Why Should People Involve in Deep Talks More Often?
Is it possible for people to be happier if they engage in deep talks instead of small talks? According to the psychologist, Matthias Mehl people who participate in deep conversations are happier than those who spend their time on small talk.
He explained that deep talks are the way to happiness because people possess an innate drive to find out as well as create the meaning of life. Also, humans are social and need to connect with people.
Moreover, Dr. Mehl explains that significant conversations in which you find life’s meaning lead to a connection with the interactive person which leads to happiness.
He and his team conducted a study that included 79 college students who wore recorders with microphones that recorded 30 seconds of conversation every 12.5 mins for 4 days. (1)
When the conversations were researched, it was revealed that there was small talk such as discussing weather, movies, etc., or deep discussions about current affairs, philosophy, etc. But, the researchers said that if a person analyzed a movie’s character, then, that was considered as a deep conversation.
The results showed that about 1/3 of the students were engaged in deep talks, and 1/5 were engaged in small talks. So, what was the outcome? Dr. Mehl and his team revealed that the happiest individual was engaged in deep discussions two times more than the others and only 1/3 of the time belonged to small talk.
Nearly every other conversation of the happiest person included deep talk (46% of daily conversations). On the other hand, the unhappiest person only 22% of the conversations belonged to the substantive ones. (2)
Furthermore, there are individuals who agree with the results of Dr. Mehl’s study. They say that deep talks were always their cup of tea, and they find small talks annoying.
Some people say that they decided to stay away from Facebook or Twitter just to avoid small talk, and they think that people who are constantly using social networks are quite unhappy. (3)
On the other hand, some individuals say that is not easy to find people with whom you are able to lead substantive conversations, most of them like chats about domestic stuff. Also, some consider that it would be really annoying if everyone would engage in deep conversations.
How to Engage in Deep Talk?
It is important to know that we do not mean that one should not have small talk. In fact, small talks serve as ice-breakers for some people that do not know each other, so they would get an opportunity to start a conversation.
For instance, if you are in an elevator in which some colleague of yours that is not close to you, asks you questions about your deepest wish, or darkest secret, you would consider it inappropriate and exaggerated as well. That is why small talks help to warm up for a deeper conversation.
Next, we offer you some tips on changing questions in order to maximize deep talk and minimize small talk. (4)
- Avoid: “So, how are you?”
- Use: “What is your story?”
- Avoid: “Did you have a good weekend?”
- Use: “Which part of the weekend was your favorite?”
- Avoid: “Where did you leave when you were a kid?”
- Use: “Share something amusing about the place where you grew up.”
- Avoid: “What is your job?”
- Use: “What motivated you to do what you do for a living?”