I am not good at small talk. I prefer to listen than search my brain (which will have suddenly gone blank) for something innocuous to say. So called "safe" topics (like the weather) make me sound silly. I tend to dive into topics about which I have passion and say trite things about those which don't bother me at the moment… usually making no new friends with those for whom the trite is their current passion.
Small talk is meant to "break the ice" with strangers and allow for connections points to emerge. It serves a great purpose.
Given it's patio season /garden party time, small talk opportunities are ramping up. I'm reviewing my previous posts and figuring out some good opening lines that, hopefully, will kick start someone else into talking and I can settle in and listen.