By: Zach Fulwood
Let’s be honest. Nobody likes small talk. In fact, most people absolutely dread it. Whether it’s because you’re socially awkward or because you’re always in a rush, if you could avoid engaging in small talk, you would.
Don’t get me wrong, conversations are an essential ingredient to meeting new people and making friends, but we also have to remember that all conversations are not created equal. Discussing how you managed to end up in the same traffic jam as a coworker on your way to work is likely not going to lead to you being in each other’s wedding. On the flip side, conversing about how your law firm can avoid settling and instead, going to trial and winning could very well lead you to becoming a partner.
They say that there’s a time and place for everything but there’s really no time or place for small talk. No one cares to talk about whether or not they like their meal even though you’re watching them take one bite after another. No one truly cares to have an entire conversation about the weather that you both clearly just came out of. I’m not saying that you have to ask people about their medical history or anything, but you could at least avoid asking obvious and meaningless questions.
The truth is, small talk usually comes from those who can’t stand silence and feel the need to fill the silence with a conversation. It doesn’t really matter if the conversation is meaningful or not. They just want something to supplement the lack of noise. These are also the same people who make elevator rides so terrifying because they choose to ignore the social rule of absolute silence while on the elevator.
To some degree, I do understand why many people feel the need to engage in some level of small talk. Trying to spark up a meaningful conversation out of thin air is tough and talking to complete strangers is awkward. However, I think we can all agree that small talk is far from being the necessity that it’s been made out to be.