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

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AnaHitori
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23 Apr 2016, 1:24 pm

Yup, I'm the same way. Whenever someone is trying to make small talk with me, I get bored and sometimes space out, apparently unable to listen. And even if I manage to pay attention, I can't think of anything to say. I don't understand how my friends can ramble on pointlessly like that.


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Spiderpig
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23 Apr 2016, 1:52 pm

Small talk sucks.

It's probably designed to suck.


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Aristophanes
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23 Apr 2016, 1:55 pm

Small talk is equivalent to two dogs sniffing each other's butt when they first meet. I can't get that image out of my head, so yeah, I fail at small talk because I don't want to sniff another person's butt.



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24 Apr 2016, 7:15 am

Eh...

I actually enjoy it about 25% of the time, otherwise it feels forced to me and rather dull and uninteresting.

Not really that bad at it at all, just keeping my interest is the issue.

Hard to make an effort for something you're not motivated for.



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27 Apr 2016, 11:45 am

I really don't enjoy small talk, it is often a mind-numbing waste of time. The best I do is when the subject interests me and then the problem is more that the conversation doesn't go deep enough or last long enough. I do find the 'deep/intense' stuff easier and more enjoyable. I like a conversation that has some substance. Sometimes I listen to NT's chatting about total nonsense and wonder how they can do it and why they bother. I suppose they are 'bonding'. I was once on a 12 step programme once and found that a life saver.



Ladybeetle
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04 May 2016, 12:31 am

I can't do small talk either. It involves too many vague expressions and formalities, it's hard for me to wrap my head around. When I'm talking about a topic of some substance, it's far easier to know what they're talking about, and I feel productive. Diving straight into my favoured topics hasn't gotten me far, though :(



sleepingpancake
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04 May 2016, 12:41 am

8O same here...to the point that i cant do small talks with my family which they dont understand.i am almost always mistakenly percieved as apathetic and indifferent. but when it comes to topics i get interested i cant stop talking. :lol:


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04 May 2016, 12:45 am

OP: I don't know if this will work for you, but it has been a life saver for me: I go from the assumption that everybody is a nerd about something. It is usually what they spend most of their time on. You could say my special interest is a need to understand the world, and I see all types of information as pieces of a giant puzzle.

When I'm stuck with someone, I fairly quickly turn the conversation around to what the other person works with or does for a hobby or is politically active with, etc. Then I ask them questions about that. They feel valued, and I am learning new stuff.

For example, with a mechanic I might talk about differences between old and new cars, what's their favorite car, etc. Academics tend of course to talk about whatever they do for a living, lots to learn there. Teachers you can ask about what they like best about their job, what do they think about the new curriculum (there is always a new curriculum, or there will be one). Professional drivers have ideas about how to make traffic flow more efficiently, and so on and so forth.

This way you connect with people but avoid being private.

Although I often have trouble asking people personal questions, this does not bother me because it is not very personal, so I am interviewing away.



DataB4
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07 May 2016, 1:38 am

Wow, I feel so at home in this thread! I love having deep discussions. For me, Smalltalk is just a gateway to see what kinds of meaningful discussions, if any, people might want. For example, a question about the weather could branch out into asking about the person's favorite season, and what they like to do during that season. Maybe we find we have some similar hobbies and can talk more about those.

Underwater, sounds like you and I follow some similar strategies to get past smalltalk and learn something. It's actually a strategy I've gotten better at as I started having to network to get clients for my writing business.

As far as personal questions go, I usually let the other person start on those, and ask questions of my own, based on what they choose to share. What do you think?



auntblabby
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07 May 2016, 1:39 am

^^^hiya Data :) welcome to the club 8)



Tiankay
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07 May 2016, 3:41 am

Im able to do smalltalk. In homeopathic doses...

I can talk 2-3 sentences over traffic - if i have been driving 4 hours and got stuck in a traffic jam. I can talk a little about the weather - if i plan to go out and should know how to dress accordingly. I cannot participate in any form of "gossip". What 3rd grade aunt from a neighbor of your dad is f*****g with what math teacher from 5 villages away. How many sextapes paris hilton has now. Who likes who, who talks s**t about who. what was on TV last night. I feel like talking about such things is like filling a big beautiful apartment - thats my mind, with biotoxic waste - thats the BS. And while i know i shouldnt, i tend to look down on people who enjoy this waste of time.

If i engange in some form of conversation it needs some "core substance". I love to discuss deep things with people, and i even slowly learn to respect other peoples opinions on things. But then its often "too much" for the other person im talking with. If i am really interested i can talk endlessly over a specific subject and sometimes activly need to "take a step back" before getting annoying for the other person. And i often miss that point, bringing me back to the status quo of people not wanting to talk to me at all. I hate it...

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TK



auntblabby
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07 May 2016, 3:48 am

^^^welcome to WP 8)



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07 May 2016, 4:38 am

A guy mentioned its the social equivalent to sniffing buts, there may be some truth in that,but I'm not a dog with a nose, so can't really imagine what its like for them, they seem to like it, maybe more than humans do, as they are using amazing doggie senses. Sometimes if you have not engaged in some small talk, then people can be afraid of you, even act aggressively towards you, if they have not had a chance to 'accept' you via small talk.
I like the guys opinion on this thread who said about using small talk as a giant puzzle, that everyone is nerdy about something, has some kind of special interest, and you can learn or hear about things of all kinds. All things may not be interesting personally to you, but finding out why and how other people like it might be. To some extent, it could be seen as detective like, and the questions you ask determine to some extent the answers and the conversation you get.
I think there is a big difference between listening to what people say, and waiting to speak. A lot of the time people just wait for their turn, their thing they want to say. The kinds of questions or responses you might make to someone, even in 'small talk' can alter greatly, if you really just listen. Its actually quite difficult to do, but can be interesting. If you don't, just wait to take your turn, and only listen to what the person is saying, your response to them can be surprising. Suddenly you are detecting things on a different level. Its not just a display of social interaction, and alters small talk into something insightful.
Not to say that you can spend all your time just listening, so you are tuned into a different wavelength, and so have more insightful and interesting questions to ask, based on a greater understanding of the person you are with at the time. That might be too much effort all the time, sometimes you just want to jabber stuff at people, and they want to jabber at you, so it feels like you have an audience, and you can get something out of your head.
A bit like I'm doing now, just rambling, rambling away.
If you really connect with an individual, then talking is often quite natural, pleasant, and special. Most people, NT or not, only have a very small number, maybe just one, or a handful if they are lucky, of people that they really connect with. Where you don't have to work so hard with, or, with who you can be silent.
Compared to conversation with these people who seem special to you, a lot of the conversations with other people seem small, though not necessarily pointless.
Anxiety can put a lot of people off small talking, it certainly has with me. I hope to worry less about how and what i am going to say, as this stresses me out more than just being around people.
Anyway, i don't think, just because the talk is considered small, that it is useless and of no consequence. Small things can be important :)


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auntblabby
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07 May 2016, 4:44 am

little things can mean a lot, if they're the right little things.



Tenek
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07 May 2016, 5:34 am

I am terrible at small talk. Partially because I am bad at at and partially because it seems very useless most of the time. I can only hold actual conversations with people about genuine subjects of interest. But I have found that on occasion engaging in small talk helps me connect with NT's at least on a surface level.



DataB4
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07 May 2016, 8:15 am

Thanks for the welcome to this forum. Apparently, I am in good company with some other new people on this thread. This, and a couple of other threads, led me to create an account.

Ladybeetle wrote:
I can't do small talk either. It involves too many vague expressions and formalities, it's hard for me to wrap my head around.

If you're looking for advice, maybe you could share what sort of vague expressions and formalities are hardest for you?

AnaHitori wrote:
Whenever someone is trying to make small talk with me, I get bored and sometimes space out, apparently unable to listen.

My friends tease me good-naturedly about this every now and then. When I'm listening to a story that gets a little long-winded, I might suddenly ask about a crucial detail that they mentioned in the beginning of the story. I suddenly realize the point and become interested, so they joke.


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