BIG IDEAS ON SMALL TALK / by Justin Warren

Small Talk. They say it’s the social lubricant that leads to success. I mean, sure yeah, that’s great and all, but for me, small talk induces diarrhea.

Whenever I walk into a room full of strangers, you can go ahead and queue the incontinence. And it comes on fast, like the fizzy, bubbling innards of a paper mache volcano. All it takes is a firm handshake from someone in a collared button down. “So, Justin, what do you do?”

I stiffen, eyes darting inside my skull.

“Oh...I...I do...I...”

My eyes find the nearest bathroom.

“I...doo doo. I doo doo...”

And I dart off, leaving a plume of dust and a fartish-smelling stench circling the poor sap who just politely shook my hand.

Like Michael Jackson suggested, I started by taking a hard look at the man in the mirror. I asked him, “do you really want to spend your thirties, constantly in danger of shitting your pants at the sight of another breathing human person?”

At first I answered yes. But after a few slaps to my own brown face, I got my answer closer to, “Well, I guess no but maybe holy shit, okay fine.

So, I created my own series of tactics, designed to eliminate social anxiety forever. Or make it slightly more tolerable then excruciating.

You should know that this advanced technology is currently still in Beta. But I’ve definitely started seeing results. You can use these tools at any social event anywhere on Earth:

  1. OPEN YOUR EYES AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE AND STARE AT YOUR CONVERSATION PARTNER AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T BLINK. Science says humans denote strength in good eye contact. This will up your game. I’ve found this strategy to be extremely effective...that is, if your goal is to get everyone in a fifteen foot radius to slowly back away.

  2. STAND NEAR A GROUP OF EXTRA COOL LOOKING PEOPLE, SILENTLY FART TWICE, AND LEAVE. This tactic is best if you see an exclusive circle of people you wish you were cool enough to talk to. You’ll break up their little club and open up the room. Bonus points if you eat red meat the day prior.

  3. WHILE CONVERSING, SLOWLY SQUEEZE YOUR KAGEL MUSCLES TOGETHER TO THE BEAT OF NSYNC’S BYE BYE BYE Because you’re doing this in secret, you now have superior knowledge over your partner, which gives you the upper hand. This boosts self esteem. If you play your cards right, you might even view yourself as normal.

I’m still testing these out, but I encourage you to try these at your next networking event. Because if you can’t muster the strength to talk to people, these tools will at least get people talking about you.