You May Also Like

Choose a safe bike helmet fit, not a counterfeit

Spin through this 3-step checklist to make sure your bike helmet is the right fit, not counterfeit

Add glutes to jump rope workout muscles with this move

Banded jump rope is the most *extra* exercise to sculpt your glutes

There are 4 types of personality, new study says

Sorry, Myers-Briggs: New research says there are just *4* personality types

Stop apologizing

Stop apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong

DIY avocado dye for millennial pink clothes

Dye your clothes the perfect shade of millennial pink using—wait for it—avocado seeds

sweet potato toast

Toast-and-eat sweet potato slices are coming to a grocery store near you

Why small talk is actually *really* good for you


Thumbnail for Why small talk is actually *really* good for you
Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

Small talk is undeniably awkward. Whether it’s with a complete stranger at the dog park or a distant relative while eating Thanksgiving dinner, the sheer pain of trying to come up with what to say to avoid the dreaded silence is something no one likes. But it’s actually really good for you.

While it might be uncomfortable, making a connection with another human is a blessing in disguise for your mental health: According to a new study from the University of Chicago, people tend to have better experiences chatting with strangers than keeping to themselves. And another study on the effect of “weak ties”—like your barista or the girl you always see at yoga—indicates that even those small interactions are a boost for your social and emotional well-being.

“We found that genuine social interactions—even minimal ones—contribute to fulfilling our basic human need to belong. By chatting with a stranger, you are being seen and acknowledged, and your connection to that one person may remind you of your universal connection to other people.” —Gillian Sandstrom, PhD

“We found that genuine social interactions—even minimal ones—contribute to fulfilling our basic human need to belong,” Gillian Sandstrom, PhD, psychology lecturer at the University of Essex and author of the study on on weak ties, tells Quartz. “By chatting with a stranger, you are being seen and acknowledged, and your connection to that one person may remind you of your universal connection to other people.”

On top of feeling like you belong, another study found getting to know someone new—and going back and forth with the awkward weather talk—even gives your brain a boost, helping you better plan, prioritize, and organize. Basically there’s no reason not to take advantage of a little small talk. Sure, things can get weird—but in the end, it sounds like it’s totally worth it. (And you might even make a new friend.)

You’ll love these unmistakable signs of an introvert. Or, maybe get some advice on how to flirt completely sober—without being awkward.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

pain cave

It’s time that we stop glorifying the “pain cave”

DIY avocado dye for millennial pink clothes

Dye your clothes the perfect shade of millennial pink using—wait for it—avocado seeds

oatly

Oatly is increasing production by 1,250% so there will never be an oat milk shortage again

There are 4 types of personality, new study says

Sorry, Myers-Briggs: New research says there are just *4* personality types

Group meditation near me with The Big Quiet

Jump-start your meditation habit with this buzzy event coming to the rest of the country

Affordable places to live for millennial homeowners

Millennials can buy houses and eat their avocado toast, too—especially in certain states