|>>|| No. 28567
Most people worry about whether they're interesting, but nobody worries about whether they're a good listener. That's an obvious and highly exploitable asymmetry. Being a good listener isn't especially difficult and it makes people feel good about talking to you. Conversely, the most common complaint about bad conversations is "the boring bastard wouldn't stop droning on about himself".
Ignorance of pop culture is an advantage, because it gives you the opportunity to ask sincere questions. Feeling like you've got nothing to say is an advantage, because you won't end up trying to monopolise the conversation.
Smile, nod, ask open-ended questions. It's really as simple as that, it just takes a little bit of practice to make it a habit. If someone says "did you see the game last night", it's fine to say "No, I don't follow football" as long as you follow it up with "What team do you support?" and then "How are they doing this season?". If someone says "Did you see the finale of Game of Thrones?", it's fine to say "No, I haven't seen any of it" as long as you follow it up with "I keep hearing it's really good, what's it about?".
All of those bollocks hairdresser questions are really useful cold openers - what did you do at the weekend, have you got any holidays planned, that sort of thing. They're not particularly interesting in and of themselves, but they're a really useful way of gauging what sort of person you're talking to and what they might be interested in.
Failing all that, it's not illegal to be the antisocial prick in the office.