I’ve always thought of myself as rather introverted and laconic. I am definitely terse when it comes to engaging in smalltalk with people I haven’t met beforehand. However, time and again I’ve wished I had more to say on those conversations. I admire those who can engage in conversation with almost strangers in “record time.” I wish I knew how they are able to engage and attract attention, while at the same time not appearing rude. I think I might have a clue after reading a passage of Tolstoi’s “Of War and Peace”.
The passage I am about to quote contains a description of an extroverted character, particularly the way in which she is able to open a conversation with a far acquaintance she hadn’t met in a long time. It seems to me that the technique is all about not restraining oneself to not “appear rude.” Just go there and talk as if the stranger was your lifelong friend.
(…) that playful tone so often adopted by chatty and lively persons, the point of which consists in the assumption that there exists a sort of long-established series of jokes and amusing, partly private, humorous reminiscences between the persons so addressed and oneself, even when no such reminiscences are really shared (…)
I love how Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky describe their characters.