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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 think – they 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 important–this 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 attention—your 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.
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Small Talk Can Make You Happier. Here's How to Master it.

1688 Folder Collection
Jessieeee published on July 29, 2019    Jessieeee translated    Evangeline reviewed
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