How to Kill an Introvert: Use the Weapon of Small Talk
Last Saturday, I hosted a Blab to welcome you to explore further the topic of ‘what is real connection?’ My friend Sarah suggested that I blog with some of what we unearthed – good idea, Sarah! If you want to watch the Blab, it was recorded: just click here.
Sometimes we’re with people but not at all connected.
The buzz about ‘community’ can get mosquito-annoying if it’s not about real human connection. This was the topic of last week's blog, "Three's A Crowd: Community Vs. Connection."
What is real connection, then? Well, more on that coming soon. For now, here's what it's not. Small talk, it turns out, ain't the best kind of connection. Here's what the introverts on the Blab had to say about
“I really like talking to people about things that matter. I hate small talk. I can’t stand it. It’s such a nightmare. It really is.
If I get caught in a small talk conversation, say on the phone for what feels like an hour, and I look at the ended call and it was four minutes, OMG, the longest four minutes of my life. Small talk doesn’t seem to matter; it’s just filling space, making noise.” Christopher
“I have to admit, I really struggle with small talk. It’s not my favourite thing. I almost don’t know how to do it.
But when someone really engages, I feel a lot more comfortable right away, I feel like we’re actually talking about something not just filling the time.” Dayna
“Small talk has always been very problematic for me.
But I do love getting into conversations where we have some depth and we’re talking about a subject. I think maybe it’s because when I’m engaging in small talk, I feel as though I am the object of the conversation, and that makes me uncomfortable. I think when we get some depth, there’s another subject, and it feels like a third person in the conversation.” Carlton
“In get-to-know-you, small-talk conversations, I can feel like a bug pinned up in an entomologist’s collection, being inspected. Not very comfortable!" Corri
“Small talk is like listing off your resume items. And none of what I do for a living is what I’m passionate about, gets me excited. I’d love to talk for endless hours about a number of things, not really ME as the conversation topic though!” Steve
“I wish we could start off by saying “what do you value or what’s important to you” because then we could talk about things that are meaningful right away. Which brings out our conversationalism as introverts.” Dayna
“I’ve done that before – going to a dinner party and asking ‘what makes you come alive, what are you passionate about?’ Maybe not what they wanted to talk about, but it makes the situation bearable and maybe even enjoyable for me." Steve
Well, Bloggie-pal, do you relate? How do you feel about small talk? If you can't stand it, how do you get around it? Do you have any small-talk subversion strategies you can share with us? Comment below. I'd love to see what you have to say!