Small talk exhausts me. “How unusual,” you say. Seriously. As a borderline extrovert/introvert I can handle it pretty well. But then I need to be by myself for a long time.
Just in time for the holidays, I happened on this oh-so-helpful story in The Muse: 48 Questions That’ll Make Awkward Small Talk So Much Easier. There are examples by context (e.g., work, food, travel). Who wouldn’t love to ask, or be asked, questions like these?
- What was your first job? Did you like it?
- What’s the best “hidden gem” around here?
- What’s your go-to comfort food?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- Do you have any podcast suggestions for my commute?
I do pity the person who would ask me the last one. After a couple of minutes they’d pretend like they have to use the restroom.
P.S. The Muse is a great career advice and coaching site.