Communication is one of the popular topics which all of us want to master. A debate about small talk and big talk can be important unless we understand that both co-exist and must be used according to situations. This topic hit my head because I was reading cognitive biases related to communication and wanted to write this article as a note.
This article reflects how small talk works around and how it can be understood to make aware of the importance of small talk or big talk. The article is not intended to teach you to communicate better. When it’s about communication struggles are real. It’s hard to open up when we are in fear of being misunderstood or judged. I guess we are there often!
Anything like asking about a day, what you had for dinner, or casual gossip about people in friends, relatives, and work comes under small talk. Small talk can be extremely helpful to start communication but quickly turn senseless. Big talk is about specifics on topics, and details on subjects, and leads to a depth of communication. It can help to share knowledge.
Here are some reasons why small talk is necessary:
- You are crazy if you talk about something that the next person doesn’t understand
- Your openness determines how wisely you can share small things
The interesting thing about small talk is it takes you nowhere if you crave intelligence!
What if a teacher comes to the class which was intended for topics like Quantum Computing, Medical Emergencies, or any other technical stuff, and talks about his day, all small talk stuff, and leaves the class? Does it work right?
Here are some reasons why small talk may not always benefit:
- You can look like a person who is interested in gossip
- It might showcase you don’t have something valuable to share
A close look at the above points helps to interpret that the success of communication can be situational and related to listeners/audience.
Now a teacher comes to the class and asks you how your day is going. What do you eat for your breakfast/lunch? Some people might find it interesting and answer it right away and some might be skeptical about the teacher trying to enter the personal space and not be comfortable sharing. Also, if a teacher just focuses on subject content without any small talk can be felt like intelligent but strict and arrogant.
Let’s take a different scenario, where we are at any family gathering, we like to talk about small things. It connects and helps to understand likes and dislikes. Someone staying silent in such situations can come across as rude. On the other side, someone presenting big talk can look arrogant.
So, cheers to the world of small and big talks!