Chit chat. Small talk. It serves a purpose, but there's a reason it makes us yawn and roll our eyes when we think about it. All you're doing is saying the same thing each time, and wasting the precious brain cells you still have by uttering inane comments.
Here is my gift to you: a series of responses that you can memorize and use, allowing your brain to focus on quantum physics or the last episode of Dance Moms. Also, if you get the delivery right, you won't have to worry about making small talk much longer.
Please note: while these are conversations I often have, your experience may vary -- so please feel free to adapt them.
"How are you doing today?"
"[fill in long explanation with unnecessary details and tears]"
"What are your plans for this afternoon?"
"Your hair is amazing!"
"That's what I said to the last owner."
"You're kind of conceited."
"What great weather we're having!"
"It's a trap -- they want you lulled into a false sense of security before they unleash the zombies."
"Would you like the ravioli packaged to go?"
"No, I plan to grill it immediately -- I hear it tastes best that way."
"So what do you do for a living?"
"I've found eating food and sleeping regularly to be highly successful for me."
"Is that debit or credit?"
"Hi, my name is [name]. It's so great to meet you!"
"It's great to meet you, too. Good thing I won't remember your name, so we can do this again."
Okay, so my idea of "small talk" extends to nearly "all talk." But I find the above responses infinitely helpful in sparing my brain the pain of ordinary responses. Tell me in the comments -- what do you (or have you) said in a common chit chat scenario?