By Rachel Puryear
Introverts are famous for hating small talk. One big misconception around this, though, is that introverts just don’t like socializing. While it is true that introverts need a certain amount of time to recharge between social events, it is not true at all that we don’t like to talk. The thing is – when we talk to people, we want it to count. We want it to be meaningful, and foster connection between ourselves and others. We don’t want to talk just for the sake of talking.
To get the attention of an introvert or empath – as well as to help better connect with people in general – try big talk instead of small talk. What is big talk, anyway?
Big talk is about asking deeper questions to get to the juicier stuff about a person. Big talk is questions designed to get someone to share of themselves, and become vulnerable – about their hopes, dreams, fears, failures, perspectives, and stories. Big talk is about better knowing a person, rather than just knowing about them.
Small talk, by contrast, stays on a shallow surface. Here are some examples of small talk:
- Anything about the weather.
- Anything about how work is going.
- Anything about the latest sports game or other event.
- …and so forth.
Here are some examples of big talk, although the sky is the limit:
- If you could travel back in time and visit any period, where would you go?
- If you could meet any person in the world – living or dead – who would it be?
- Do you have spiritual beliefs?
- If you could go back and give yourself advice at a previous age, what age would it be, and what would you tell yourself?
- If you had enough money to retire, what would you do with the rest of your life?
- How do you think you would be different if you had been born 20/100/1,000 years earlier, and/or 20 years later?
- What is your biggest regret in life?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of in life?
- If you could be President (or other world leader), what kinds of things would you do?
- If you died tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret?
- What is still on your bucket list?
- What is/are your love language(s)?
- What do you want younger people in your life to know, that you wish you had known at their age?
- Has anything ever happened to you that you could not explain?
- When was a time that you looked down upon someone else’s actions; but then looked back on them later, and had a more sympathetic understanding of them?
- When was a time that you received kindness from a stranger, and always remembered it?
- Have you ever felt drawn to someone, in a way that you could not explain initially?
- What are you most proud of?
- What is something you would like to learn more about, that you have not yet?
There are plenty more big talk conversations you could have with others, beyond this small sample. Use your imagination.
A key difference between the small talk questions and the big talk questions is that the big talk questions quickly get to who someone is, what they value, what makes them tick, what moves them. The small talk questions, on the other hand; barely scratch the surface of a person, or have them talk about things other than themselves entirely.
You can try big talk questions with new people, and build connections quickly. You can try them with people you already know and love – and connect with them more deeply, and learn things about them you never knew before.
Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following and sharing. Here’s to deeper connections for you. xoxo