This is the second in a series of 5 blog posts on “Your Toolkit For Small Talk”. These posts are about the way to get the most out of a seated small talk situation. You may find the first post here. Today, it is about the 3-second rule.
You have arrived at the venue
Now you have to apply the 3-second rule. A rule that should be carved in stone.
No person should try to overcome social anxiety without applying the 3-second rule first.
The 3-second rule
The 3-second rule is plain and simple: At most 3 seconds after entering a venue, talk to someone!
The moment you go through the door, search for the eye contact of someone around you.
It can be a waiter, or the person that escorts you to your table, or the bartender, or a total stranger sitting at their table, who just looked up from their meal and your eyes met.
The moment you catch their eyes, nod, smile, say hi and give a brief positive comment or question.
But what do I say?
That’s the beauty of the 3-second rule. 3 seconds are not enough to overthink it.
If it’s the waiter, then you could go like this:
“Good evening. It’s not easy to find a parking spot around here, but this place is so beautiful that it was definitely worth the effort.”
If it’s the bartender:
“Good evening, You plan to have a full house tonight? Should I order all of my shots right away?” 🙂
If it’s a guest:
“Good evening, that soup looks delicious. Bon Appetit!”
What’s the point?
Your goal here is not to make life-long friendships or to give away a business card.
All you want to have here is a reaction.
Maybe they won’t react, or they will be astonished, or turn away. That does not matter. Your goal is only to say something and to feel that your arrival has been acknowledged by someone else.
Why only 3 seconds?
If you spend some time alone, while in a car, for instance, you start to talk to yourself. During self-talk, people tend to drift away from the present moment into their own imaginary world. The place, where everything is about their own hopes, fears, and dreams. During this process, they disconnect from reality. Hence, they might feel disconnected from the people once around them.
Too much time spent alone can make you lonely
Loneliness will not help you to be curious and positive about other people.
Moreover, it may also have an even worse effect.
In certain communities, when banished, the outcast didn’t necessarily have to leave the community.
However, they and the rest of the community were forbidden, to talk to or help each other. The outcast became practically invisible.
The loneliness that came with such banishment might have resulted in depression or even psychosomatic disorders.
This perfectly shows, how important it is that when you go for socializing, you should not only be there physically, but you should also connect to the others.
The first step to this connection is if we start to talk to someone in order to get some reactions.
How the icy wall gets built?
What happens if we don’t do this, but we just go there speechless, leave our coat at the coat check, we take a drink from the buffet table and say nothing all along? Then our mind keeps getting the feedback that we are invisible for longer and longer times. We seem unnoticeable, about whom no one cares.
Anxiousness gradually gets built up. Then with every minute, it will become harder and harder to tear down this icy wall of separation.
If we get some reactions from someone in the first 3 seconds, then it gives us the feedback that we are important. With this, the wall of separation is not going to get built at all.
Why does it have to be a positive comment in those 3 seconds?
Stay tuned for the coming blog post to find out: Your Toolkit For Small Talk #3