Let’s get real—like, really real: Nobody actually likes small talk. But it’s an inevitability akin to death, taxes, and the fact that if you leave two cables on the opposite side of an empty room, they’ll be inexplicably entangled upon your return.
So why not embrace small talk and, dare I say, get good at it? Here are some tools to help you become a more engaging conversationalist.
If you’re like me, you meet someone for the first time and immediately forget said person’s name. But if you’re lucky, you might remember some interesting factoids about that person: hometown, kids, job, that kind of stuff. There’s a simple, free app called Tibbits—Remember Names (Android, Apple) that not only promises to help you remember names, but lets you add little notes and even assign labels to people so you can categorize them according to how you know them. Because the only thing better than small talk is personalized small talk. “How is . . . (glances down at phone) Grace, your daughter, 5 years old, doing?”