• Hey Trainers! Be sure to check out Corsola Beach, our newest section on the forums, in partnership with our friends at Corsola Cove! At the Beach, you can discuss the competitive side of the games, post your favorite Pokemon memes, and connect with other Pokemon creators!
  • Due to the recent changes with Twitter's API, it is no longer possible for Bulbagarden forum users to login via their Twitter account. If you signed up to Bulbagarden via Twitter and do not have another way to login, please contact us here with your Twitter username so that we can get you sorted.

Small Talk

Claire386

Fairy Tamer
Joined
Aug 13, 2023
Messages
328
Reaction score
295
Pronouns
  1. She/Her
Small talk! Some people love it, some hate it. Most probably don't mind it, unless they're introverts or maybe find it too repetitive or ingenuine? What do you think of it??

In case anyone's wondering what I'm talking about it's like when someone messages you with 'hey', how are you?', 'what are you doing?' 'what's up' and 'and other common conversation starters.

I have a pretty interesting perspective when it comes to this as someone who lived in Paris (where small talk does exist and we have plenty of french equivalents to common english starter phrases) but small talk doesn't really take place the way it does in the U.S, especially among complete strangers. However as someone who currently lives and works in the U.S it's something I find myself having to do very often with people, especially with co workers and customers!

But one thing I always found pretty odd is when people ask me how I'm doing and when I reply they don't seem interested enough to respond at all.. like why ask in the first place??!

In one sense though, I'm happy that people think I'm interesting enough to talk to but I feel like with certain people small talk gets repetitive fast, sometimes to where the same question will be asked twice in a very short period, but with other people it bridges into actual conversations. But I totally get that many people aren't very good at coming up with topics to talk about after starting a conversation with small talk, so I can't say it actually bothers me that much either. Even if it's as basic and effortless as a 'hru' followed by a 'wyd'.

All things considered, I'd rather a friend ask me how my day is going without leading into other topics than to just ignore me and ruin the friendship lol.
 
Last edited:
I like small talk, it’s a way for me to keep in contact with my old friends from school and sometimes it can barrel into conversations about how our lives are going which I enjoy. In England, our small talk is probably different from the US. How are you doing is essentially a way to say hello, so we bring up other things like the weather or football results to start small talk with each other.
 
I like small talk, it’s a way for me to keep in contact with my old friends from school and sometimes it can barrel into conversations about how our lives are going which I enjoy. In England, our small talk is probably different from the US. How are you doing is essentially a way to say hello, so we bring up other things like the weather or football results to start small talk with each other.
I feel like 'how are you' also means 'hello' in the u.s... which probably explains why people will often not respond to my response to their question.
 
It really depends on my mood for the day and whether I actually feel like engaging with the person in question or rather avoid them. As an introvert with anxiety issues, it can really be make or break depending on the situation.
 
I'm in the "repetitive and ingenuine" camp: I see small talk as the conversational equivalent of empty calories. Like, you're talking, but it doesn't mean anything, it's just shallow impersonal stuff. In particular I really dislike how "how are you?" has devolved into just a throwaway question, nobody who asks it actually wants to know how you're doing. It's just part of the formula.
"What's up?" is annoying too. In some contexts it works ("hey can we talk?" "sure, what's up?") but when you just ask it out of nowhere, it always throws me off. I usually say "not much", but what is it really asking? What you've been doing? Whether anything interesting has happened? What are you supposed to say to that??

I think my dislike of small talk comes from the fact that I'm an introvert and I don't like talking unless it's something genuine and meaningful. If I'm talking about something that really matters, I can easily hold a conversation, but because small talk is very formulaic and there's a certain way you're supposed to do it, it's hard for me to stick to the conventions without sounding awkward. It just doesn't feel natural to me. I have no problem talking about stuff I really care about, but there's no caring involved in small talk, it's all mechanical.

...maybe I'm just bitter because I don't know how to talk to people. lol
 
I don’t like small talk but I have a hard time finding my way out of it.

I prefer longer conversations because I can talk on and on about Pokémon, my opinions, or just what’s happening in my life. It’s always kind of scary and sometimes awkward to fit these topics into conversations. So then, I just have to go into small talk.
 
For me, small talk comes naturally to me depending on how well I bounce off with the other person. If we hit it off, small talk normally turns into full blown discussions and chats, talking about anything that comes to mind.

The only time I will not be motivated to talk at all is when I'm tired. I'll attempt to at some points, but nine times out of ten I would just be too out of it to chat. Besides, it seems rude trying to talk to someone when you're half asleep.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I'm pretty social lmaox
 
lol i am awful at small talk

i think how i tend to communicate these days is just ranting on about whatever tickles my interest(s) at that particular moment, and if a conversation tends to happen from that, great!! if not, no big deal! we can pick up another time or perhaps i can talk about something else that would lend into an engaging conversation. i suppose i'm more of a "throw conversational spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks" kinda person y'know. sometimes works, sometimes doesn't!
 
I don't really know what separates small talk from actual conversation, but not a fan of the concept. Either let's do our own things or have an actual conversation, it doesn't need to be deeply introspective or last for hours, meaningless pleasantries are just a waste of breath to me. I can't think of many situations where it's really that applicable, other than running into someone you've not seen in a long time or a stranger you probably won't ever see again.

Openers don't bother me, it would feel strange to me if someone just started a conversation off about a specific topic and completely skipped the introductory part, but that's between close friends where asking "How are you?" usually warrants a genuine answer. Between acquaintances/strangers, it would be the reverse, since I don't typically talk to unfamiliar people without an explicit purpose.
 
It really is just another version of that same social phenomenon that leads to groupthink or the Abilene paradox, everyone would be better off had they not engaged in it, but no one really wishes to be singled out as the weird person for being the first to point it out. Unnecessary pleasantries indeed, slightly hypocritical even. Not just the "how are you?" stuff, but also all the wishes (birthdays, name days, holidays... just too much).

If I really want to engage in discussion, I just do. Similarly appreciate the honesty and transparency of being engaged at just as quickly. A super quick opener is OK to break the ice, but I am of the opinion that for text communication, you should get to the point from the first message (second at most depending on context cues), similarly no need to take more than 1-2 dialogue exchanges for speech.
 
It really is just another version of that same social phenomenon that leads to groupthink or the Abilene paradox, everyone would be better off had they not engaged in it, but no one really wishes to be singled out as the weird person for being the first to point it out. Unnecessary pleasantries indeed, slightly hypocritical even. Not just the "how are you?" stuff, but also all the wishes (birthdays, name days, holidays... just too much).

If I really want to engage in discussion, I just do. Similarly appreciate the honesty and transparency of being engaged at just as quickly. A super quick opener is OK to break the ice, but I am of the opinion that for text communication, you should get to the point from the first message (second at most depending on context cues), similarly no need to take more than 1-2 dialogue exchanges for speech.
Haha I think I know what you mean about the holiday greetings, birthday wishes etc! People will all just mirror each other in celebration; like 10 people in a chatroom all yelling 'merry christmas!!'. I mean I think it's sweet but I feel like some people are ingenuine about it? As if there's a hidden intention like wanting to fit in or be a part of something... Like if everyone in your group is doing the same thing except you it might feel awkward not to conform, right?!

I feel like when it comes to social customs (things we just do in our cultures to be polite because it's "established" as the right thing to do), then yes, the majority automatically participate in the practices while the minority see it as silly or pointless but don't say anything- I'm like that a lot when it comes to grammar. Like I learned English as a second language and it baffles me how many native speakers are so bad at spelling, but I refuse to correct them to not come off as rude. I think native speakers really just don't care?

When it comes to small talk it's like, my answer is going to be 'good' or 'fine' 95% of the time and so is yours- we don't need to beat around the bush just to have a basic conversation. Ask me something!- When I approach people for the first time through text I usually try to establish a common connection so that we have something to talk about right off the bat, but I understand that many people just simply aren't good at this and small talk or personal questions is just what they've learned to do.

In that case, I totally get it. c: I know meeting new people is challenging for many people in general, but I do like when people ask me about my interests first, because I can talk about that enthusiastically for hours LOL. Many people who approach me never ask me what I actually like to do, but I feel like if you're looking to make friends then interests works much better! It also helps knowing that if I have absolutely nothing in common with someone I probably won't be interested in getting close with them, as sad as it is to say.
 
i hate hate hate small talk. literally my leawst favorite thing to talk about at all. that's why i kinda hate meeting new people.. or talking to people that i haven't seen in a while. small talk just feels so.. it just feels kinda pointless. you can't really learn anything about what i'm really like if you just ask me generic questions.

it also doesn't help that my social anxiety is always off the charts whenever i'm with someone i'm not familiar with, and i would really rather not talk to anyone at all,
 
i hate hate hate small talk. literally my leawst favorite thing to talk about at all. that's why i kinda hate meeting new people.. or talking to people that i haven't seen in a while. small talk just feels so.. it just feels kinda pointless. you can't really learn anything about what i'm really like if you just ask me generic questions.

it also doesn't help that my social anxiety is always off the charts whenever i'm with someone i'm not familiar with, and i would really rather not talk to anyone at all,
On Discord I get friend requests from strangers on a daily basis because of some servers I'm in and when I accept 99% of the time they lead with "hey" and "how are you?" so I feel your pain. I wish there was an easier way to skip that and go straight to the interesting questions, like about our interests. I feel like hobbies/interests are what make most conversations with people fun.
 
Admittedly, I'm the kind of guy who often has trouble saying more than "hi" and "how are you". There are times where I can go a full paragraph into describing how I'm doing, but often those kinds of things only last a couple of words.
 
Admittedly, I'm the kind of guy who often has trouble saying more than "hi" and "how are you". There are times where I can go a full paragraph into describing how I'm doing, but often those kinds of things only last a couple of words.
If I have high energy I can write paragraphs about myself too, but I think I'm sort of just bad at talking about myself and better at talking about specific topics. But I think that has to do with me having low self confidence and not expecting other people to relate to me much. :/
 
I feel very uncomfortable with small talk. I usually just stammer my way through it or don't participate, but that's mostly due to anxiety too. I like to have in-depth conversations with people about interesting topics but unfortunately it usually takes small talk to get to that point at all in the first place.
 
Please note: The thread is from 9 months ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
Back
Top Bottom