I try to teach my children about how to do small talk. Especially my oldest daughter, who like me is not a big fan. I went years claiming that small talk wasn't my thing, and really at the heart of it, it isn't but why? I now think of small talk as a converstation we have with someone we feel disconnected with. Thats the feeling i don't like. Disconnection. Ugh! I don't enjoy facing my own awkwardness that arises when i find myself feeling separate. Its social anxiety, or whatever you want to call it, and some of us have a harder time with it than others.
I use to drink at social gatherings, and that really took the edge off, it made me forget that i felt separate, it made me feel like i could just jump right in, but the funny thing about alcohol is it makes you more comfortable, but only temporarily.
How many of you have had to much to drink at a party, made a best friend, fell in love, and then the next day you see the person and you are like...ummm...hey...there...insert awkward downcast gaze.The awkwardness is still there because we missed the heart connection.
So, how do we connect with people in small talk situations ,like parties, when we yearn for connection?
I have found the best way for me, fully awake and sober me, to connect with people when i am experiencing acutely the lie of separateness. Is to ASK THEM QUESTIONS ABOUT THEMSELVES. Do your best to get to know them, ask questions out of genuine curiosity and listen deeply, Care about the response.
The lie of separateness cannot survive in the light of attention, affection, and deep listening.
The more you get to know about your new friend, the more quickly the illusion of separation will melt away, and you can rest together in the knowing that you are them and they are you.