where we explore the psychology in your everyday life.

  • First, you've probably experienced the liking gap.

  • In a recent study, researchers paired up two strangers to have a conversation.

  • They asked each person to rate how much they liked their partner and how much they thought their partner liked them.

  • People consistently underestimated how much people liked them and enjoyed their company.

  • Researched called this "the liking gap."

  • So, try not to worry about what people thinkthey probably like you more than you realize!

  • Though you may still be wondering: How do you actually make small talk?

  • Well, start by asking more questions!

  • People who ask more questions during conversation have been rated as more likable.

  • Questions like "what do you do?" can be pretty dull.

  • Instead, try to get to know the other person by asking: "What do you do for fun?"

  • "What's the best thing that's happened to you this year? "

  • Or "What are you looking forward to?"

  • "What excites you?"

  • And remember that it's important to stay engaged in the conversation!

  • Asking follow-up questions is importantthis shows you're actively listening.

  • So, if the person mentions that they like traveling, ask where they've been or where they're going next.

  • In a recent speed-dating study, those who asked more follow-up questions were more likely to get a second date.

  • And give people your full attentionyour actions matter too.

  • Studies have shown that people who texted during a conversation were seen as less polite and attentive, so put your phone away.

  • Now you still might think that making small talk is about as much fun as swimming with sharks.

  • But it can actually have a lot of benefits for your professional and personal life!

  • For example, experts estimate that 3 out of 4 jobs are found through professional networking rather than a job ad.

  • And small talk can actually increase your sense of belonging.

  • Research has found that people report feeling happier when they chat with someone like a bartender or a barista and treated them more like an acquaintance than a stranger.

  • Even though you may think that making small talk is unpleasant, people report liking it more than they expected.

  • Just like any other skill, you can improve your small talk if you work at it.

  • Casual interactions can be really positive experiences!

  • So with some practice and these tips, you can enjoy the big benefits of small talk.

Imagine you arrive at a party, but your friends are nowhere to be seen.

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A2 AU small talk small liking conversation people happier

Small Talk Can Make You Happier. Here's How to Master it.

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    Jessieeee posted on 2019/07/29
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