Reframing Small Talk

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound

small-talkOne of the biggest introvert pet peeves is “small talk.” That’s usually because deep-delvers such as ourselves don’t want to waste our precious social energy on petty topics like weather or sports scores, but instead connect on issues that matter to us.

This quest for meaning is one of introverts’ most admirable traits. Unfortunately, with most people, it’s not always possible to get into such weighty matters right off the bat. For example, it comes across as a little weird to introduce yourself for the first time to a stranger and then immediately ask, “So, do you think there’s such a thing as pure good and evil?”

When people get together with strangers, they’re sussing one another out. So it’s understandable that a lot of folks are wary about baring their souls to people they don’t know the first thing about. And that’s really what small talk is about.

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Ditching the Introvert Crutch

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound 

3d-happy-man-jumping-throwing-crutches-3d-illustration-of-person-joyful-jump-throwing-crutches-3d-drawing_csp17031606-2Sorry to break it to you, but being an introvert isn’t an excuse for sucking at conversation. All too often we introverts let ourselves skip social engagements by pretending we weren’t born to interact with other humans. But that’s just a crutch and leaning on it keeps us from standing on our own two feet.

Accepting and embracing the fact that we’re introverts is key. But so is recognizing that we live in an extroverted society where regular socializing is crucial to our friendships, love life, and career. And, believe it or not, developing social skills can actually make the process a lot of fun.

If you find it impossible to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it’s simply because you haven’t tried it enough. Granted, it’s way easier for extroverts to practice this skill because not only do they enjoy blabbing about whatever crosses their mind, they’re addicted to doing so. While introverts recharge by reading a book, watching a movie, or going on a hike, extroverts get their energy by talking to people.

But just because it’s harder for us introverts, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Socializing is really just a habit, so as soon as you start doing it, it becomes routine. And if you do it long enough, you’ll feel weird if you stop (the same thing goes for hiding at home, of course).

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