Small talk has gotten a bum rap (excuse the pun). Mistakenly linked with air-headedness, the assumption is that those who engage in small talk only chitchat about life's piddling moments without a concern for the deeper, burning issues underneath. Poppycock.
Small talk is a necessary and important part of our social fabric. It's a way to adjust to one another, get comfortable, and find your conversational seat. Without small talk, we'd all be walking up to acquaintances and saying, "Hi. How would you create peace in the Middle East?" or "Nice to see you. My father is an alcoholic."
Getting good at small talk, or at least comfortable with it in small doses, will hold you in good stead not only on a date, but in life as well. Small talk is just a means of chatting easily and comfortably about day-to-day issues without rancor or intensity. Big talk is about politics, religion, family, gun control, abortion, and whether chocolate should be a controlled substance.
Are we speaking the same language?
Men and women communicate differently: Women are taught to create intimacy through talking; men view conversations as negotiations, a way to jockey for position. Neither style of communicating is better; they're just different.
If your conversation with your date begins to resemble a sparring match, take a breather and try to figure out what's really going on. Your problem may be different styles of communicating.
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