I’ll get straight to the punchline. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more anti-small talk. You know what I’m talking about. What do you do? Where do your kids go to school? Anything related to the weather.
It. Drives. Me. Nuts.
When my sister and BIL stayed with us over the weekend, we stayed up way too late talking about a lot of stuff, including small talk.
After that conversation, my theory is that most people are like me. They don’t like it. But they’re afraid to go deep right away because…what will the other person think? What if they think I’m weird or nosy?
I get it. It’s a fine line. I joked that my opening, non-small question would be, “Tell me about your relationship with your mother.” HAHA! Can you imagine? I would never ask someone I don’t know that question. But maybe a smaller leap is to go from “what do you do?” to “what would you do if there were no limits or constraints?” I would love to be asked that question.
Personally, I feel like as I get older my time and energy are just plain limited, and I honestly don’t want to spend them on people who don’t want to go deep or people who care about surface level things.
Making good friends in adulthood is hard enough as it is. And if we’re not willing to show ourselves as quickly and authentically as possible, it’s harder and feels more like a game.
My sister and I were saying that because we don’t like small talk and some of the communication styles we’ve interacted with recently, we’d prefer to just stay home and stick with our current friends. Ha! That’s not the answer either because you definitely have to put yourself out there to find your people, but sometimes the effort just feels too much!
That said, my other pet peeve when it comes to this stuff is when people don’t ask questions, especially after I’ve asked 10. And if you’re going to engage in a conversation with someone, please stay present. Keep your phone away, maintain eye contact, and again, ask questions and really engage. Otherwise, why are you even there?
I really wish communication 101 was part of the basic education system because I don’t think people realize how big of an impact a few basic tweaks would make.
Anyways, thanks for coming to my TedTalk. Until that course is setup, this blog post will do!
2 thoughts on “Do You Like Small Talk?”
It could be cultural. Here in England, small talk features heavily in my day to day interactions, both business and non-business related. It eases perfect strangers (in a business setting) into serious discussions. It doesn’t last any more than two minutes but a worthwhile time-investment as a pre-cursor to matters in hand.
Absolutely could be. I was sharing from a ‘making new friends’ perspective. But for business and other infrequent interactions, small talk is unavoidable and often necessary to establish the relationship. But when I’m looking to make friends, we better get over the small-talk phase quickly! 🙂