People who are good at small talk always use these 11 phrases

If you’ve ever been caught in an awkward silence at a social gathering, you know that small talk can be a real lifesaver.

It’s the conversational lubricant that keeps the social wheels turning smoothly.

But what if you’re not that great at it? How do those charismatic individuals always seem to have the right words at the right time?

Well, it turns out, they often use a set of go-to phrases that anyone can learn and implement.

In this article, we’ll explore 11 such phrases that people who are good at small talk always use.

1. “That sounds cool! Can you tell me more?”

Doesn’t it feel good when someone shows an interest in what you’re saying? That’s what this phrase does.

It tells the person you’re chatting with that you find their story interesting and want to hear more.

Plus, it keeps the conversation flowing.

When you’re stuck on what to say, this phrase might just be your ticket to smooth and easy conversation.

2. “I noticed that…”

This phrase is your secret weapon when you need a conversation starter. It can be about anything you’ve noticed – maybe they’re wearing an interesting piece of jewelry, or they’re reading a book you’ve heard about.

Using this phrase shows that you’re observant and interested, and it opens up the conversation to a new topic.

Don’t be surprised if this simple phrase leads to some fascinating discussions!

3. “What’s your take on…?”

This question has never failed me when I want to dive deeper into a conversation. It’s a great way to get to know someone’s thoughts and opinions.

For instance, while talking to a friend about the latest Marvel movie, I might ask, “What’s your take on the new villain?”

Not only does this keep the conversation lively, but it also tells me more about my friend’s viewpoints and preferences.

It turns out, asking for someone’s opinion can lead to some of the best chats!

4. “Did you hear about…?”

This phrase is a fantastic way to share a tidbit of news or an interesting fact.

For instance, you could say, “Did you hear about the octopus that escaped from its tank in a New Zealand aquarium?”

Not only does this introduce a fun and unusual topic, but it also invites the other person to share any similar stories or facts they know.

It turns out, the world is full of strange and wonderful happenings that can add a spark to your small talk!

5. “I just saw/read/went to… and it made me feel…”

This phrase is about sharing your personal experiences, but in a way that brings out your genuine emotions.

For instance, you could say, “I just read ‘The Nightingale’ and it really touched my heart.”

Sharing something that moved you not only gives the other person a glimpse into what you value, but it also opens up the conversation to deeper, more heartfelt topics.

Who knew small talk could be so meaningful?

6. “What’s your story?”

I’ve found that this question is a great ice breaker. It’s open-ended and allows the person I’m talking to decide what they want to share.

I remember once, at a social gathering, I asked this to the person next to me.

He ended up sharing a fascinating tale of how he’d once backpacked across Europe with just a camera and the clothes on his back.

It not only made our conversation more interesting, but I also got to know him on a much deeper level.

7. “Why’d you choose…?”

This question right here? It cuts through the fluff. When I ask someone “Why’d you choose your job?” or “Why’d you move to this city?”, I get a glimpse into their real self, not just the surface-level stuff.

You see, our choices tell a lot about us – our passions, fears, dreams, and struggles. This question invites honesty, and can turn small talk into a real, raw conversation.

So don’t shy away from asking it. You might be surprised by what you discover.

8. “Love your… where’d you get it?”

This phrase is like a two-for-one deal: you give a compliment, and you start a new conversation topic.

Plus, did you know that receiving a compliment activates the same part of our brain as receiving cash?

So when you say something like “Love your shoes! Where’d you get them?”, you’re not just keeping the conversation going, you’re also making the person feel good. A win-win if you ask me!

9. “What brings you here?”

I’ve found this question to be incredibly useful at social events where I don’t know everyone.

It’s a simple way to start a chat, and it often leads to some interesting stories. I remember once at a conference, I asked this question to the person sitting next to me.

As I found out, they had traveled halfway across the world to attend because they were passionate about the subject being discussed.

We ended up having a great conversation about travel and shared interests.

Don’t hesitate to ask this simple question. It might lead you to some fascinating chats. 

10. “I’ve always been curious about…”

This phrase is my way of saying, “Hey, I don’t know much about this, but I’m interested and I’m open to learning.”

It’s a humble admission that I don’t know everything and an invitation for the other person to share their knowledge.

For example, “I’ve always been curious about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee,” can lead to a passionate barista sharing their secrets with you.

It’s okay to not have all the answers. Sometimes, admitting your curiosity can lead to the most enlightening conversations.

11. “Chatting with you was fun…”

Ending a conversation on a positive note is just as important as starting one.

This phrase isn’t just about being polite. It’s an honest acknowledgment that I enjoyed our conversation.

And who knows? This simple phrase might just leave a lasting impression, opening the door for more heart-to-heart chats in the future.

Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what true connection is all about?

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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