According to Harvard researchers, asking people “how are you” is shallow, vacant, and meaningless. If you want to make a real connection during small talk, they suggest you say things like, “What’s your current state of mind?” or “You remind me of a celebrity, but I can’t remember which one—who’s someone you relate to?”
The idea is that people are eager to be accosted in elevators by other people who ask them deep, probing, and personal questions, or, even better, start telling them personal stories about their lives, hopes, and upcoming family events. Seriously. That’s what they want.
The Intergalactic Business Report sees this study as a wakeup call for all of us to stop giving strangers an easy out where they can simply respond with, “Great. You?” and instead corner them into conversations about what celebrity they look like. We applaud Harvard and their uncomfortably friendly researchers and offer some additional questions for elevated small talk. Next time you see someone new, ask them:
1. “Wanna guess how many things I have hiding in my butt?”
2. “Can you help me put something in my butt? I’m having trouble reaching it.”
3. “Nice arms. They look like they’d be helpful in putting things up people’s butts. Am I right?”
4. “This elevator ride is just long enough for me to put one more item in my butt. Do you have anything that would fit?”
5. “You remind me of a celebrity who puts things in his butt, but I can’t remember which one—who’s someone you put things into butts with?”
6. “What’s your current capacity for stuff to put in your butt?”
7. “Your shirt reminds me of putting stuff in my butt. Where did you get it? From my butt? Just kidding? Where did you get it? Up My Butt World? Just kidding. May I please have your shirt?”
8. “In your opinion what’s more difficult? Putting things in your butt or taking them out?”
9. “Looks like I hit all the buttons on the elevator again. Would you like to see what’s in my butt?”
10. “What are you looking forward to fitting in your butt this week?”
Insights are given to you as a gift from our team of insight insiders.