A Conversation for Ask h2g2

What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 21

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

As opposed to a womanicure? smiley - winkeye


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 22

Wand'rin star

smiley - roflsmiley - starsmiley - star


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 23

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Do Liliputians or dwarves count as topics for small talk? smiley - winkeye


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 24

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

I've struggled with my weight all my life...fat child, fat adult. Once when I was about 21 a slim girl on the tube asked me how I got fat as I passed her. I just glared & then fought back tears. My boyfriend pointed out that she was painfully thin, and that he got the impression it was a genuine question. That other point of view stayed with me.

As for small talk...I encounter a lot of this walking the dog and there are definite stages. When you encounter someone with their dog for the first time, it's just "Good Morning" or whatever's appropriate. After a few days of that, you might progress to a comment about the weather. As the days progress you lengthen your weather comments then maybe throw in a comment about the dog. Sometimes that's as far as it goes, sometimes you end up walking with them and chatting about everything under the sun.

It's when it goes beyond small talk that I struggle. I always stress before getting together with friends on a one-to-one basis. What if the conversation dries up? What can I talk about? It's always fine, but I always stress beforehand. I'm pretty sure social ability is a muscle that needs exercising like any other, and I'm a gym-phobe smiley - rofl

Deb smiley - cheerup


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 25

Baron Grim

Decades ago, I heard (or possibly read, I really don't recall where or when I learned this story) an anecdote about a linguist visiting a Native American reservation (I don't recall which Nation it was but I seem to recall it was in a Western state, possibly Nevada or Arizona). As he walked through a village with a tribal elder, he attempted to make small talk when one of the villages many dogs crossed their path. The linguist asked the elder "what kind of dog is that?" specifically wondering about the breed. The elder replied, "It's a good dog."

The story says something about the vagaries of language and how we often prioritize aspects that are arbitrary and unimportant. How the elder replied said much more about the dog and how each man's perception of the dog was influenced by their culture.


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 26

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Deb raises a good point about small talk possibly leading to conversations that one might not want to have.

If you were having small talk with someone you wish would go away, you might subtly imply that you are crazy or from another planet. smiley - biggrin


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 27

Icy North

Oh yes! Avoiding small talk. There's probably a guide entry in it.

It's all about body language. Stand 90 degrees to everyone else in the lift or on the station platform. Scowl. Look concernedly at your smartphone...


What topics do you choose for small talk?

Post 28

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I works even better if you stare at a phone that doesn't exist. smiley - biggrinsmiley - weird

Not that I know this from experience. smiley - whistle


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What topics do you choose for small talk?

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