We all have experienced an awkward silence around people we don’t know well, if at all. In addition, many people aren’t fans of small talk, but there are many great benefits that can come from this basic social interaction. As a result, small talk can open many doors and may help you out in the long run. Below are 3 reasons why small talk is important.

Can Lead to Unexpected Topics

To begin, a simple, “How’s the weather today?” can turn into “Our Company has a new job opportunity available and you seem like a perfect match for the job”. Small talk will almost always establish a basic social bond, yield important information, and expand your network. Here’s the catch: small talk is completely free and you should consider it as more of an investment. Time invested speaking with an individual can leave you with valuable knowledge by the end of the conversation.

Improves your Problem Solving Skills

Similar to completing a crossword puzzle or a game of chess, engaging in small talk can improve your brain. A study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests engaging in small talk can make you smarter. Friendly and social interaction induces the people involved in the conversation to read each other’s minds, which forces and shapes the development of mentality. Therefore, it’ll challenge your brain, and your eyes to new perspectives and experiences. You can always use newly discovered experiences and perspectives in more conversations. Click here for  the University of Michigan’s complete study, click here.

Boosts self confidence

To continue, small talk requires you to pay attention to what’s being said to you and vice versa. It’s always important to make sure the conversation has smooth transitions and it’s not one sided. For instance, people love when otherse are confident and respectful enough to engage in a conversation. With this gesture, you will seem confident, professional, and well adjusted. Who knows, you may meet the love of your life by engaging in small talk!

With these 3 reasons, you should be able to conquer any conversation with someone you know (or don’t know). So, practice different techniques, including, eye contact, sharing a common experience, and actively listening. If you’re a bit short on self-confidence, don’t worry! Click here for psychiatrist, executive coach and Forbes contributor Steven Berglas wise advice. Don’t sell yourself short, and give it a go!