I hate small talk. If I had it my way, I would skip over the obligatory conversation that usually goes along the lines of, “So, what do you do?” Yes, let’s cut to the chase; let’s cut the pretty bullshit. I would say, “So, what’s your story?” Vague. Open-ended. The more room, the better. You see, I thrive on truly connecting with people- understanding where they came from, the events leading to now, and their perspective on everything from A to Z in this process. In that one conversation, I want to immerse myself in their story and live their life. Usually, individuals cover up their desire to engage in such a open dialogue unless accompanied by….*drum roll*...liquid courage…oh the power of the beer at your local pub or martini in a rather crowded smoky club. Hey, as long as it’s unifying.
Relating to someone is like speaking their language. We, as humans, are very different and also quite the same. We all experience pain, pleasure, growth, and the list goes on.
I have done this type of open ended conversation quite a bit and you would be amazed at how much you can learn about a person and how quickly. It might catch them off guard at first and they will look at you wide-eyed. I chuckle when this happens and just repeat the question. And, then…then they think- the first thing that is on the forefront of their mind comes onto their lips and out on the table. From that moment onwards, the individual has just let you into their journey. And that’s pretty incredible- because before that, you were just two individuals who were at the same bar without any sort of knowledge regarding each other’s existence.
Let’s keep it real. Ditch the small talk. Get to know someone and dive within their layers. You may make a best friend by what you find, you might bond over a similar challenge, or hey you might fight through it together. So, cut the chase.
What’s your story?