Can you offer any tips for making chit chat

im a socially anxious person and don’t like bumping in to people I kinda know eg cousins…how do you cope…it feels like stage fright to me…what should I do…

Just say, Hey! How’ve you been?

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I understand how you feel. I live in a small town with a lot of relatives so I’m expected to be gracious when I see them. But people in general love to talk about themselves. Maybe approach it from that angle. But I have on occasion said right out that today I don’t have it in me to be a good conversationalist. I don’t like to do that and it’s been less of a problem since I’ve been doing regular therapy for the last two years. I think if you can learn to deal with your own social mistakes then maybe with practice it can become more bearable. Best wishes for you.



Like skunk said, people love talking about themselves. Ask them a few basic questions about their interests, then listen to their responses and follow up with more specific questions based on what they say.

what shows have you been watching?
Oh cool, what’s that about?
Neat. Who is your favorite character?


If I want to converse with someone, I want to look at them. Does the person have a new piece of jewelry, for example.

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Ask people where they’re from or what kind of work they do.

Learn to recognize topics… Like if they mention having a family member… consider follow up questions. Or if they mention going on a trip or a favorite food item or some type of event… consider follow up questions.


Unfortunately you can’t learn this things and do then natural, either it comes natural or you will always feel weird doing it.

For me it was an antidepressant wich made me less anxious, you should try antidepressants for social phobia (most of them help with this)

After the antidepressant kicked in, I’m not so anxious and It just feel natural for me to chit chat most of the times. I still get the occasional weird robot feeling but I learn to live with it

Also benzodiasepines are for anxiety or beta blockers(less used these days)

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Don’t talk about the weather because it’s awkward. Bring up things from shows, fads, books and things that anyone would know. If you don’t know what to say at any time, say what they want to hear. If it were me, I’d be prepared with an affirmative nod that signals small talk is complete and leave on a high note like cowardly George Costanza.

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Try coming up with a few conversation starters in your head before you meet people.

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I am the worlds worst person when it comes to idle chit chat. I try to get people to talk about themselves, and people just tell me: “that’s none of your business!”


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