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After a lovely summery week at the end of March, April has decided to do a it pleases and present us with a poo-poo platter of weather. On Tuesday I got hit by hail, soaked by rain, nearly ended up with frost-bite on the tips of my fingers and my hair (never good on the best of days) stood on its end. Yesterday was not much better and as I was wind-swept into a cafe to meet a friend for a hot cup of coffee I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the sun.Today, the sun may be making an appearance, but has left its warmth behind.

Irish weather is never very predictable and the north-easterly (little intended pun) wind is seasonal only by name. Like icing on a cake the frost at night gives our climate that little bit of extra oomph to make sure we don’t forget we haven’t managed to control the skies yet. The only benefit of such an array of weatherly goods is that people have lots to talk about, even if it is only the small version of chat.

Although most people think small-talk is not really the interaction they seek with people and studies have shown that small-talk is considered to be more negative than positive, the ability to strike up a conversation with anyone over non-essential topics is quite vital in social communication. By asking a mundane question (Isn’t the weather awful?) or stating an obvious fact (The weather is awful!) we are dipping our toe into the pool of conversation, testing the waters and finding out if we can find some common ground. These non-memorable conversations create little links between people, an invisible thread connecting one person to another, the glue of society if you like.

So while I still can’t figure out what to wear to brave the random gusts of wind and changes of temperature, at least I have a full battery of small-talk topics tucked away in the recesses of my brain. So weather (no typo) rain or shine my chatty-self is prepared.

The Mysterious Power of Small Talk

Is this the end of small talk?

Happiness, Small Talk, and Big Talk