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Why small talk?
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vonunov Offline
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Post: #1
Why small talk?

Wannabe Übermensch Wrote:Wah, I'm tired of this stupid, shallow small talk; why don't people just dive right into a deep and meaningful conversation about the meaning of life or something?

Here's one reply to this composite of an attitude I've seen a lot:

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/commen...ng/chmayht

The short answer is you've got to get lubricated before you start getting deep. Don't be afraid of small talk. Playing the game doesn't make you fake or shallow.
05-21-2014 03:08 AM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #2
Why small talk?

Bullshit. Most people don't have enough interpersonal intuition to see past their own nose; the "calibration" is a pathetic excuse for a dying social convention.

That's my take on it, anyway.

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(This post was last modified: 05-21-2014 08:59 AM by Ky.)
05-21-2014 03:13 AM
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vonunov Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Why small talk?

I have to question any statement about how "most people" are inferior in some way. This seems like the other side of this habit we have of illusory superiority. Most people think they're better at driving than most people (for example), which is obviously impossible.

How do you mean a pathetic excuse? Is it not measuring up to what it was in the past?
(This post was last modified: 05-21-2014 06:38 AM by vonunov.)
05-21-2014 04:01 AM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #4
Why small talk?

Differences in cognition do not reflect superiority or inferiority. If they did, extraverted intuition would actually be at the bottom of the list, not the top. In any case, the illusion is yours, not mine.

Let me put it this way - in general, people tend not to bother reading other people that deeply. It is more common (and more accepted in society) to gather information by use of the more logical senses than the subjective nature of intuition. People who truly can accurately assess the mood and attitude of others are all the more rare when you consider that intuitive people are more likely to see inside themselves, through self-discovery, than others.

I seldom see displays of extroverted intuition outside School Survival and my social circles. After careful thought, I've determined that there is a reason for this: Society has no love for people who can read others like a book.

Small talk is either a neglected tool of the psychologist or a layman's way of figuring people out. (Due to my annoyance with it, I find it more likely to be the second. Or it could be both.) In any case, any blatant attempt at seeing others for what they are is looked down upon, and I expect that small talk within American society will die soon - either because more people are finding it dreadfully boring, or because more people are afraid what little privacy they have these days means nothing when small talk is employed.

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05-21-2014 09:08 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #5
Why small talk?

I'd rather not talk than talk about the weather. I'd rather listen to silence than listen to people talk about the weather. (or, insert other shallow small-talk topic instead of weather).

I think that most people prefer the sound of talking to the sound of silence, because they find silence awkward... or something. Well, when standing with other people anyway. Then it seems weird to not talk, I guess.

If I was better at conversations, I'd change the topic if it starts going weather-ish... but somehow I can never think of something else to talk about. I hope to get better at that.

Quote:Playing the game doesn't make you fake or shallow.
But it makes me bored and want to make some kind of excuse to get away from the person.

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05-21-2014 11:29 PM
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Hansgrohe Offline
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Post: #6
Why small talk?

I wouldn't say small talk is all that bad. I think small talk is somewhat useful when trying to start off a basic conversation, basically the building stages.

More in-depth conversations take time to happen. At least in my experience.

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05-22-2014 02:55 AM
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vonunov Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Why small talk?

Yeah, surely you don't want to go on about that sort of thing all the time, but when you're first forming a connection it can serve as a way in.

It reminds me of this comic, which I think I railed against before: http://zenpencils.com/comic/102-timothy-...like-them/

These topics of conversation are cool and all, but you can't just launch right into them with strangers. You ain't got it like that; you need to ease into it through less intense topics.

I don't like silence-avoiding blabber or recurring small talk with the same person about the same crap either, and if the conversation doesn't go beyond that then there's not much of a connection for me there. But asking how the mother is or commenting on the weather can be a way to segue into more meaningful subjects.

I used to find ways to not-so-subtly extricate myself from small talk, but it seems to me now that it's better to turn the conversation toward something you find interesting. The small-talk topics can be starting points for a personal story, if your relationship is close enough to warrant it, or maybe some questions about the person's background.

For me it's kind of draining to constantly only talk about deep and significant things -- not that I don't ever want to talk about them, but sometimes I could go for some light commiseration or commentary.

I do often get awkward in silence, not because it bothers me particularly, but because I either think the other person is bothered or because I expect people in general to be bothered by it. I then feel compelled to help them avoid this.
05-22-2014 02:57 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #8
Why small talk?

Small talk is just as efficient in gauging a person's attitudes and beliefs.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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05-22-2014 09:46 AM
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vonunov Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Why small talk?

I was going through this guy's videos because he's awesome and all that, and his first point there is relevant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vho9eKarxgY

It's basically what's already been said, but said cooler.

(Also, I can confirm using myself as an example that impulsive introverts exist.)
05-22-2014 05:10 PM
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Post: #10
RE: Why small talk?

If you don't want small talk then don't engage in small talk. No one else should tell you what you want to personally communicate, you might feel shit and not be in the mood to talk for all they know. When I get in a taxi I prefer to watch the world go by and relax in comfort knowing I'm getting to where I want to go a lot quicker and effortless. Some of us have a lot going on in our heads, so much that we would just not want to talk to anybody in our ventures sometimes. I don't really extend this to family and friends. Of course this doesn't apply all the time, sometimes I will go out with the intention of being social when I want.

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05-22-2014 07:19 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #11
Why small talk?

Small talk isn't an issue. What is an issue is incesssant talking.

The sales manager at my job just goes on and on, repeating himself at least twice. Probably what makes him a good salesman, but still annoying as hell.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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05-23-2014 08:59 AM
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Hansgrohe Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Why small talk?

Looking back at this thread and having become more extroverted these days, small talk is pretty useful at knowing someone. It's not as horrible as it seems.

If you're able to use free association well then you can navigate the depths of human conversation. Also usually small talk leads to much deeper conversations in the future.

Ultimately you can't just approach some hot blonde girl at a party and discuss quantum physics. Not that it's impossible, but usually you'd have to build a level of comfort before you have that level of conversation.

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05-06-2017 04:08 PM
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TheVanishingSnowDove Offline
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Post: #13
Why small talk?

My old literature teacher was the master of deep conversations. Every classroom discussion trailed off into conspiracies, esoteric ideas you never hear outside of the internet, questions about the universe, or political stuff from perspectives neither democrat nor republican. She once told us she made her own religion with ideas that just made sense to her. Then she said something like, "I used to think.. Who created god? And then I wondered.. Who created who created god? And who created who created who created god? And who created who created who created who created god?" and as she continued that, my classmates started beating on the table and we made a song out of it. "And who created who created who created who created who created who created god?" Laugh

I wouldn't have even called that just a literature class. It more like a creative writing, art and literature class with lots of video watching and other interesting ways to learn stuff. She didn't like the traditional way of teaching.
~Legendary teacher right there~ She doesn't even stay in one school. She moves from school to school every year, and may quit teaching soon.

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05-06-2017 11:31 PM
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TheVanishingSnowDove Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Why small talk?

I feel like it would be fun to edit the small talk. Like instead of saying, "Weather's awful today, eh?" you could say, "Aww heck yes! I love the rain! I hope it hails today, I've never seen that."

Would starting deep be that bad, if someone used the spectrum of deep. Saying, "I always get mind fucked when I try to imagine a world without consciousness filled with nothingness, but it also mind fucks me to think of it always being there," probably would be more awkward than asking, "How do you feel about the system?" which would be more awkward than, "How much of an empath do you think you are?" which may be more awkward than, "Do you think riding the train to the end of the line could send you to another world?"
Maybe it'd be fun to start conversations like that..
I'm just bored by anything said normally.

I don't even like saying regualar happy birthday's. I sent these to 2 friends from camp:
-Feliz cumpleaños(Happy birthday)!!!!!!! Also, if you ever miss being 15, remember that in parallel universe you still are... but then again... in a parallel universe you could be 17 or any other age... Enjoy being 16!! ^-^

-EEEEEERRRIINNN!!! Happy birthday!!! Now your my age...and around the age that characters in awesome shows start their adventures. So prepare for your discovery of superhuman abilities, beings of other universes entering your home, your horses speaking to you telepathically and teaching you the secrets of nature, your recruitment into a secret agency for teens with powers/ from other dimensions, mastering impossible skills, making unexpected friends, my theory of camp coming true, and more! x3


The liked my posts, so maybe they weren't that weirded out... o-o

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"I’M BEGGING YOU, PRINCE ZUKO! It’s time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big question: who are you and what do YOU want?"
" Is it your own destiny? Or is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you?"
" While it is always best to believe in one’s self, a little help from others can be a great blessing"
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05-07-2017 12:15 AM
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Rule_BreakerXVIII Offline
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Post: #15
Why small talk?

It's allows us to assess of the other person, who is simultaneously assessing us Biggrin

Like. if OP mentions voting for Trump, racist, sexist or ageist attitudes, etc. in casual conversation, it's time to run. And chatting about shallow stuff can be quite fun sometimes.

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05-07-2017 12:57 AM
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Hansgrohe Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Why small talk?

(05-06-2017 11:31 PM)TheVanishingSnowDove Wrote:  My old literature teacher was the master of deep conversations. Every classroom discussion trailed off into conspiracies, esoteric ideas you never hear outside of the internet, questions about the universe, or political stuff from perspectives neither democrat nor republican. She once told us she made her own religion with ideas that just made sense to her. Then she said something like, "I used to think.. Who created god? And then I wondered.. Who created who created god? And who created who created who created god? And who created who created who created who created god?" and as she continued that, my classmates started beating on the table and we made a song out of it. "And who created who created who created who created who created who created god?" Laugh

I wouldn't have even called that just a literature class. It more like a creative writing, art and literature class with lots of video watching and other interesting ways to learn stuff. She didn't like the traditional way of teaching.
~Legendary teacher right there~ She doesn't even stay in one school. She moves from school to school every year, and may quit teaching soon.

Learning about politics from non American perspectives is really fun and enlightening, really.

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05-07-2017 05:04 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Why small talk?

cuz they have opinions outside of the US. Most of us here have other peoples opinions.

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05-07-2017 03:32 PM
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Hansgrohe Offline
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Post: #18
Why small talk?

US media is a pretty terrible way to gauge the situation on the ground

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05-07-2017 04:00 PM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Why small talk?

indeed

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05-08-2017 07:34 AM
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