Small Talk vs. Big Ideas: Conversation With An Introvert

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13 thoughts on “Small Talk vs. Big Ideas: Conversation With An Introvert

  1. I find small talk easy, but boring. I also find it INCREDIBLY difficult to transition to more interesting topics, mostly because I find that I’m not very good at being interesting to most people — or, more precisely, of telling things about myself in ways that people find interesting. E.g. — I am a horrible storyteller. I’m extremely happy when I’m with people who make the transition to more heart-felt things easily. I have, however, found that sharing what is really on my heart or mind (within reason) does help in this transition, and I’m working on exploring that more. One last note on small talk — I have loved the couple of cafe jobs I’ve had, because I like chatting with the customers. I have often thought of this as small talk, but thinking about it, I think it is more like banter. And banter is fun.

    1. I’m genuinely fascinated. What’s the difference between “small talk” and “banter”?? I have a sense of it, but I couldn’t describe it.

      1. Let me ponder a good way to put it and I’ll get back to you soon.

  2. Small talk for me is a way of keeping some people at arms length and ensuring I don’t have to reveal myself. It helps that I keep control by asking the”right” question and if you actually ask about me I will try to flip it back towards you. The “right”question can be something I want to know or an easy way to keep it surface and let me zone. Now that I read this it sounds rather devious and neurotic.

  3. I rehearse small talk – I recycle anecdotes like a charity shop, seriously, my husband has heard them all a billion times but they work so I trot them out. This means when I’m actually panicking about the amount of people I don’t know, or the fact that they all have mortgages, I can spin out the small talk and give myself a soothing pep talk at the back of my mind. But it’s exhausting! I take toilet breaks regularly, and have on occasion considered starting smoking just to have an excuse to leave a small talk situation. ‘Big talk’ can be pretty intimidating to me too, especially just one on one opposite eachother in a coffee shop. With new people I would rather suggest a walk, it’s easier to talk when you can look at your feet!
    G and T is my beverage of choice, and usually as soon as I have one I will be fine, because then I can tell my ‘gin is actually vodka’ anecdote. Rehearsed of course. :)
    I’m starting to think I’m a bit much.

    1. Heck, you’re giving me IDEAS here! I love taking walks, but I don’t always suggest it. I’m going to do that more in the future.

      And rehearse anecdotes…yes. Better than accidental word vomit, at least.

      1. worse than accidental word vomit, is the complete blankness where you have NOTHING to say – can’t remember any facts, any names, and in my case, the date of your impending wedding. And then, if you are me, you make it worse by telling everyone watching that it has happened, declaring your own social ineptitude. Run away under cover of awkward laughter.

    2. Yes, exactly – rehearsing and preparing is my strategy, too. I don’t think one should take it too ease with the “light” topics – I think it is really important to be able to make a good conversation go. For my job I have recently signed up at the courese at to benefit in the my current job in sales from being a better conversationalist. And that might include the same old anecdotes once a while… ;-)

  4. I came upon this by googling small talk into big talk. I’ve already realised that I enjoy big talk, to talk about things that matter, personal or not. Small talk is such a massive strain, It’s Inane and mundane and I bond much better with someone willing to engage in banter or talk about more interesting and useful topics. Like ‘Utopia’ something we should all really be talking about

    The difference between Banter and small talk to me anyway is this. Banter is smart snappy small talk for the big screen, verbal sword play that is actually aware, as we seem to be of how dull pure small talk can be, and plays with it.

    “Those are the types of conversations that I crave” with you there my friend!

    I’ve just started how to “make Friends and influcence people” as I need to figure out this small talk thing!

    Say guys, isn’t it a pleasant day…

  5. You’ve written the communication bible for those wanting to talk to introverts!!

  6. I wasn’t sure whether I am an introvert or an extrovert, since I would resonate between two extremes, either sitting in the corner and not talking or talking excessively about my special interests. It seems like most people like small talk just for the sake of enjoying communication, while I get easily bored or my mind is wondering away in deeper thoughts. My motivation is how interesting I find an idea rather than the need to just have small talk for the sake of it. I am lot’s of things, there is some social anxiety sometimes, but my characteristic is that I am more interested in interesting ideas and deep conversations rather than hanging around with people. I even now believe it might be just a neurological thing, our brains makes us wondering into deeper thoughts while there has to be a state of relaxed drunkedness in social situations where you think less and exchange speech more. My brain doesn’t go there, it’s very focused and lost into deeper thoughts.

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