I am able to talk about deep things, I can't do small talk

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KagamineLen
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30 Jun 2015, 5:03 pm

I guess this probably has something to do with why it is far easier for me to form friendships in 12-step fellowships and support groups than anywhere else.

When I feel like there is something for me to engage with, I engage with it. I am genuinely interested in other people, and learning more about them, and being as solid of a rock as others have been to me over the last four years. I am gaining more from helping others with their problems than they can ever possibly realize, because I feel that in doing so, I am giving back what I have so gladly taken. That, and I enjoy the company of good people in general.

But small talk..... I struggle to concentrate when people talk to me about their work days, when they talk to me about how uneventful things are, when they talk about the ennui that they impose upon themselves. If they are expressing gratitude that their lives are level and nothing bad is happening, then I do appreciate that. But talking about the weather, about the traffic, about how every work day is exactly the same..... I like to think of myself as an empathetic person, and perhaps this is one area that I need to work on. I like to hear about people building themselves up and making the most of what they have got. To me, small talk that means absolutely nothing interesting to anybody involved is a sign of stagnant complacency.

Or maybe I am overthinking things, or maybe this is my Asperger symptoms popping up. Who knows? I do not like to feel like I am short-changing the people I care about, so I do feel guilty that I really do not care much for those types of conversations at all.



Marky9
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30 Jun 2015, 11:32 pm

I feel much as you do about this. About every couple of weeks I don't mind a lunch centered on small talk, but more often than that seems a silly misuse of time. I also have had a lot of support group involvement, so maybe that does factor in somehow.



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01 Jul 2015, 7:42 pm

I don't think many people really like small talk, but it's a social mechanism that gets them results, anyway. Even if I don't mind it, I don't feel any closer to people because of it and I don't feel I can turn that conversation into a connection--nothing substantial to connect over. Like you, I prefer a strong foundation to start with.



Tollorin
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02 Jul 2015, 4:33 pm

@KagamineLen: In your case having about 160 of IQ must not help you appreciate small talk. Having such scores on a IQ test generally mean a mind hungry for complex and deep stuffs, quite the contrary of small talk.



spatialthinker93
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09 Jul 2015, 3:08 pm

I am also unable to do small talk, I'm also waiting for a professional support group for several reasons.

1. Is the lack of interest in small talk and generally what other people care about.

2. Is that I am abit emotional so I often get depressed when I notice people absolutely have no clue about what I'm talking about(even though most people have a tendency to get interested in the topics I talk about, atleast for a given amount of time). The lack of rationality, and a wish for exploration and understanding at general in the human race is also rather depressing. I have always been a philosopher, so that might be why I find this hard to deal with.

3. Many people have a tendency to feel inferior, or threatened, when somone talks about the big questions of life and society, which leads to defence mechanisms, like pulling out the sheldon cooper card, and labelling one as mad or psychologically injured, which I do not like, even though I do not feel very offended, but its the social consequences which leads to a situation where one cannot act naturally.

4. I've always felt more comfortable around people which are professionals on some fields and are of greater age than myself, they are far more in control than youngsters or people without a degree. Many people without such a degree, or age have a tendency to act irrational, even agressive, or with an agenda, without understanding that they act on impulses. Thus I can conclude I am looking forward to such a group.



PassingThrough
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09 Jul 2015, 5:35 pm

I'm not very good at small talk either. That's why I thrived in college. Most of my classmates were engaged in the deep topics we were studying. It was one of the few times I didn't feel like my attempts to contribute to a conversation weren't a little awkward.



MagicKnight
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29 Mar 2016, 12:28 pm

I'm unable to engage in the "usual" amount of small-talk demanded from acquaintances, co-workers and so on.
I try to dismiss people who approach for idle chinwag. If for some reason I can't avoid or dismiss them, I make efforts but feel awkward.

I can chit-chat to long-time friends but some topics strike me as equally annoying as random talk - if not worst.

Some mate once tried to make me sit and watch a vid in which someone was elaborating on how The Simpsons presumably predicted the future (not my words). My mate was about to develop a whole conversation about that utter nonsense. It was useless and not even nearly amusing, so I cut the conversation and asked to change the vid before he went further. I added: "please watch that when I'm not around, it's an unbearable waste of my precious, scarce weekend time". I realised he became gutted but I couldn't feel sorry. I asked "please" but looks like that is never enough. I should know that by now.



RubyTates
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29 Mar 2016, 7:56 pm

I can engage in small talk for about 5 minutes without it being rehearsed. I can do more if I plan on what I am about to say. But, usually, I avoid it like the plague. I also feel like I am getting dumber when I engage in it for some reason. When I hear other people next to me "small talking" I get really annoyed and my mind immediately goes to something more meaningful like thinking about spirituality or religion, space and the planets, old novels and good short stories that I have read. It makes me feel alive again. Talk without purpose or meaning is just a waste of energy.



slw1990
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29 Mar 2016, 9:00 pm

I'm like this too. When I talk about deep personal things or something that really interests me I can hold a conversation for a while. Small talk feels much more awkward for me. I kind of like it if I don't engage in it all the time and I can use scripts, but sometimes I feel like it just comes out wrong. I don't always know how to respond to some of the comments people make either.



Last edited by slw1990 on 30 Mar 2016, 12:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

kraftiekortie
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29 Mar 2016, 9:05 pm

Small talk is not one of my special interests, either. I tend to go according to a script.

Sometimes, though, it saves me from having to reveal much about what's bothering me--so I kibbitz in a small-talk sense. It gets me through a depressing day.

I like talking about the weather. I don't like talking about the Kardashians (though I don't know much about them, anyway).

I like speaking about factual things. I don't like speaking about emotional things--especially when it has to do with my own emotions.



MjrMajorMajor
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29 Mar 2016, 9:07 pm

I used to abhor small talk, until I learned it's a social bridge and an expression of acceptance. It's like social code for "you're acceptable" or something because people always appreciate the effort. I am socially clueless, but trying to fathom the undercurrent within social exchanges fascinates me.



justkillingtime
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30 Mar 2016, 12:16 am

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I used to abhor small talk, until I learned it's a social bridge and an expression of acceptance. It's like social code for "you're acceptable" or something because people always appreciate the effort. I am socially clueless, but trying to fathom the undercurrent within social exchanges fascinates me.


I had to be in my 60s to learn that. Like slw1990 said "I also don't always know how to respond to some of the comments people make." That is my biggest problem that I seem unable to fix.


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MagicKnight
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30 Mar 2016, 10:45 am

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I used to abhor small talk, until I learned it's a social bridge and an expression of acceptance. It's like social code for "you're acceptable" or something because people always appreciate the effort.


Honest question: do you really think? I mean, people seem to come to chit-chat with me when they have no one else around to do that. That would be the opposite of social acceptance, it's more like "this bloke is awkward but hey there's no one else around, and I feel like talking about the weather ... he will do".



Maple78
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01 Apr 2016, 4:11 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
I used to abhor small talk, until I learned it's a social bridge and an expression of acceptance. It's like social code for "you're acceptable" or something because people always appreciate the effort. I am socially clueless, but trying to fathom the undercurrent within social exchanges fascinates me.


THIS. I have also read that small talk also can function to do things like establish social-tribal associations and rank. Also a way for people to test the waters while figuring all of that out. Basically, there's a lot going on under the surface for NTs, perhaps even subconsciously, that we aren't attuned to. So basically it is pretty important, and we can screw it up. So I'm trying to just stay respectful/polite and trying not to blurt stuff. But I, too, can speak so much more easily about intense/deep stuff rather than small talk, which I don't know how to do - I can do a shoddy imitation, but it's not accomplishing what it does for those who really know how to utilize it. Which is why, for me, small-talk never leads to a growing connection, whereas for others it can be the gateway to a friendship.



mortiis39
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01 Apr 2016, 4:26 pm

Well, I can honestly say - I never thought anyone else had this problem, except me!
I cannot make small talk with most people, but am easily able to discuss my terrible past, and
deep discussions including my abuse as a child etc. I had a "good time" in group therapy because I
built connections around what I was "allowed" to talk about, and I knew that everyone else there had
been through similar things, so I felt connected to them more than an outsider, or someone whom I had
just met and had nothing in common with in the slightest.

Please don't ever think you're the only one with this issue, as I understand it, quite a lot of people on
the spectrum have similar problems, which makes it extremely hard to build relationships and friendships
with people. (people tend to leave me very quickly once I spill out all my past).



auntblabby
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22 Apr 2016, 6:40 pm

i'm pretty fair at small talk, not so hot on big talk. :oops: