Originally Posted by SLJ
...I think for me it was more of a question of why anyone would want to start small talk. When a person asks me "How are you today?" I just want to say "why, do you really want to know?" LOL So I don't know how to even approach a person and ask them irrelevant questions that really don't matter that much to me.
Small talk is usually more than just a "Hi, how are you?" - although that sometimes works too. But I think making small talk is about finding a way to connect with someone about something that interests you about them or you might have in common. I start up conversations with strangers all the time, and I am also pretty much an introvert. But, when I "see something, I say something." As a lame example, if there is someone in the grocery store standing in front of an item for a while, I will just cheerfully tease them with, "You better make the right decision." They either laugh or ask me what I think. I often compliment people on something they're wearing - "Love those glasses!" "What a great raincoat," or ask them about a book they're reading.
I've dated guys I met in the laundromat, in the subway, and even just window-shopping on the street -- yes, I picked up a guy in the street -- just because I let them see me checking them out or I made some innocuous comment. The guy I met in the subway was carrying a knife-roll, and I knew what it was because I had worked in the restaurant industry for years, so I just blurted out to him, "Hey, are you a chef?" and he said, "Yeah! How did you know?" He was surprised, and I said, "I see you're carrying a knife-roll," so he laughed and we talked about where he worked, good places to eat, the industry, etc., and then wound up dating.
Starbuck's is a great place to talk to people, because people sit for hours and are generally open to schmoozing. You can usually just smile at someone and talk. I once had a very romantic kiss under an umbrella in a downpour from a French guy I had just met in the Starbuck's around the corner from me. You can ask someone if they're finished with their paper when they put it down and ask them if there's anything good in it. Or comment on something happening outside the window. Anything, really. Most people crave connection.