I was so torn trying to figure out what to write about with this discussion. I really felt that they all tied together, so then my post will tie them all together. Right or wrong, this is the direction I am running. With that said, let us begin.
Small Talk: Small talk, as defined on page 356 of Seiler & Beall's Communication book, is "casual conversation that is often impersonal and superficial, including an exchange of hellos or comments about the weather, newsworthy events, or trivia." It "provides an avenue for getting to know another person by talking about non threatening, impersonal subjects. It has value and is effective when properly executed/performed. It also has the ability to lay the ground work for developing relationships and possibly long-term relationships. Of course the reading material provided suggestions for effective conversation such as good eye contact, use names, allow the other person to talk about themselves, keep conversation casual, light, and positive, and be confident in yourself. Through small talk a person will be able to determine whether or not to continue the relationship and as to what level to pursue that relationship (personal, business, romantic etc.)
Developing Relationships: So, now that we have met and participated in some effective small talk we will embark on a new relationship adventure. (Adventure is a key word here.) Our small talk increases to lengthy conversation and engages in in-depth levels of emotions as we learn and discover new things about each other. Attraction has played its role in the beginning, and now we adventure into the heart of each other. (This for me was the hard part of dating.) We share goals, likes and dislike, personal interest, hobbies and even conflict sometimes as we become more developed. You navigate through Knapp and Vangelisti's stages of initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating and bonding and now have a functioning developed relationship hopefully. Lasting Relationships: So, our effective small talk two years ago while waiting on our coffee lead to an amazing developed relationship. Although it has not all been icing on the cake, we have kept the communication door open (which is key) and "became one" as the Bible states or best friends. So, lets look at what keeps a relationship going. Looking outside the reading this week, and the main thing in any relationship is putting God front and center and putting a door stop on communication to keep it open. Navigating back to the reading Seiller & Beall suggest the following: (pg. 399)
•Do favors for each other
•Celebrate special events together
•Surprise each other
•Create romantic environments/moments•Spend time together.
•Display physical affection any moment you can
•Reminisce/share memories together
•Say 'I love you'
•Be playful•Be accountable, trusting, and forgiving
•COMMUNICATE (Verbal & Nonverbal Remember sometimes your nonverbal communication speaks louder than your verbal)
To wrap all this up is simple. Effective small talk leads to developing relationships which can lead to long satisfying relationships in your life. It all starts with "Hello, my name is Amanda. You are?"