Small Talk Series: Why Small Talk is So Hard for Me

Ok, it’s taken a little longer than planned to finish up this series, but with some input from a friend, I’ve got TWO more posts on the subject this week instead of just one!

Today’s post is the answer to the question: Why is small talk so hard for me?

A few books, (in recent years), have been written about introverts. Each of the following I would highly recommend, to give you a better picture from an introvert’s perspective.

A fellow blogger wrote a review of the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain, here. It’s a book I started reading and just haven’t made time to finish. I would definitely recommend it, along with “Introverts in the Church” from Adam McHugh, which gives perspective for those of us introverts who work and engage in the church community (or work on at team with introverts).

In the review she references a section of the book that says, “They [Introverts], tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

That sounds about right.

Ok, maybe it’s a little dramatic, but if you are or know an introvert, this isn’t totally off base. As has been shared in previous posts and then a few more thoughts that I had:

  • I want to have more meaningful conversation, rather then just fluff. 
  • I can be awkward in social situations if I need to think on my feet, and small talk tends to force you to do so.
  • Not all introverts are shy, but I can be, so that makes small talk very difficult and something I want to avoid.
  • For most introverts, small talk is shallow, surface level conversation, and is not worth the time or effort it takes to engage in it. (As an introvert, I love to meet and chat with people, but it completely drains my energy). 
Why is small talk so hard for you? Can you relate to this? 

The last topic in the series was an idea from my friend Mark, “How to make small talk into more meaningful conversation”  If you’ve got on idea or input for this last post, please comment or let me know! I will be posting on that later this week! I want to hear from both introverts and extroverts!


  • tired_triumph

    What makes small talk hard for me is that often when people do it, they force themselves to jump to conclusions about how much they know about another person, rather than asking meaningful questions. It's considered more “folksy” to crack stereotypical jokes about relationships, for instance, than to ask a simple yet meaningful thing like, “how did you meet?”

  • emily

    So true, Tim! I think Facebook has contributed largely and not necessarily in a positive way to that idea. You follow people on Facebook and you have to resist the urge to just assume things when you see them face to face.

    It's so important to make the meaningful connections in person beyond small talk. Some people don't make the time for something deeper and just want the surface relationships and that is never enough for me.

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