Ditch the small talk
The same held true with subsequent experiments. While participants predicted that answering a question from a stranger like, "What is one of the more embarrassing moments in your life?" would make them feel extremely awkward and uncomfortable, the opposite turned out to be true.
Oddly enough, the more awkward and uncomfortable a conversation sounded, the more they tended to enjoy the conversation. The more they felt they bonded with the other person. The more they liked the other person... More here.
I am genuinely scared of small talk. Those little chats before a meeting that mean nothing and which are only designed to fill a silence. I much prefer, even sometimes enjoy, very awkward moments where no one knows what to say.