We regret to inform you that you need to make small talk with your co-workers. Here's how to master it.

Every day around the world, an estimated 3 billion people go to work and 2.9 billion of them avoid making small talk with their co-workers once they get there.

Their avoidance strategies vary. Some will keep their headphones on and their eyes low. Others will pantomime receiving an urgent message that requires an immediate, brow-furrowing, life-or-death rapid response, which incapacitates them from doing pretty much anything else, not excluding riding in, or communally waiting for, an elevator in their office

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Remember: You're more likable than you think

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A little planning goes a long way

Advance the dreaded "how are you?" loop

Don't panic, it's almost over

You (occasionally) have the right to remain silent