The Dos and Don'ts of Making Small Talk in an Elevator

The Dos and Don’ts of Making Small Talk in an Elevator

Let’s face it; we’ve all been there before. You’re in an elevator with someone you don’t know, and the awkward silence is almost too much to bear. So, you decide to make small talk. But is small talk in an elevator actually legal? Keep reading to find out.



– Do smile and be friendly. A little bit of pleasantness can go a long way in making the elevator ride more bearable for both you and the person you’re talking to.

– Do keep your conversation light and airy. Nobody wants to get into a deep, heavy discussion while they’re on their way up (or down) in an elevator. Stick to topics like the weather, sports, or current events.

– Do be respectful of personal space. Generally speaking, people don’t like it when others invade their personal space. So, try to keep a respectful distance from the person you’re talking to.


– Don’t ask personal questions. Remember, you’re just making small talk—you’re not trying to become best friends with this person. Asking personal questions (e.g., “What do you do for a living?” or “Where are you going today?”) will only make the other person feel uncomfortable.

– Don’t monopolize the conversation. It’s important to let the other person have a chance to speak as well. If you find yourself doing all the talking, it’s time to wrap up the conversation.

– Don’t overstay your welcome. Once you reach your floor, it’s time to say goodbye and exit the elevator—don’t stay on just because you’re enjoying the conversation.

More tips:

Below are the tips to know about is it illegal to make small talk in an elevator.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: there is no law against making small talk in an elevator. 

The Dos and Don'ts of Making Small Talk in an Elevator

You are not going to be arrested for chatting with your fellow passengers. That said, there are certain etiquette rules that you should follow if you do decide to make conversation. 

For starters, try to keep your comments brief and to the point. No one wants to hear a long-winded story about your weekend plans or what you did last night. Stick to topics that can be discussed in a few sentences, such as the weather or current events. 

It’s also important to be aware of the personal space bubble. Elevators are small spaces, and people can feel claustrophobic when they’re crammed in with a bunch of strangers. So, don’t stand too close to someone else or invade their personal space. And definitely don’t touch anyone without their explicit permission! 

Finally, be mindful of the fact that some people just don’t want to talk. If someone has their headphones on or is actively avoiding eye contact, it’s best just to leave them alone. Forcing them into a conversation they don’t want to have will only make the situation more awkward for everyone involved.


Making small talk in an elevator is perfectly legal—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain dos and don’ts you should be aware of. Just remember to be friendly, respectful, and mindful of personal space, and you’ll be sure to make a good impression on whoever you happen to be sharing an elevator ride with.

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