Introverts usually hate small talk, which is not a shock having in mind that most of the time, introverts would like to feel safe before saying anything. Extroverts don’t love small talks either; extroverts usually don’t care as much about them, and the reality is that only a few people like small talks.
I’m an extrovert, and my wife is an introvert, but we both agree that we hate small talk, but for me, they come more naturally and easily than for her. However, that doesn’t mean that I like having those types of talks, and they are often awkward for me as well.
What is small talk?
Small talk is a polite and non-comital discussion that we have with people we know but accidentally meet at that time. Those people can be acquaintances, circumstantial friends, surface-level friends, coworkers, colleagues from high school or college, etc.
You can have small talk with real friends as well, small talks are more about the circumstances rather than the person you have the small talk with.
Doesn’t matter how well you know a person and how much you can talk about with them if you accidentally meet them while crossing the street, most likely, you will have just a small talk rather than a deep, meaningful conversation. But yea, it’s true that we hate more the small talks we have with people we barely know than the ones we have with actual friends.
Read Also: Why Do Introverts Hate Phone Calls?
Why do introverts hate small talk?
Now let’s see three good reasons why introverts really hate small talk.
1. The way introverts communicate
Thinking that introverts don’t like to talk is as wrong as it can be. However, they need more time to start talking because they need to trust and feel comfortable and safe with the person they are talking with compared to an extrovert that can easily talk with a person they met a few minutes ago.
And what can be a worse environment to talk for an introvert than a small talk you have to have when accidentally bumping into someone you barely know at the supermarket or in other situations like this?
2. For introverts most conversations have to be meaningful
Most introverts want to have a meaningful conversation, and they have a hard time accepting that a small talk is empty and unmeaningful but also necessary not to be awkward when you meet someone you know. I know small talks are often awkward, so you have to avoid being awkward by creating an awkward situation. But the truth is that passing by someone you know and saying nothing or trying to avoid them on purpose is the most awkward of those options. So it is more like choosing your poison at this level.
The good part is that it gets easier and less awkward in time as you get used to small talk while avoiding someone or not saying a thing, it will always be awkward.
The most annoying thing for an introvert is seeing an extrovert having a small talk and coming back to them saying, “That’s a nice guy/girl”. For an introvert is like, “how have you drawn a conclusion from a small talk?” but for extroverts is more like something they say without thinking too much about what it means.
Read Also: Do Introverts Hate Parties?
3. The context of small talks
As I said before, one thing that defines a small talk is the context. The fact that you accidentally met with a person, or at least it wasn’t planned to meet with them on purpose even if you knew they would be there, creates the “opportunity” for small talks.
For an introvert, not having the best context for a discussion is a reason for them to hate the small talks. A good context for a discussion helps, and introverts speak more freely, if they plan to talk with someone even for a short time, it is much easier to be psychically prepared for that talk.
When you add that even the body language is weird when we have small talks, it’s clear that it is not an easy discussion to have if you are even a bit anxious when talking with people.
What I mean by weird body language is that usually, we are in a rush since we are doing something else, and we stop in a weird position for those small talks like we are always ready to continue what we are already doing. We stop at an uncomfortable distance to talk, most of the time too far away from each other with other people around or between us who can hear what we talk about.
How to deal with small talk as an introvert?
I noticed that many people recommend taking small talks to another level, to add meaningfulness to them since that can make introverts more comfortable.
But, I don’t think this is a great idea since it’s very hard to do that, and trying to have a deeper and personal discussion in a rush might end up not as you would imagine.
Both parts of a small talk know that it is just that, a polite discussion you must have. Neither of them want to spend extra time or energy in that interaction.
So what I recommend is to try to accept and understand that the small talks just happen and they don’t need to be meaningful and also, you should not overthink them, no one wants to make you vulnerable with those types of talks. Most of the time, they don’t really care what you say in a small talk, and they will forget until they get home.
The easiest way to have a small talk is to talk about the weather, I know it’s silly, and for an introvert might be outrageous to talk about the weather. But it is a neutral topic that will be useful to have prepared for small talks just to not talk about something that might make you feel uncomfortable and end up being awkward. It is good enough to avoid most of the small talks without literally avoiding them.
Another way is to talk about the only thing you have in common if you don’t have too many with that person, that can be annoying as well after a few small talks with that person, but it is what it is. I still have neighbors asking me if I got used to the new apartment, even if I have lived here for about a year.
This is what I mean by you don’t have to overthink a small talk and it is best to let it as is. If you really want to know that person better, you can end the conversation with”we should hang out sometime soon,” and you have a reason to call them after that. However, I will not try to get to know a person better in a circumstance that allows just a small talk.
Small talks are not hated only by introverts, but extroverts know how not to take them seriously as they do with many other things, which is not necessarily a good thing all the time, but in this case, I believe it is.
Having small talks more often will make you more comfortable with them, the best way to stop hating them is to think of them as a mandatory task, you don’t have to love it but hating them is just a waste of energy.