Small talk can seem meaningless. Like the smallest of the talks.
And sometimes you just don't care about the small thing the other person is talking about.
But you have to think about small talk as a warm up to a conversation. Like the beginning that gets you to the middle where you get to talk about more interesting things.
If you do not warm up with small talk, then you can overwhelm someone with your topic and enthusiasm.
You don't want to startle people by just blurting out a topic.
So, when you are just meeting someone or don't know them very well, you start with small talk to warm up the conversation. Usually a basic question you can ask anyone.
Where are you from? What are you doing this weekend?
Then you learn a little about their weekend and then about them.
And then you move into talk about interests or things or ideas that you might have in common. Then the conversation is warmed up and to the more interesting part. Hopefully.
In all honestly, I don't do this well. I wasn't even sure about the sequence of these events as we wrote the blog. But I do kinda my own version of this with people I know. I usually have a topic I already want to talk about. But instead of launching into that topic, I ask a question that is related to the topic. Like if I want to talk about characters from a movie, I might ask someone's opinion about certain types of movies or characters. Then I listen. Then we eventually get to talk about my topic. On the way to my topic, the other person may some some interesting things.
But then again, I don't meet a whole lot of new people. So I guess I'll have to use smaller talk for that.