I Hate Small Talk

What is the bane of existing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Seriously. I hate small talk. I want nothing to do with it.

I have some friends who are a husband and wife and both of them are on the spectrum. When we call one another, it’s because one of us has a problem and wants the other’s help. Thus, we call and we immediately jump straight to whatever the situation is. There’s no “How are you?” or anything like that. Now if the other is struggling with something, we might message later on Facebook asking how they’re holding up knowing what the situation is, but it’s never said in the area of small talk.

You know what so many of us hate about it? It’s fake. People say things and they don’t mean it. “How are you?” I have had people say that to me and keep just walking on by. It tells me they don’t really care. Besides, on a bad day for me, I doubt anyone would want to hear me talk about what I am dealing with that day.

I have a therapist here and in discussing the matter with him, something we came to the conclusion of is with me, I replace small talk with humor. When people come to the Post Office, I try to make them laugh. You all probably don’t know what a joy it is when people come and I’m talking with them and I can tell they’re genuinely laughing at my antics.

When a customer comes in who doesn’t know me and tries to engage in small talk, I tend more to freeze than anything else. I have no idea what to say. Sometimes I even have a hard time verbalizing a hi. Again, this can get people to think you’re rude, which is a sad aspect of the way it works.

Getting back to the fakeness of small talk, that’s what makes it so difficult. In my world, I keep looking around to find people who are real. There is a sort of loyalty level I have with people and I give them trust based on how I see them on that level. There are some areas I don’t trust some people with and some areas I do trust other people with.

That depends in part on how real people can be. If you ask me how I’m doing and you don’t really care, it is really saddening. That’s also because like anyone else, we do want people who really do care about us. One of the best ways to do that is not to try small talk, but real talk. Find out what really interests us. Ask us questions that aren’t generalities but can definitively be answered.

For me, I want to talk about subject matter and if I go to someone and I’m just trying to talk about that and not using humor even, that could indicate a different sort of relationship. Like all people, I have aspects of my personality that not even I understand in how I relate to people. Yet of all those ways, small talk is not one of them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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