People Who Hate Small Talk Wish They Didn't Have To Deal With These 7 Daily Struggles

by Caroline Burke

Just because you can't stand small talk doesn't mean you're not a good person. After all, small talk can be really freaking annoying. Does anyone actually enjoy talking about the weather, or the results of the latest awards show? No, they don't, and yet we continue to feel completely obliged to engage in small talk, some undercurrent of societal conversation that has to occur as soon as any silence emerges between two humans. People who hate small talk are probably in the majority, and yet this annoying style of conversation continues to dominate the universe.

Maybe someday, the world will become a place where it's culturally acceptable to look someone in the eye, interrupt their sentence, and say, "I'm so sorry, but I'm just not interested in what you're saying to me." But until then, it looks like we're forced to deal with the excruciating daily fear of getting stuck in a conversation about nothing with someone we don't really want to talk to.

For people who especially abhor small talk, there are certain situations that spell out absolute disaster. These scenarios tend to include tiny, claustrophobic locations, and people who you simply do not know well enough, so the conversation inevitably becomes painfully long and downright uninteresting. Here are seven unavoidable, daily struggles that people who hate small talk know all too well.

Taking Elevators With Strangers

Unless you're one of those workout junkies who actually enjoys taking the stairs to the 18th floor of your building (or, let's be real, the second floor), it's inevitable that you will end up taking the elevator with a complete stranger, with whom you'll have to engage in a few quick lines of small talk before getting off on your floor.

Let's just pray that the worst case scenario doesn't ever happen: a broken elevator.

Carpooling With Co-Workers

Carpooling is great for the environment, and because of that, I'm totally here for it. But with that said, there's nothing worse than having someone enter your sacred space and play music you don't like while chatting about things you don't care about.

Maybe just take the bus instead.

Musing About The Weather

If everyone was truly honest with themselves, would conversations about the weather actually ever happen? Does anyone genuinely find joy in discussing the likelihood that scattered showers of rain will roll through later this afternoon? No, they do not. It's a form of self-inflicted torture that needs to stop in 2018.

Dealing With A Chatty Deskmate

When you're trying to get work done at your desk at work, and some especially nosy co-worker will not stop talking about how much The Shape Of Water changed her life, you have every right to put your noise-cancelling headphones on, and turn the other direction. Sharon has to learn to keep quiet, sooner or later.

Spending Time With Distant Relatives

A family reunion might be heartwarming in a ton of ways, but it's also a nightmare in one specific way: You have to recount the major details of your life in what is essentially a two-minute monologue to distant relatives, over and over and over again, on a constant rotation, all night long.

There's pretty much no avoiding this, so the best thing I can tell you is to find the wine early on, and don't let that bottle out of your sight.

Getting Coffee With A Friend Of A Friend

Networking might be fun for some people, but if you're like me, it's complete torture. I don't care if I'm friendless and jobless in a new city; I still think it's complete and utter torture to forcibly get to know someone in a staged setting.

The only silver lining to all of this is the coffee, and you could have had that alone.

Dealing With Strangers At Bars

OK, this isn't necessarily permission to stare at your phone all night, but there is something particularly annoying about being alone in a bar, and having a thousand strangers assume you're lonely. Like, maybe you're waiting for a friend, or your partner's in the bathroom, or you just wanted to get a beer and have a drink while watching a basketball game. It does not mean you are dying to hear about how this man decided to marry his fourth wife.

Again, noise-cancelling headphones are allowed, if not encouraged here.