The prospect of making small talk can make people roll their eyes or shudder.
But opting out of superficial chat isn’t really an option if you’re ever planning on going to a conference, a cocktail party, or any place where there are other human beings you don’t know that well.
Read more: 16 habits of extremely boring people
You can even make a habit of practicing with strangers you’ll probably never see again, since research suggests that making conversation with fellow commuters leaves people happier.
Read on to make small talk less a burden and more an experience that’s actually (gasp!) enjoyable.