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Let’s End Small Talk


One of the things I thought we all agreed on losing post-pandemic is small talk. What an absolute waste of time, not because connecting and conversation is pointless, but because most people are bad at it. I believe the majority of people are not dull. They just end up selling themselves that way. The art of conversation is almost lost, and no no one knows how to preserve it. Thankfully I have a solution – music lyrics.

How often have you or someone you know had this conversation with you?

“How are you doing?” “Good.”

I almost fell asleep writing that. More importantly – conversation over. No one is following up on ‘good’. Neither of you has moved your story forward, and you’ve wasted five seconds. Words matter, and time adds up. Plus, aren’t we all in need of some closer connections? So how about you jump-start that shit with something by Sade.

How are you doing?

Every day is Christmas, and every night is New Year’s Eve.

Say what? What the hell are you talking about? I want to know more. That’s a great one to use if your day, week, or life is going so great and you wanna let someone know without bragging. Conversely, if your life sucks, say the same thing with a lot of sarcasm. If that other person doesn’t want to know more, save yourself and walk away. I don’t care if that’s a lifelong friend – split. They are telling you they are not interested in you anymore.

Suppose you’re in much pain but afraid of burdening a close one – time to call on the Boss.

How are you doing?

Sometimes, it feels like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull, and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull.”

That should solicit carrying eyes or a warm hug and break the ice on talking about what’s happening. We’ve all woken up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of our heads at some point.

You can also mix in different pop lyrics into discussions that are dragging on or to lighten the mood. Is a pal having marital problems? Drop a couple of Phils on ’em.

My wife and I are having a time.”

You’ll never change her, so leave her. Leave her.

But we’ve been together for a long time.

Get out quick ’cause seein’ is believin’.”

Sure, you may have broken up a relationship, but at least now there’s an easy lover back on the market.

Outside of improv impresarios, folks are rarely quick on their feet, so make sure you do some studying ahead of time. Picking some of your favorite songs helps. The familiarity will come off as natural. The more you do it, the more you can play around with word emphasis. Be as appropriate as you can. And understand the more obscure of a song you pick, the more you’ll sound like a psycho. No Dylan, either. Even Bob would walk away and shake his head.

And the next time someone gives you a mundane greeting, answer with, “I know it sounds funny, but I just can’t stand the pain.” Have some fun. It’s easy.


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