On the Insoluble Problem of Small Talk

“Small talk,” also known as “just being collegial” “friendly” or “networking”.  I am not very good at it. But even when I do pull it off….I feel like I sold my soul. I feel fake and mean-spirited. It is such a strong feeling, it is hard to shake. Why does it feel so wrong to wear a mask–even if it is merely the mask of politeness, or professionality? Should I let people know what I really think…but what good would that do? Wouldn’t I just hurt people then, with all my sharp and pointy opinions?

 

Maybe we should all become like Asperger’s people, and learn to be honest, all the time. The world might be better that way. To only laugh when you really meant it, and to cry whenever you felt like it, and to always say what you really mean.

 

I guess I’m just over-reacting. Small talk and social masks are necessary for politeness’ sake, I guess. But…. this discomfort about my own small-talk is something I still haven’t been able to shake.

 

So I haven’t figured out this small talk thing yet, and I’m 25 years old. Augh.

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One thought on “On the Insoluble Problem of Small Talk

  1. I think that introverts of all ages find small talk insoluble. Even when it’s in more of a personal than a professional setting…like the baby shower I went to last weekend…I find it terribly grating. It feels like expending energy on trivialities, when it could so much more profitably be invested in deeper topics, and deepening relationships…but that makes me feel unfriendly. And acting like I’m well and happy when I’m not is worse. I’m not sure what the solution is. Especially because sharing what I’m really thinking and feeling won’t necessarily build up the people around me, and therefore wouldn’t be loving…sigh. The perils of having an introverted disposition.

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