6 Things Only People Who Hate Small Talk Understand
Small talk is the most superficial form of communication out there.
"What's your name?" "How's the weather?" "How tired you are this morning?" WHO THE F*CK ACTUALLY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THAT? Nobody. Nobody wants to sit around in an elevator talking to an acquaintance-at-best about sh*t he or she doesn't care about.
I mean, you reserve the right to talk about the sh*t you actually do care about. But when you do that with strangers, you run the risk of offending them, boring them, or — worst-case scenario — making them dislike you.
So here we are, sticking to conversation that's boring and safe just because we're so afraid of being "weird." And maybe there really are some people out there who just absolutely love to talk about how the weather is and what movies are in theaters right now. Good for those people! But for the most part, I stand by my assessment that anyone with a bold personality absolutely hates small talk.
Why? Well, read along.
1. Small talk forces you to water down your personality.
Having a big personality is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing in that people with big personalities are awesome and cool and unique. It's a curse in that we are diamonds in a world full of pebbles.
Being awesome, cool and unique is great for the most part. But sometimes the urge to blend in with all of the boring, dull, gray pebbles is overwhelming. So we engage in these conversations and try to dim our lights from shining quite so bright.
2. Small talk makes you feel trapped.
When you really think about it, small talk is horrifying. Why do we ever engage in it? Small talk always happens in some sort of God-awful, unforeseen situation where you're stuck with someone you don't know very well and have to communicate for an indefinite period of time.
Think about all of the social situations that involve small talk: on the subway with that co-worker you barely know; at a dinner party with your boyfriend's parents' friends; on the elevator with someone who's about to interview you; at a bar with some dweebus who just bought you a drink. You get the picture. Time suddenly stands still as you wonder when -- if ever -- this cruel and unusual torture will be over.
3. Small talk feels unnatural.
And this is why any REAL, GENUINE person can't enjoy it. A real person with deep and genuine interests can never enjoy a conversation that involves feigning an interest in how this virtual stranger's morning is going.
Last time I checked, unless you're in sales, conversations aren't supposed to feel like work. No, we have conversations for pleasure. But these particular social exchanges really do feel like a job. And you know what? I already have a full-time job. Working an extra one is just exhausting.
4. Small talk comes along with this dumb pressure to make a complete stranger feel comfortable.
Here's the worst part of it all: We're nice people. And for the most part, we're nice, EMPATHETIC people. So we often find ourselves bringing these torturous conversations upon ourselves. We spot that one awkward person at the party and feel this need to make that person feel included.
We walk up and ask that person how his or her day is going. And, no matter how miserable he or she seems to be, we continue to try our hardest to make this person feel comfortable. And, OMG, the WORST is when both of you are doing this.
You know the situation I'm talking about. The two of you aren't clicking, but you feel like you have to force the conversation so that you don't make the other person uncomfortable.
5. Small talk forces you to read other people's boundaries.
FYI: I AM NOT A MIND READER. I have no idea what you're thinking, ever. Especially before I've never said more than 20 words to you. But small talk forces me to somehow transform into some sort of mind reader.
I need to understand what you will find interesting so that I can talk about that. I need to laugh at what you're saying even if I don't find it funny. It's just a whole lot of bullsh*t I have to guess about you and, honestly, it's a whole lot of bullsh*t you have to guess about me. But how we get to know each other when we're being fake, awkward versions of ourselves?
Ugh, don't even get me started on when someone misinterprets the small talk for flirtation.
6. Small talk is just really f*cking awkward.
That's all it comes down to, really. Small talk is awkward. Anything as unnatural as small talk is always going to be awkward. And for people who can't control what they say, small talk ends up being very awkward. I'm talking aimless rambling, slight stuttering, blurting inappropriate comments and then profusely apologizing. Sometimes you just make weird noises you didn't realize your body was capable of making.