Stop Small Talk

Small talk is a necessary evil of life in our social lives. I just hate small talk. Anything about the weather, the monotony of school, or another summation of my weekend results in me feeling disinterested, disengaged, and drained. 

Our social life requires that we talk to people about non-essential things, which I get. We can’t constantly be deep, philosophical people. That can become an equally exhaustive state to exist in if we don’t swim to the surface to breathe from time to time. 

I think a big problem in society is that we never move beyond small talk. There gets to be a point in all relationships where unless you jump in and ask some questions of depth, your relationship will plateau and maybe even dissipate. 

I think, or I like to believe at least, that everyone desires to connect with people on a deeper, emotional level. That is the only way we can feel understood. The more we lean into the safety net of small talk, the more we raise our walls and mentally distance ourselves from the people we care about. We start to believe that we’re alone in our problems or emotions.

The art of small talk is all about asking the right questions. People have interesting stories and thoughts and perspectives, even on inconsequential things.

I would recommend asking people about the things they’re passionate about. They’ll want to share about whatever excites them, and you will more than likely not just be nodding and smiling out of obligation to look interested. You may even get something valuable out of the interaction. 

It’s not about where conversation starts, it’s about what it can lead to- what new things you can learn about another person and what unexplored ideas you can venture out on.