Heather Maack

Heather Maack

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How To: Small Talk at Parties

Holiday parties and gatherings can be a lot of fun, but the awkward small talk that we end up having at them? Not so much. Fortunately, a self-proclaimed “certified small talker” is sharing her favorite ways to avoid it. In a TikTok video, Erin G reveals how to strike up conversations with random coworkers or distant relatives you hardly know at holiday events.

Erin begins by explaining that small talk “doesn’t have to be miserable.” She says the best way to do it is by being a good listener. And the first rule is never asking “yes or no” questions if you want to keep the conversation going without any cringeworthy pauses. Erin suggests these conversation starters to get things going:

  • “Is this a busy time of year for you?” While it is a yes or no question, she says everyone always has an answer to expand on, so this is the exception to the rule.
  • “What do you have coming up for New Year’s Eve?”
  • “Do you have any trips coming up soon?”
  • “What do you have going on this weekend?”
  • “What advice did you get this year that you want to pass on?”
  • “I’ve been listening to so much funk (or any other type of music) music lately, but I kind of want to branch out. What have you been into?”
  • “I’ve been trying to wean myself off TikTok. What apps have you been trying?”

And once you get those conversations going, Erin notes that you will need to find a way to get out of them. In a follow-up clip, she shares clever conversation closers, so you don’t get stuck talking to anyone for too long.

  • “I thought [the host’s name] said she needed help bringing some bags in. I’m going to go do that, it was so good to catch up.”
  • “Oh, it looks like the pie line is open. I’m dying to get a piece of that sweet potato. So good to catch up.”
  • “I really love how you handled that situation with your boss, I’m going to remember that. It was so good catching up.”
  • “Have a great time skiing. I can’t wait to hear about it.”
  • You can also excuse yourself to take a call, respond to a text, or get a drink.

Source: Daily Mail

Photo: Getty Images


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