If you want to go big, you generally have to connect with people. Lots of people. People you don't know. People you've just met. There's banter in elevators, in hallways, at lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, the possibilities for awkwardness is practically limitless.
And small talk has always been challenging for me. So I was fascinated to discover that there’s a name for the antidote, the art of conversation. And though I’ve been meaning to get around to reading a book on the subject, my mother’s voice is ringing in my ears: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Recently, a story has surfaced of a young woman who reportedly has only about four lines in her entire repertoire. Four lines. Period. I became obsessed with wanting to know more, to find out about her life and her mind and how she makes it through the day. I’ve been able to pry just two of her reputed lines from my source. There’s one about her shoes being adequate only to do a two-step and one about not wanting to get whiskey drunk.
In a sense of fair play, but at the risk of showing all the cards in my hand for the rest of my days, I’m now going to reveal my two favorite lines from my own extremely limited repertoire:
“Where’s your sense of fun?”
(useful in situations when others are under duress or embarrassed)
“We’ll always have Paris!”
(This can be thrown in randomly whenever things don’t seem to be going well or in any particular direction. Additionally you can buy yourself a little time as your partner in conversation tries to figure out what the heck you’re talking about.)
May I add that neither of my go-to lines is especially well-suited to business situations and as you may remember, I'm trying to 'go big' so as to not 'go bust'.
Do you have a favorite line or lines? Please write them in the comments! It's more than idle curiosity, sort of more of a life or death situation here. Read me? Ten four.