Work can sometimes be all-consuming. When you’re on a particularly demanding project, it can eat up all of your time and energy. And when you’re feeling exhausted, you might not be up for making small talk with the person who works at the front desk of your building or the person who regularly takes your lunch order. But this would actually be a bit of a shame, because recent research suggests that small talk is beneficial to you.

Several research studies have indicated that when we make small talk with the people around us (including the people we sit next to on a train or stand beside in a grocery store line), it improves our mood. Chitchatting makes us feel more connected and supported. Even though these interactions are sometimes superficial, it still makes us (and the people we talk to) feel happier.

In my experience, I think this rings true. I’m sort of shy, so when I’m interacting with strangers, I mostly stick with “hi” and “thank you.” But I like it when someone gets chatty with me. It’s fun and memorable. I remember trying on a pair of boots in a shoe store, and a fellow shopper told me that I should buy them because I looked “fierce.” This made me laugh. (And yes, I bought the boots.)

So even if you’re feeling tired and bogged down with work, try smiling at the people around you and maybe even making a little small talk. It might make your hard day a little easier.


Wallace, J. B. (2016, September 30). The benefits of a little small talk. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from