Nice Weather We’re Having isn’t it?

I’m not good at small talk.  I never have been.  Unlike Mr. Darcy (who at least professed to have the same problem) I know exactly why that is.  It’s the same reason he wasn’t any good at it, I don’t practice.

The thing is that I have no interest in it.  The thing about small talk, about nearly any conversations with strangers, is that it’s just the same conversation over and over and over again and it’s talking just to talk.  I have no interest in that.

I get bored by the same story over and over again.  Bored enough by them that often when something happens that’s blog worthy, I’ll save it for the blog.  Meaning that I won’t go to work, 15 minutes after having eaten a huge plateful of salad with dishwater salad dressing on it and tell my friends at work about the stupid and disgusting thing that I just did.  I have to save it if it’s going to be of any use to me because if I don’t I’ll just get bored with the whole story and be unable to tell it even one more time.

I remember becoming aware of my conversational boredom in high school.  You remember high school, when the answer to “how are you?” is always “tired” and then we try to out tired each other.  We go into the details of why we’re so tired “I was up until midnight catching up on my homework” or, “I totally forgot about the paper due in History until, like, 10:00 last night so I was up all night working on it.”  And I realized what a boring conversation this was.  We were all tired, we all thought we were the tiredest (although the truth of the matter was that I was the tiredest since I had to get up at 4:30 every morning to deliver newspapers and then go to early morning seminary and then go to a show choir class all before the normal school day started) when the truth was that we were all tired because we were all teenagers and were too stupid to go to bed.  (I frequently am still too stupid to go to bed, I just recognize that as my own problem and refuse to complain about it.)

So I quit having that conversation.  I stopped being “tired” when I was asked how I was.  (It’s possible that that that was the origin of  “fantastic” which is currently my go to answer for those sort of mundane greetings.)  Maybe this is the origin of my inability to make small talk, maybe if I had carried on with it in high school I would have developed a talent for the inane.  As it is I don’t really talk to people I don’t know and often, even with people I do know, I have an “unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless [I] expect to say something that will amaze the whole room…”

I think I may have missed my mark here.  I guess it’s time to shut up.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan M
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 08:03:03

    I hate making small talk, too. But I don’t know if it’s because small talk is inane. I think it’s more because of the situation you’re usually in if you’re making small talk. Which is usually socializing in a group setting. As an introvert I hate that kind of thing.

  2. Kristina P.
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 08:18:01

    I think it depends on what small talk is. Talking about the weather and politics? Boo. But asking people about what they do, and more personal questions, in order to get to know them better, I’m OK with it.

  3. Annette
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 10:10:08

    I’m with KristinaP. A lot of it for me depends on my comfort level.

    I’m all over any post with a Mr. Darcy reference. 🙂

  4. julie@my5monkeys
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 11:42:55

    Loved mr darcy but yes there are times when small talk is too much for people and the situation.

    I love it when its quiet and I can think–but never going to happen.

  5. bythelbs
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 12:41:02

    I hear you. I don’t feel a need to fill silences.

    And for the record, any time I ask how you are it’s because I really want to know–I’m not just making conversation. (That’s not true with everyone, of course.)

    P.S. I’m glad you save the dishwater dressing stories for us.

  6. Jen
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 17:36:44

    I’m a small talker… or a long talker, whatever you prefer. I’m not as bad as those who like to fill the silence, I am just able to talk to anyone I come in contact with… that being said, small talk is good if it pertains to books, boys (my husband), or writing.

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