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animal
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02 Oct 2008, 4:31 am

I don't know if this is the right place for this, but it's about socialisation, so it kind of fits...

I think I've figured out why people do smalltalk, and I wanted to share my discoveries with someone.
It's all about connection. When your colleague tells you that she is going to the toilet, she is not telling you this to inform you of her bowel movements, she is doing it to connect with you. Because to 'normal' people, everything you say is basically pointless in itself; the point of conversation is to establish a link between you and someone else. Your colleague, when she tells you that she is going to the toilet, is really saying "Hello. You are here, and I am here, and we are connected". I'm still not exactly sure why connection is important to people. I think it may be because people don't feel sure that they're quite real unless someone can talk to them and therefore validate their existence. But that's just a theory.
Anyway, this realisation took a great weight off my mind, because it means that I don't have to analyse every single thing that people say to me. Brilliant! I can just say "yes" or "okay" or some other vague statement of agreement, and then I will be participating in the web of connection. Me. Actually participating. Amazing. :D
The point is, I'm really excited, because I'm finally starting to figure people out. It's taken a lot of work, but I'm getting there.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. That is all.



Kelsi
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02 Oct 2008, 6:17 am

animal wrote:
When your colleague tells you that she is going to the toilet, she is not telling you this to inform you of her bowel movements, she is doing it to connect with you.


And they think WE are weird!! ! 8O

animal wrote:
I think it may be because people don't feel sure that they're quite real unless someone can talk to them and therefore validate their existence. But that's just a theory.


And a very interesting theory too. :)

It does all take a lot of work doesn't it? I've learnt heaps over the years, but it never ends. There is always more. I'm glad that you are excited about it, and hope you stay that way. By the way, have you ever read Marc Segar's online Survival Guide?

http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~alistair/survival/



hale_bopp
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02 Oct 2008, 6:21 am

I don't get it.. I wouldn't go up to someone and say "I'm going to the toilet" unless it was relevant - I was informing them that I was leaving for a bit.

I sort of see what you mean about connection though. I just don't get how you jump from small talk stage to friendship stage.



Kelsi
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02 Oct 2008, 6:33 am

hale_bopp wrote:
I just don't get how you jump from small talk stage to friendship stage.


I wouldn't even want to :lol: The only people I make friends with are those who don't bother with small talk. I like people with whom I can have interesting, meaningful conversations right from the very start.

I hate small talk. I only do it when I know I absolutely have to - like at work. And I really, really resent having to.



happypuff
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02 Oct 2008, 6:52 am

is there a similar site for how to learn small talk?

Ie a list of
-hi
-how are you
-how was your weekend did you do anything
-what classes do you have today

thats about all I know, it took me a while to get to there :P (especially for the last one, took me a while to work out that I was the only person I know that memorises everyone elses timetables and they also don't remember that you know theirs and that neither of you care about the answer anyway)



donkey
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02 Oct 2008, 7:49 am

its an interesting observation you have made and your insight is remarkable.

it is a truth.

there is an underlying human need to connect to others, to bond, this is what can be described as a human given.....non-AS humans need this to happen like all people need oxygen.

the next step in this connection is resonance......non AS humans get a resonance when they connect with others and this connections is reciprocated...non-AS love this, and to a lesser extent they need it.

this resonance can be measured in the brain during MRI studies it is real and it exists in non AS humans.

and it can be arugued that all non AS humans have a need to connect AND , in time a need to manipulate this connection.

this can be found in studies done on animals, psychologist texts , and self reflection, but my association of all these variables leads me to posit that when non-As humans do not connect and have their resonance denied.....for example when they insist on talking about the weather, making small talk and social chit chat and we as AS individuals do not respond, or feel a need to respond, they ( the non-AS) get very offended...their needs are not being fulfilled, they avoid or reject us....it appears and can be seen as bullying, but they doent understand it....so strong an d habitual is their need to connect and resonate that when they dont have it.......they crave it and to deny them this is to deny them oxygen....they cant funtion with out it. and they are very sensitive when it is absent.

we AS dont have this need or want to connect or resonate, as much as non-AS

most AS will have a reduced need to connect and resonate but be can be self fulfilling prefering to remain quiet than to chit chat
and talk shite. some AS will over compensate and will be seen as gregarious and extroverted and they have an abnormal need to connect and gain resonance and these people will seek validation totally through their connection established , maintained and resonated through others ( you find a lot of this type of person in acting, entertainment).


so when i realised this, i too like you realised to mimick small talk to fulfill their need , but i approached from an intellectual view, a look, see, observe and adapt view...and it isnt inherently normal, it lacks the finese of a smotth small talk but i am getting better.

once someone with AS realises a system and works out why they need to engage in small talk they have more motivation to do and copy, to adapt than just doing it because "others do it"

i act like a chameleon to adapt in their world, but it isnt natural to me. it stills pains me but i still try.

but your post rang true for me. it resonated as a statement of truth and fact for me.
i agree with it as it seems to support my own theory.
thank you for sharing it .


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Bataar
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02 Oct 2008, 11:55 am

IMO, talking should only be done to request or provide relevant information :)



animal
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02 Oct 2008, 8:08 pm

donkey wrote:
but your post rang true for me. it resonated as a statement of truth and fact for me.
i agree with it as it seems to support my own theory.
thank you for sharing it .


You're welcome! It's good to discover other people who have the same ideas as me.



Owendust
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03 Oct 2008, 12:17 am

As far as I can tell, NT's use small talk as a tool get a general sense of the people around them and to become comfortable with them.

I like to picture it as someone stepping into a wading pool to get a sense of the water temperature before jumping into the deeper water.

It seems that through the communication of seemingly meaningless information, they can instinctively gauge the other person's body language or tone of voice and can then decipher whether the other person is someone who merits the unveiling of their own thoughts on more relevant, personal subjects.

In other words, they start with general, basic thoughts that most NT's can relate to (weather, sports...) and then slowly move towards issues that actually matter. It's like a built-in neuro-typical safety mechanism which allows them to connect with others without revealing their own intimate, meaningful thoughts, which might leave them open to an adverse reaction, like ridicule.



animal
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03 Oct 2008, 1:44 am

Owendust wrote:
As far as I can tell, NT's use small talk as a tool get a general sense of the people around them and to become comfortable with them.

I like to picture it as someone stepping into a wading pool to get a sense of the water temperature before jumping into the deeper water.

It seems that through the communication of seemingly meaningless information, they can instinctively gauge the other person's body language or tone of voice and can then decipher whether the other person is someone who merits the unveiling of their own thoughts on more relevant, personal subjects.

In other words, they start with general, basic thoughts that most NT's can relate to (weather, sports...) and then slowly move towards issues that actually matter. It's like a built-in neuro-typical safety mechanism which allows them to connect with others without revealing their own intimate, meaningful thoughts, which might leave them open to an adverse reaction, like ridicule.


Yes, but this does not explain why they keep on engaging in smalltalk after their relationship has been established. At my workplace, for example, people engage in meaningless smalltalk all the time, even though they already know that they are not going to cultivate a deeper relationship with any of these people. Therefore, smalltalk cannot be just about 'testing the waters', because in the example mentioned above, the water have already been tested, so to speak, and yet smalltalk continues. I think smalltalk has an ongoing purpose, rather than a purely one-off purpose (although the purpose you mentioned is certainly a part of it. I just don't think it's the main, base level purpose). That is why I think the quantity of connection, rather than the quality of connection, is what is important to most people. That's my theory, anyway.



donkey
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03 Oct 2008, 2:38 am

great. your both right.

it is a "feel them out test"

but it also a constant requirement to guage mood, to share information to feel safe .

like meer cats constantly squeeking the other meer cats feel accustomed to this constant noise, it is safe when they hear it.
if it stops or the pitch changes...they feel unsafe.

it is amazing how many animal models can be used to describe human behaviour.

i cant work and sqeek like a meer cat and i cant work when they are screeching.


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Owendust
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03 Oct 2008, 3:18 am

^^^
I think your meer cat analogy is a great way to explain the continued need for small talk.



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03 Oct 2008, 3:47 am

The ongoing purpose is, I think, to maintain an ongoing connection. It's like a flock of birds, they make noise all the time. People who study this think that most of their noises mean exactly what you said small talk means: "Here I am, there you are, we are connected." Doing this all the time as they wander about keeps them together, one notices if it has strayed away from the others, others notice if one's gone missing. As sociable omnivorous scavanging ape-beasts, human beings have reason to behave the same way. They're not thinking about it any more than birds are, they just feel the urge to make a call and feel uncomfortable if they don't get a response.

There's all this other stuff riding along, though, about appropriate content and maintaining the thead of the dull little psuedo-conversation and trying to find commonalities and forge deeper bonds.



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03 Oct 2008, 7:20 am

animal wrote:
I don't know if this is the right place for this, but it's about socialisation, so it kind of fits...

I think I've figured out why people do smalltalk, and I wanted to share my discoveries with someone.
It's all about connection. When your colleague tells you that she is going to the toilet, she is not telling you this to inform you of her bowel movements, she is doing it to connect with you. Because to 'normal' people, everything you say is basically pointless in itself; the point of conversation is to establish a link between you and someone else. Your colleague, when she tells you that she is going to the toilet, is really saying "Hello. You are here, and I am here, and we are connected". I'm still not exactly sure why connection is important to people. I think it may be because people don't feel sure that they're quite real unless someone can talk to them and therefore validate their existence. But that's just a theory.
Anyway, this realisation took a great weight off my mind, because it means that I don't have to analyse every single thing that people say to me. Brilliant! I can just say "yes" or "okay"
or some other vague statement of agreement, and then I will be participating in the web of connection. Me. Actually participating. Amazing. :D
The point is, I'm really excited, because I'm finally starting to figure people out. It's taken a lot of work, but I'm getting there.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. That is all.


Wouldn't the colleague who tells you she is going to the toilet, do it in order to inform you that she is leaving, so you know where she is and that it won't be for a long time? In my opinion, that's not quite the same as really smalltalk, it's not just mere connecting, but an information.



Kelsi
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03 Oct 2008, 8:57 am

[quote="Electric_Kite"]The ongoing purpose is, I think, to maintain an ongoing connection. It's like a flock of birds, they make noise all the time. People who study this think that most of their noises mean exactly what you said small talk means: "Here I am, there you are, we are connected." Doing this all the time as they wander about keeps them together, one notices if it has strayed away from the others, others notice if one's gone missing. As sociable omnivorous scavanging ape-beasts, human beings have reason to behave the same way.[quote]

I wish they would just bloody well open their eyes and look instead!! ! :lol:



0_equals_true
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03 Oct 2008, 10:54 am

Nice theory. I also came up with a theory a long time ago that doesn’t oppose yours. I think small talk is a form of social 'warming up'. It is not the content that is important. If you actually consider what is being discussed it begs belief, sometimes. There are times when talk about thing they know full well about as if they are pig ignorant. There is extremely weak argument and factual assertion in small talk, because that is not what small talk is for.