philosophy and religion have a place
Small talk is not my forte’. I can talk about weather or sports for maybe 30 seconds tops. Those are the conventionally safe topics. Work usually comes up early in the conversation, as in “what do you do?” People too quickly associate one’s identity with their work / profession / career.
There are some topics not good for small talk: “… it is not safe to discuss subjects that society deems controversial such as religion or politics.” Yet, politics get lots of air time, even though it’s controversial. Lots of mainstream media and social media time at that.
One British etiquette website describes what’s safe and not safe for small talk conversations:
Which topics are safe for small talk? …
– The weather, eg “It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?”
– Sport, eg “Have you been watching Wimbledon?”
– Hobbies, eg “What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?”
– Work, eg “What sort of work do you do?”
… Which topics are best avoided for small talk? …
– Money, eg “How much do you earn?”
– Politics, eg “Who did you vote for at the last election?”
– Religion, eg “Do you believe in God?”
What about philosophy and religion? Now these two topics make for much more INTERESTING conversations!