Small talk may get you through an awkward social situation, but introverts despise it. Can you relate?
If yes, you’re part of 25% to 40% of the world’s population.
Not loving crowds and unfamiliar faces may be part of your nature, and you may not need an explanation. However, if you’re one of us who likes to know why we do what we do, hop in!
Why Do Introverts Hate Small Talk?
What is small talk?
These are conversations that people perceive as empty, shallow, or fake because the topics are generic and non-personal.
These talks get you through awkward social situations but are believed not to leave a mark on either person. However, these engagements shouldn’t be as trivial as we think they should be.
As an introvert, I feel that if we know why we hate small talk, we can rewire our perceptions and learn how to mesh well. If you’re as curious as I am, read these top reasons why we love to hate small talk.
1. These talks make us feel uncomfortable.
Imagine forcing yourself to attend a party with only a few familiar faces. You wouldn’t want to attend the party if you had a choice. But your employment lies on it.
You’re new to the company that’s why by all means, you have to be there. So here comes that guy from the tech department, also in the same boat as you.
He sat beside you after asking if it was okay for him to do so. You hated his guts because that situation will lead to either awkwardness until one of you leaves or try to engage in small talk.
Your most dreaded moment arrived – he started asking you about your name, which department you’re from, and what you think of the party. You hated answering his questions because you felt he was just asking them for the heck of it.
You see no point in answering them because you’re uncomfortable conversing with someone you haven’t developed a connection with.
2. These talks disrupt our train of thought.
As an introvert, I keep things to myself, not because I don’t want others in. It’s like I’m too caught up in my thoughts to forget about anyone else. There was this time that I had to wait for eight hours at the airport because my flight got delayed.
I was just sitting in the corner, minding my business, when this gentleman sat beside me and started commenting about the airline.
I wasn’t ready to respond because I was also busy thinking about the whole scenario in my head. His presence and soliloquies were unwelcome.
I just don’t have anything else to comment or say to him. Yes, he may be friendly enough to start a conversation, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it.
If you’ve been in this situation and you felt the way I do, don’t hate yourself for it. It’s not that we dislike the company. It’s more like we need more time to get close to someone before we can start opening up to them.
3. Simple talk drains our energy.
I know you know how exhausting it can be for introverts to socialize. Even in the company of family and friends, our social batteries can easily drain when we socialize beyond our limits.
So, imagine how small talk with a stranger can do to us. This means we need to spend energy establishing a connection with that person.
We also have to exert effort to feel comfortable enough to start talking.
Aside from that, we would also be forcing ourselves to do something we’re not all out for. All these can easily drain our energy and cause us to regress for several days.
Small Talk Tips for Introverts
We’ve learned why introverts hate small talk. Now, let’s explore some tips that can help introverts and people who want to know them.
Whether you’re an introvert wanting to change some of your small talk demeanor or someone who wants to have better chances with an introvert, here are some relationship improvement tips.
Understand and accept yourself wholeheartedly.
To be close to an introvert, you must accept them for who they are. This includes accepting that they prefer to be with someone who can challenge their minds.
If you’re an introvert who despises empty talks, don’t loathe yourself for it. That’s your preference, and no one should tell you to change what you like. Go on as long as it’s not damaging or hurtful to others.
Give people a chance to connect with you.
While some people aren’t worthy of your time, others deserve the benefit of the doubt. Don’t dismiss every person you meet who doesn’t act as you please.
Be tolerant of them, try to engage in a friendly conversation, and assess if this person can get past the “hello-how-are-you” stage.
If you give people a chance, you’ll be amazed at their stories and personalities. Who knows? The opportunity you gave that one instance may even lead you to a lifelong friend or partner.
Try to be interested in what others have to say.
When a person rubs us the wrong way because of how “shallow” we perceive their conversation topics are, we immediately judge them.
This judgment will hinder us from getting to know these people better. Instead of giving up on these connections, try to make an effort.
Conversations and relationships are two-way streets, so you must also hold your end of the bargain.
If they say hi and ask you how’s the weather, try to probe. Ask questions that would let you know them better.
By being interested in what other people say, you’re giving them and yourself a chance to build connections. And this is how you start new relationships, my friend.
As an introvert, you may hate socialization and meaningless conversations. However, don’t let these stop you from building connections with people you’re yet to know.
Set your judgments aside and give people more chances than you think they deserve. If you genuinely listen to what they have to share, you can forge better relationships in no time.
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