Small Talk = Big Connections

chat-23713_640By Parker Lawson – As I have begun to familiarize myself with the people and places around me here at Marquette, I am constantly reminded of how happy I am that I chose to come here. I chose the most beautiful campus, in the middle of a great city, surrounded by some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met in my life.

Now that the awkward icebreaker games have come to an end, and the orientation madness has settled down, I am starting to develop true, genuine friendships. A Marquette alum once told me, “You have no idea the amount of wonderful people you are soon to interact with there.” You were so right, Mom!

I have already connected with amazing, beautiful people here. The Marquette community is different from any other I’ve ever been in, and although the majority of the people here are truly interesting, smart and kind, I have noticed that there are still some who are holding back. Understandably, it is still pretty early in the school year, adjustments are difficult, and meeting people isn’t everyone’s forte. But in my humble, extroverted opinion, there are still too many people I’ve run into both on campus and off, who simply make no effort.

Why are people so scared to talk to one another?

Now, I’m not asking you to spill your entire life story in our two-second elevator ride, but small talk seems to be SO uncomfortable for so many people. What in today’s society has made a simple, “Happy Tuesday! How’s your day going?” so miserable? I understand that I’m a little bubbly for a Tuesday 8 a.m. class, but there are so many people that seem like they have absolutely no desire to test the waters and eek out beyond their comfort zone, even just a little bit.

Whether it’s the technology that has destroyed us, or the fear of judgment, I wish people knew how important it is to reach out to people and TALK. A quick hello or simple compliment can mean SO much to someone who maybe hasn’t received that sense of compassion in weeks. As cliché as that may seem, rich relationships are just waiting to form, and although small talk might be a bit of an awkward risk in the moment, the payoff can be immeasurable and long lasting.

These little connections we make in our mini conversations can help us find our very best friends. Isn’t something that wonderful worth the risk?  There are so many people who are anxious to meet people like you, all you have to do is put yourself out there!

I challenge you to start small talk today and become genuinely interested in learning more about the people around you! You have the power to create the most beautiful connections, and today is the perfect day to do just that.

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