Chances are that you exchange pleasantries every day. It’s part of the hustle and bustle of every day life. Pleasantries and the light small talk that follows happen constantly and can be exchanged between family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. This passing conversation is common, but sometimes takes a special approach. Certain aspects of life or moods cannot be easily summed up in answering a generic “How are you?” Sometimes these interactions can be draining. Letting close friends and family know how you are, is a healthy way of staying accountable, but knowing when to set boundaries is healthy too.
No matter how you interpret small talk and pleasantries it can be exhausting if you are not prepared. Below are several ways to make conversation and casual pleasantries less draining:
- Listen and get involved with the other person. If you are talking to a close friend or family member, listening is a good way to stay involved and not to drain yourself with the focus too much on you. Find ways to interject personal questions and experiences, but learn about what is going on with them.
- Think about the context. Timing is everything in conversation, and its best to save certain conversations for private settings, or share personal details after first asking about the other person. A loud party may not be the space for an intimate conversation, and sometimes an acquaintance may ask a question without wanting to hear the whole story. Think about your location, and the mood of the other person. Use these indicators to decide how to respond.
- When not around others, take time to contemplate and be mindful of the silence. Taking a moment to gather your thoughts and breathe is a great way to be prepared when conversation does come.
- Pay attention to the little things others do well, and remember to communicate. Complimenting contributions and actions, even if small can make conversation flow effortlessly. This allows you to take notice of details that will be encouraging to you and to the person you are communicating with. This positive connection will also make it easier to redirect negative thoughts or resolve conflict.
Tip Suggestions: Huffington Post