Why Introverts Hate Small Talk | How To Be Better At It

As a child I thought I did not like talking. But As I Grew up I realized I did not hate talking I hated small talk.

The meaning less talk that one engages in is a bane for us introverts. These social pleasantries are unpleasant for us introverts.

Even as a child I was notorious for not speaking to my school mates and sitting by myself. Being a child it was ok and acceptable to the adults around me. They just dubbed me as a kid who was quiet and let me be.

I did not make many friends in school. My circle was limited to a few friends whom I enjoyed hanging out with. As I grew up things did not change. I still don’t talk much and have the same small circle of friends.

I was terrible at first introductions and making small talk with strangers and even with people I know. This made me feel insufficient and I felt something was wrong with me. Because of this lack of ability to chat for hours with strangers and acquaintance. 

As an adult I realized I was an introvert and there are others like me. And most importantly there is nothing wrong with me.

I am known for sitting at a corner in a party and not talking to anyone. I do talk to people at parties but I get overwhelmed very soon and return to my corner. I also leave the party’s earlier then everybody else.

Famously I have left the New Year’s Eve party before midnight.

I enjoy reading. Am a fan of talk shows. I like Words. The problem begins when I have to sprout words when I don’t want to.

Small talk isn’t my forte. I have hid myself in the restrooms just to avoid Small talk.

However this always isn’t the case. I sometimes meet someone whom I genuinely want to speak to. And this happens quite often. I meet people with whom I genuinely want to speak, I have my conversation with them and then we go our separate ways and the conversation I had is usually satisfying. But when I meet someone I don’t want to speak to right now and I have to speak to them anyway, it leaves me struggling for words and dissatisfied at the end of the conversation.

These are the reasons I think Introverts hate Small Talk

We Are Not Good At It:

People tend to avoid things that they are not good at. We Introverts are not good at small talk. While extroverts may seek out people to talk to we shun the small talk as much as possible.

We introverts are drained by small talk and feel frustrated by it, Extroverts cherish small talk.

We could how ever try to force ourselves to make small talk but then again it’s a drain on us, hence we avoid it all together.

As my personal opinion, small talk is a skill I am not good at nor do I have any inclination become good at it.

We Find It Meaning Less:

Most people like to exchange pleasantries, but we introverts find it meaningless. Because when two people exchange pleasantries they are exchanging words which have neither depth nor substance.

Another reason why we find small talk boring is that this exchange of word does not give us any new information nor any new insight about the person we are talking to. It also has no value in terms of knowledge as it provides no knowledge about the world around.

Some of the researchers around the world argue that small talk in fact hinders genuine meaningful conversation.

Small Talk Drains Us:

This might come as a surprise to a lot of people especially extroverts but small talk really drains us of your energies.

We introverts have a limited supply of people energy that we use to move about in the world and interact with people. All the daily activities and talking to people drains us of this energy. That is another reason why we hate small talk.

We regain our energies by spending time alone and having conversations that interest us with our close people.

Extroverts on the other hand are drained when they are alone they regain their energy when they talk and interact with people. The content of the conversation does not matter to them, they happy to make small talk

Small Talk is Boring:

The cat is out the bag now, there I have said it out loud. “Small talk is boring”. I find it extremely boring. It serves no purpose as far as I can see.

When we usually meet people we ask them how are they doing and they say, “I am fine”. No one says anything else ever. Even if they are not feeling fine they say “I am fine”. They might be feeling sick or worried or sad or bored but they never say it.

And that is why these pleasantries don’t have a purpose and they are boring.

Small Talk feels like a Test

We usually make small talk in order to break the awkward silence or to avoid the silence. I am however perfectly fine with silence but most people are not.

It usually starts with “how are you”. And then the barrage of question starts. “How was your week end?”, “What did you do during the week end?”, “What do you like?” and it goes on. None of these questions are asked out of genuine curiosity but in an attempt to avoid silence.

And this is what makes small talk so boring for me. I have to answer these questions and it makes me feel I am giving some kind of a test, which I must pass in order to appear normal.

We Introverts would rather talk about the meaning of life then the weather. But what I have come to discover is that not everyone is ready to talk about weighty topics with us at the grocery store or the street corner.

I order to get to those deeper conversation one need to engage in some small talk first. This gives the other person to understand us and opens the door for more meaning full conversations.

I have come to realize the fact that however strong our hatred for small talk may be it is inevitable that we learn to have small talk.

Here are a few tips to help you overcome your detest for small talk.

  • While you engage in small talk ask questions. By asking question you take the focus off you and put it on the other person, so that you don’t have to carry the burden of conversation all the time.
  • We introverts tend to be uncomfortable disclosing personal information right away, so avoid going in to personal topics and steer conversation to a more general topic that interests you.
  • To keep the conversations going avoid one word answers. Whenever you give an answer add a bit of trivia to it, give out a bit of extra information that has not been asked for. This is the norm for small talk.
  • Make up stories. Yes it might sound strange but it’s true, a lot of small talk is made up of fictions stories. People who are masters of small talk make fictions stories all the time.
  • Ask question that would incite response from the other person. You can ask:

“Are you doing anything exciting this week end?”

Or “How was your last vacation?”

  • By asking these type of enquiry question you can take the focus off you and get the other person talking.
  • Another sneaky way of being good at small talk is using flattery. It is used by most good conversationalists. Pay compliments to the other person. For example compliment them on the tie or t-shirt and ask where they buy it. This opens up a whole new area of conversation.
  • If you feel anxious during the conversation know that it might not be the current conversation that is making you nervous but you past experiences.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. If you fail to engage in a small talk it doesn’t mean the other person will hate you or hold it against you.

I hope this article throws so insight into why we introvert hate small talk so much.

And next time when an introvert scoots off after giving a one word answer you would not hold it against them.

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