SMALL TALK TIP FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE SMALL TALK: Ask people if they have any pets. This is light and impersonal enough to offend no one. People who have pets are usually pretty excited to talk about them and show off pictures, so there’s a good chance that you will be looking at kitties and doggos. People who don’t have pets will usually talk about the pets they wish they had, or have had in the past. People who neither have nor want pets are pretty rare.