Small talk

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by birch, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

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    Why is it when some people do small talk it seems unbearable to the point it feels rude, fake and pretentious?

    I think everyone does small talk but what ive found to be the case is if you dont have chemistry with someone or a group, its very alienating and tedious. But then some people come across more genuine or trustworthy so you dont mind listening.

    Does it really come down to other aspects you pick up about the people you interact with that is really the issue?

    Ive talked to people who dont have the exact same interests or background and i felt fine listening to their small talk but some others i cannot stand it, it comes across as obnoxious about it like they dont have any regard or sensitivity they might be boring you to death.

    Have you ever met people or group who only do small talk to the point it seems they are phoney and shallow?

    I like to listen to people i can learn something from or they are genuine snd not just speaking obnoxiously to fit in.

    Oddly, even if someone isnt well educated but they are nice and humble, they are still good company but people who proudly do small talk about themselves like its interesting and that is all the kind of talk they do feels horrible. Its as if their agenda is to feel good to bore you and use you as a sounding board. Its not just individuals, it can be groups of people.

    Is it really just chemistry? Its like feeling chafed by incessant mindnumbing small talk and totally banal conversation that never has a wave like flow of practical or exceedingly trivial info/talk to 'idea' talk to some degree. There are people who only do small talk and never any ideas or thought/philosophy behind it in any degree whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  5. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

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    That is an interesting opinion, because it is most certainly not the case. Most people do, but I know quite a few people who are actually incapable of small talk. Others are in the category of finding it very difficult, but know that social conventions dictate that they try. This results in the small talk being totally artificial and unconvincing.

    The reason I find this topic interesting is that I am fairly convinced that there is a strong correlation between inability to tolerate or engage in small talk and Asperger's syndrome, (or if the USA insists, mild autism) because I am somewhere on that spectrum myself. But there is also a correlation with academia - I have met very many people working in universities, some who are socially normal and others who are simply incapable of saying anything unless they think it is worth recording for posterity (so they remain silent).

    In some social groups in the UK, specifically some, but by no means all, upper middle class, I have encountered groups where the social norm is to engage in polite conversation. This means: 1) absolutely no personal comments; 2) never an opinion which shows disagreement with anybody; 3) no politics; 4) no religion; in fact 5) no conversation of any meaningful kind. To me, this is the very antithesis of conversation, and in such groups I invariably insulted somebody by voicing an outrageous opinion. (Once somebody was recounting their experiences in Africa and in a hushed voice said they even practised Black Magic there. Naïvely I asked what the difference was between Catholicism and Black Magic. There was an immediate total silence, then somebody changed the subject - nobody answered the question and they never invited me back.)
     
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member

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    These types are some of the best people on the planet imo. People who only do small talk as if it's so important to the world but it's not even funny or interesting at all are really obnoxious people. I mean, small talk can be interesting if there is something in it about your trivial routine for the day or whatever but just relaying what you did like it's so important is really strange because you are thinking i don't give a flying fuck, what was the point of you saying so since i am not you significant other, family, or personal friend.

    i think one of the key issues of small talk is to make sure that you have something to offer with that or else it should be reserved for those who personally care for you because no one gives a shit listening about how you went shopping that day or picked up little brat from daycare or wtf you did which wasn't newsworthy whatsoever. Yes, a personal friend would be appropriate to tell these things to. These people also tend to only talk about trivial matters or gossip about people, it's just one or the other and that is the complete extent of how they conversate. i hate these types of people.

    Yes, when you start up a conversation with strangers you will generally do some small talk but only small talk as if it's supposed to be interesting is really bizarre to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I suspect a lot of the skill in making small talk lies in seeming interested in the other person.

    Many bores in social situations are those who make it all about themselves, or who ask the other person a question but then make clear from their later responses that they are not interested in the answers. I have one perfectly pleasant and well-meaning neighbour who is like this. One invariably finds, after about 2 minutes talk with him, that it is somehow all about him and his affairs.
     
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

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    An interesting canadian is rare indeed, a bland boring one is a dime a dozen. maybe it is illegal for a canadian to not be boring or it's the core of their culture. I can also say that for people from especially the northwestern states it seems. i would rather speak to someone from indiana over canada. only exception i take to that is rednecks from the south. i would rather speak to a canadian than a redneck. i never thought i would say that. heck, people from the midwest are more interesting than them. Those from the northeast at least have attitude or opinions, except for your lifelong new yorkers that are just like a stereotype talking like the world must revolve around them. hello? there is a world outside of the bronx, manhattan etc, the rest of the world don't exist in a movie set about new yak city, ok freak?

    Some people are so boring, it's like they are commiting a crime on purpose to spread social evil.

    I will add that i would listen to anyone from anywhere if they were speaking on an intellectual subject to learn from, then it doesn't matter. otherwise, it's just my opinion on how boring listening to small talk is. often it's like torture and they are commiting a social faux pas that is not considered or recognized as one when it's got to be the WORST. Small talk is the worst bs noise pollution ever. I was listening to people go on about traffic tickets for an hour. one stupid anecdote after another like it was interesting and that's another thing, people acting like this shit is interesting to be polite when it isn't. What makes it stupid is there was no point to it as in a twist or what was particularly different about the story or event rather than normal and it wasn't. Then it's obnoxious because they are telling it like it's something unique and boastful almost and you are like waiting for the punchline or and??? the point??? and there is none, whatsoever. It's like me telling someone i went to 7-11 and picked up some ice. and?? the point?? none but isn't it special because I did it and i'm so fuking special???

    unbelievable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I know what you mean, but I suspect the basic problem with most of such people is it is about themselves all the time. We had a very pleasant woman on another science forum who used to drive me nuts. She was perfectly inoffensive but everything she posted was about her: her delayed flight from Hawaii, her health problems, anecdotes about her husband, renovation works to her house. She simply had no idea how egocentric she was. She was no good at talking about ideas, of course, or physical phenomena, which are what a science forum is for.

    The Queen, who has to make small talk more than anyone else on the planet probably, is famous for opening a conversation with, "Have you come far?". It's a bit of national joke, but the thing is anyone can answer that question, it gets them talking about themselves and it easily leads to other openings, about where a person lives, what it is like there, their family, how they travelled, etc. So she can give an impression of taking an interest in them. I am sure that is the key to successful small talk.
     
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if it's just because they are talking about themselves. I think it's an atttitude or approach too. Anytime you talk to strangers or casual acquaintances, you will do some small talk or mostly especially if that is all the level of discourse they find appropriate but it's one thing to talk about trivial matters but another to talk about it like it's interesting or worthy just because you are relaying it when it isn't because you have some contrived sense of importance or status and that's means nothing when it comes to interesting conversation. it's as if they are animated because they are saying it which is obnoxious as if that shit is interesting when it isn't. It reminds me of a gossiper's type of tone is but when it is trivial and not at all ironic, funny, different, reflective etc then it's straight up comes across as egocentric. even a mundane event can be interesting if it's told for a reason of insight but they just spout shit they did or saw and nothing (and nothing beyond that so you can't really have any conversation with it anyways except another chime in what they did or saw and rinse/repeat) remotely added to it and they are adults who are older than me. It is unbelievable how conformist they are. they are too conventional, pedestrian and commercial to some extent in their conversation/outlook and mentality. the other thing that is irritating is there is nothing ever remotely funny that is said but they laugh at anything and it wasn't even funny.

    To me, they are weird. Some of them kiss eachother on the cheek like they are lifelong friends and they just recently met, like they are patting eachother on the back every time they say anything they have done or agree with like it means something? To me, it seems so fake and cliqueish.

    Actually, i have spoken to a few people not in this usual group of people and i remember one man from canada and he was different from them. It's hard to explain but you can tell when someone is more genuine or real. His conversation wasn't anything heavy, spectacular etc just normal conversation but he came across 'normal' to me in that he was not egocentric and he was just naturally trying to connect with another person, neutrally friendly, more open-minded and non-judgemental person. These people are not open-minded but i can tell they think they are because they are mainstream but they are to the point of being stupidly and narrowmindedly conventional. Yes, they may curse, drink, do varying activities or social lifestyles etc but that doesn't mean you are open-minded either. You can feel and read people is the best way i can put it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps you weren't intelligent enough to get the "lol" in my first post as your thread was small talk itself.
     
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

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    then you don't know what small talk is. small talk has absolutely no point at all and no real inquiry.

    but what you do is small talk as you say things with very trite meanings or points.

    people raising the issue of small talk is not small talk, small talker.

    http://elitedaily.com/life/why-you-hate-small-talk/1461552/
    http://introvertspring.com/introverts-hate-small-talk/
    www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-real-reason-introverts-dread-small-talk_us_56854922e4b06fa688823798
     
  14. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    So, I offended you, thanks.
     
  15. birch Valued Senior Member

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    on the contrary, perhaps you are not that intelligent because you are about to be offended. let me analyze you: you hide behind trite comments because either you are that shallow or you don't have any deeper opinions of your own so you are a prime candidate for small talk. you are probably excellent at it. are you??
     
  16. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Why don't you just apologize?
     
  17. Equinox Registered Member

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    You seem to think almost everybody in the world is boring, rude, obnoxious and 'fake'.

    Tell us, are you the only genuine, interesting 'none fake' person in the world?, or is there just a select bunch of you guys?

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  18. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

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    It seems that you have no concept of social behaviour. If you meet a stranger in a social scene, do you launch into some profound topic of conversation without knowing whether the stranger is capable or interested? Of course not. Some small talk is essential as an opening gambit.

    I had a friend who was a retired G.P. who disagreed totally with this, and was immediately confrontational with strangers. I remember well going to social gatherings where he would go up to any group of women (strangers) and say something like "So when was the last time any of you had an orgasm?" This had an interesting effect, depending on the make-up of the gathering, and sometimes led to unpleasant scenes involving offended husbands. The point is that this behaviour can very often be inappropriate and unnecessarily offensive. You can start off with small talk and move on to something meaningful if you decide it is worth it.
     
  19. Equinox Registered Member

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    76
    I'm a special snowflake, Oh! so proud!
    I'm a special snowflake, in the crowd!

    There's no one like me, that can relate,
    My special status, I must articulate.

    Talking small, no, that's not for me,
    A special snowflake, for all to see.

    Don't you know, you're all so dull,
    I'm the only one, not full of bull'

    Kisses, handshakes, all vile and fake!
    Ew! Don't touch, this unique snowflake.
     
  20. birch Valued Senior Member

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    3,880
    Excuse me, didn't i already explain that and reiterate it also? Yes, i did!

    maybe not exactly like this but a lot of people are inapopriate or rude when interacting with others. but then again, it also depends on the group as everyone is different so if there is a group on the same level or with the same interests, it does not matter etc. The point is there are many people who do nothing but small talk and that can get old after say, an hour? of course, it depends on the person.

    i don't have to justify myself to you, just as those who like or only do small talk. i was just expressing my and some other's opinion on small talk considering more people do it than less and it's not enjoyable or 'normal' to some as assumed.

    and when we mean small talk, it is literally all that they are WILLING or CAPABLE of doing, even if you get to know them. Geesh!!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017

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