Do you know what drives me mad? Small talk.
Small Talk Drives Me Mad.
Many of us are aware of the way things are, yet choose to sweep the real talk under the rug. We know better, yet we still fall for same bullshit over, and over again.
The real talk can be anything with depth. Talk to enlightens us, to better, or serves all those involved in some purposeful way.
But this is all about looking at the small talk.
Hold on, wait. let me get my best Seinfeld impression going:
“What’s the deal with small-talk?
We all hate small talk.
We all know how shallow small talk is.
So why do we partake in small talk?!”
Small talk is something we can grow to hate when we become tired of charade to keep up a polite appearance. In which case, most can’t be bothered to have meaningless conversations they genuinely don’t care about.
I’d imagine many of us find some level of bullshit in it, in the most shallow sense.
But we are all guilty in its participation when the situation calls for it.
Even those of us who despise small talk most are usually guilty of engaging in the bullshitity of it to some degree.
Small Talk? Okay, Maybe it’s not all that bad.
I mean, maybe it’s not all that bad.
After all, it does give us an opportunity to break the ice, to dip our toes in to test out the water.
Basically, it’s flirting.
We flirt with the opportunity to see if we’d like to invest more of ourselves into the engagement. If we’re not about it, we get out.
Types of Talk?
Then again, there are different types of small talk. There’s zesty small talk, and plain-old boring small talk.
“I Just have to say it!”
Zesty small talk can be those spur of the moment one-liners in response to some random sequence of events. These are usually entertaining, or captivating in some way.
We set ourselves up for this type of talk in those moments that almost have to be capitalized on, meaning, we just have to say something. What is to be said can be a quick joke, or comment that is warranted.
Then again, there is a deeper purpose behind that as well, especially if it serves whoever your speaking to in some way. And in the end, if it’s serving someone, how small is it really?
Then there’s the boring stuff:
The “Local sports team” talk by the watercooler.
The “Looks like rain” speach.
The “Kill me now” type of conversation.
Perhaps it is that part of the conversation that becomes so redundant, pointless, or dull that it is often better to say nothing at all.
Is it a silence thing, or what?
I think so. I feel that silence makes things uncomfortable for us, particularly when we are forced to sit there with no one but ourselves to listen to.
Or maybe, we feel that we have to be something else for fear of scrutiny by the other party involved. Perhaps feeling the need to be polite, we speak out to interact in some awkward way.
This seems more of a bother, especially when we feel it exhausting to continually force some sort of interaction with someone else who is unreceptive to it. What’s worse is having two people who are both uninterested, forcing words with each other for the sake of being polite.
I guess the intentions are for good, but keeping it real by keeping quiet can go further in the long run. It can go further because we will save our energy, and better spot opportunities of conversation that have more depth.
I guess it’s more about the intention of it in the end.
If your intention is to be polite, than that’s what you’ll come off as, just make sure that you’re genuine about it.
Alternatively, if your intentions are only to have meaningful conversation, that’s what you’ll attract, but you’ll probably come off as standoffish for most.
Less Is More.
If or when we are looking to go deep, to have real talk, why do we dilute ourselves down through the filter? Why do we cave?
Why do we do the things we do at times, when we know in ourselves that we don’t them.
Surely, a deeper personal dilemma.
Either way, I still feel that less is more when it comes to talking small.
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2 thoughts on “Less Is More: The Bullshitity of Small Talk.”
Good points! I’m guilty too but I don’t make small talk unless I feel obligated because I wouldn’t want to come across as rude. A lot of times if you say nothing people will take that as you thinking you’re better than them and I hate being viewed in a negative way. What’s worse to me? A painful few min of small talk or people thinking I’m above them? I guess I’ll partake in it if necessary. It would be nice if we could be our true selves around everyone. Why is that so difficult?
That’s it right there, if we skip the filters and just be real with each other. If real is staying mute, or genuinely talkative, excited, or having a total break down and crying in front of a complete stranger, by all means don’t restrain it. It’s hard practice in the shadow of our vulnerabilities. 😎
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