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About The Book

Deepen existing bonds, start new friendships, and discuss the things that really matter most with this conversation card deck providing a fun and easy way to skip the small talk.

At the nationwide events hosted by the company Skip the Small Talk, strangers come together to make connections through interpersonal conversations. Now, with Skip the Small Talk Card Deck, everyone can practice flexing their metaphorical “vulnerability muscle” directly with friends, loved ones, and acquaintances.

Founder and CEO Ashley Kirsner’s methodology, backed by her social and clinical psychology research, is summarized in a useful guidebook which sets up the science and ground rules of the approach. The 100 cards, each featuring a thought-provoking question, start conversations about the most important things in life—helping you form new friendships and deepen existing bonds.

Studies consistently prove that structured, vulnerable conversations reduce loneliness and social anxiety, encourage self-disclosure, improve mindfulness skills, and even lessen symptoms of depression. So, grab a friend (and maybe a snack!), turn off your phone, flip a card, and start turning small talk into big talk.

About The Author

Ashley Kirsner is the founder and director of Skip the Small Talk™, a social impact startup focused on combatting the loneliness epidemic through nationwide, in-person events. Skip the Small Talk™ events are based on Kirsner’s social and clinical psychology research at Cornell University, the Harvard Decision Science Lab, the Harvard Business School, the University of Miami, the Psychotherapy and Emotion Research Lab at Boston University, and McLean Hospital. The success of Kirsner’s events have been featured in Forbes and The Boston Globe, and on the Today show and NPR.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Adams Media (March 28, 2024)
  • Length: 100 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781507221976

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Raves and Reviews

"I had the great fortune of participating in a Skip the Small Talk in-person event a couple of years ago. Like many participants, I found the carefully curated experience of vulnerable sharing with strangers to be invigorating and deeply meaningful. I remember wishing that the questions that served as prompts that could have been made available for later use with my friends, family, students, colleagues, and others. My wish has come true! This remarkable deck is a powerful tool for social connection and, indeed, social transformation. Close relationships will become closer. Strangers will become friends. Greater self-discovery is guaranteed. The short instruction booklet should be required reading even without the card deck. Life is short, let's skip the small talk!"

Matthew T. Lee, PhD; Professor, Baylor University; Research Associate, Harvard University

"Full of meaningful and surprising questions, this is the perfect deck to turn strangers into friends!"

—Casper ter Kuile, Author of The Power of Ritual

“If you’re tired of talking about the weather and want to go straight to the heart of human connection, Skip the Small Talk is for you.”

—Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

"Skip the Small Talk is a creative and playful way to deepen our understanding and connection to others, and perhaps more importantly, to ourselves."

—Peg Baim, MS, ANP-BC, Director, Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Program, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine

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