The Grand Aspirations of Small Talk

Apologies on missing last Thursday’s post. Life gets hairy sometimes. Onward to this week’s post…

The impact of the weather on our lives is severely discounted. It is the first thing that will impact your entire day – what you wear, your mood, how you get to work, whether you go for a run that morning.

The Weather Man is also most likely to be the first man in your life to lie to you.

I care about the weather. I have four weather apps on my phone. But weather falls into the category of “small talk.”

I never considered weather to be “small talk”. It often leads to a discussion of why I like living in San Francisco. The summer heat in Texas (where I grew up) is so bad, you have to leave your car door open when you first get in, lest you suffocate.

“Small talk” is universally hated. It is a farce – a thinly veiled non-attempt to engage with another person. Because the idea of standing next to a stranger in complete silence, is apparently so much worse.

But is it? I don’t mind silence because I place high value on words and conversations. “Small talk” is the equivalent is throwing dollars in the air.

What makes “small talk” so grating is that it has no aspirations of being anything other than “small talk.” The words exchanged probably won’t lead anywhere and that fate has been accepted. It is laziness on the part of the participants. There are no expectations that you must find yourself in a deep, heavy conversation. The only expectation is that you’re engaged in the moment.

You can walk away from a short interaction invigorated, or having learned something or even with a spring in your step. You don’t have to fall victim to “small talk”. By actively engaging, asking questions and above all, LISTENING, you may find yourself having an actual conversation.

I had an acquaintance’s boyfriend ask me “what I did” every time we talked. Finally, I pointed out that despite meeting me multiple times, he insisted on asking and promptly forgetting my occupation.

His response? “Oh haha, I don’t remember.”

Of course you don’t, you coked-out douche.

While this falls on the far end of “small-talk offenders,” the lesson still remains. Don’t be a coked out douche. You can make the choice to engage, walk away, or even…stand in silence.

Remember, only YOU can prevent small talk.

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