If your tummy twists itself into knots at the thought of making small talk, you’re not alone. There are about 3 billion workers in the world, says the World Bank, and every day 2,9 billion do their best to dodge small talk with their co-workers. Headphones are a great help if you’re in an office, but if you’re car-pooling, trapped in public transport or at a party or a work function, it’s hard to avoid chit-chat.
Headphones, sunglasses and “very urgent” WhatsApp messages may seem like the obvious fix, but there’s plenty of evidence that small talk can be good for your career, social life, happiness levels and your brainpower. Here’s how you can get to grips with small talk, and possibly even enjoy it.
Why it’s hard