The Agonizing Torture of Small Talk

Have you ever been in a public place, maybe the grocery store, and seen someone you knew, and chose to look away quickly and walk in the opposite direction? I actually do this all the time. Maybe I’m weird, or an asshole. The latter is almost definitely true. But the thing is, I absolutely despise small talk. I don’t avoid people because I hate them. I just avoid the people I know I don’t have anything to talk about with them. Is that really so bad? I just really really hate conversations about nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love conversations. You can ask me to get coffee with you anytime and talk for hours about life, love, the universe, or really anything. I absolutely love hearing people’s stories. Those kinds of conversations actually keep me strengthened and motivated. Those conversations are a blessing.

But when I run into an old friend or acquaintance I haven’t seen in 7 years, and all we have to talk about is a brief summary of their current life, the weather, and how their family is…You might as well take a drill to my forehead.

Maybe this stems back to the fact that I have a purpose for almost everything I do and say. I try not to do things that are meaningless. I try not to say things I don’t mean. And I won’t have friends that I’m not going to invest fully in their lives. So those short 5 minutes of torture that we have with one another to pretend like we care just seems…well…pointless.

Why pretend? Why lie? Do we really need to keep this idiotic pattern up? We both know we don’t really care, or we would have stayed in touch. Everyone only has a certain amount of room in their life for people. Therefore, we have a limited amount of people in our lives. We should just be honest about this fact and stop trying to cram more people in there and making them feel unloved or unworthy of our time. We are all guilty of this.

I would rather spend my time investing in the things that I know I can follow through with, as I’m sure you would agree. So am I still a jerk if I choose to avoid the inevitable empty conversation that will surely take place if I make myself known to the distant acquaintance from years past? Its a strange action, I will admit. Even quite funny at times. It may even be a bit cowardly, but It just seems easier than telling them ” I literally have nothing to say to you…carry on.”

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