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Thread: small talk

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    I've been waiting for you Satan's Avatar
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    Default small talk

    how are you?

    did you do anything for easter.

    how was your weekend.

    have you got much planned for the weekend.

    etc etc etc

    all those kinds of questions..

    Now I've been thinking about such things a little bit recently. Different people respond with different amounts of information.

    I myself find I change how or what I say depending on who asks, and how they ask.

    Anyway, so it's only Tuesday, and so far three girls have asked me how easter was, and the first one kind of paused before hand, and wasn't too pushy, and I've seen her way more often.

    But then the second girl, I don't really remember her very well, but she seems kind of intrusive. And it's like she was ready to respond to me not doing much.

    Anyway, it's like to be honest, my weekend was pretty good in the end. And it's more that I'm hesitant to be "positive" with people, or to express too much...

    But anyway, it got me thinking. Like the other day my brother was saying that you're meant to just say "not too bad", "fine", "good" etc in response to questions like that.

    And i myself tend to be a fan of "not too bad", but with soem people, it's like they seem to actually try and push you to say more. And then some people if you ask them, they'll say more etc.

    Anyway, I happen to know with my brother for instance, that even with me, if I'm like "how are you", "how's it going", "what have you been up to" etc .. he's pretty brief. Whereas some other people can be quite "long".

    So anyway - like with some people - I can be really glib, and just throw out "how are you?" and people will kind of freeze on the spot for a moment, and "look different" and then suddenly start expressing how they are ...

    And it's like shit, is that what I was asking for. But at the same time, it's like you can get a handle on their state. Where they're at etc. But at the same time you can also kind of smooth over these things.

    I myself am not really an expert at these things. When I was young, I used to get asked how I was a lot. A *LOT*. It'd be like, someone would come up to me and be like "how are you doing?"

    And I'd be like, "I feel like punching something", or "You should learn to stop asking so many questions", or "If I wanted you to know I'd tell you".

    But like, sometimes I remember in my youth, that people would say "burned" and so on, if you responded like that.

    But really, how are you meant to respond, if people keep wanting to ask you how you are, how your weekend was blah blah, and try and pry into your affairs. I mean you could be like "I raped a cat, it screamed a lot, but I think it's going to live" or "You don't mean anything to me".

    But really at the end of the day, everyone's just trying to get along, get on, movement, steady movement, staying strong, staying alive blah blah.

    Where do you all stand on small talk.
    Last edited by Satan; 04-14-2009 at 04:34 AM.

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    i'll tear down the sky Mattie's Avatar
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    Small talk is typically a segue into something else, and usually the answer "wanted" is dependent on the type of setting/relationship you have with a person, I find. Typically, it goes along well with a greeting, and some people kinda just want to hear "Fine." or a very brief summary of events, and then move onto business or something relevant. I've never really felt pressured to go on with small talk with anyone expect for relatives I haven't seen in a while. I personally would only extend small talk to find a tangent to a better conversation and I can't seem to figure out how to approach someone. Small talk seems to only persist when someone has nothing really interesting to say, but for some reason wants/feels obligated to keep talking.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Small talk is just awkward for me. It's like, if I don't really have anything interesting to say to you, then we're just pretending to be interested in each other, and I might as well get on with my life, and you too for that matter.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    small talk is evil.

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    Hot Message FDG's Avatar
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    I love small talk.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    A friend of mine and I recently had a conversation. I was vehemently opposed to small talk, but then told me about the necessities of it. How you can't start a conversation with something deeper than such talk, and how in order to flow freely through the world, one needs small talk. And, for someone like me, who is aiming high in life, it is important. However, ironically, I actually find myself being able to naturally slip into small talk.

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    Hot Message FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    A friend of mine and I recently had a conversation. I was vehemently opposed to small talk, but then told me about the necessities of it. How you can't start a conversation with something deeper than such talk, and how in order to flow freely through the world, one needs small talk. And, for someone like me, who is aiming high in life, it is important. However, ironically, I actually find myself being able to naturally slip into small talk.
    Actually, you have to be careful with this attitude, because small talk for purely networking purposes is often fairly easily recognizable, as opposed to small talk for more genuine aims. Unless, of course, both parties only have networking in mind at the moment of small-talk.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    I've been waiting for you Satan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Actually, you have to be careful with this attitude, because small talk for purely networking purposes is often fairly easily recognizable, as opposed to small talk for more genuine aims. Unless, of course, both parties only have networking in mind at the moment of small-talk.
    Hmm that reminds me that a lot of my small talk does actually end up hilighting various things.

    Although it can be kind of weird. Like tonight this girl was telling me about the annoying noise that's going to persist for 2 weeks. And how old ladies tell her her life story. Weird thing is that she talked a lot about talking too much.

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    Slippery when wet Simon Ssmall's Avatar
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    I like talks. Small or big.
    Looking for an Archnemesis. Willing applicants contact via PM.

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    I've been waiting for you Satan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post
    I should clarify: I don't mind engaging in it myself, but I hate being with someone else who does it frequently. Ever been stuck at a party for hours because the person who brought you wants to network? Agh, that makes me so miserable. I'll just want to leave but I'll look over and see my friend/date/etc. talking to an acquaintance about something they could afford to miss. I just hate feeling held up by something trivial.
    drag 'em away.

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    I'm actually good at engaging in small talk, but I never initiate it unless the situation demands (i.e. it would be awkward if I didn't say something) because it's not something that's important to me. But yeah... I'm good at spewing random non-important crap apparently.
    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
    John Muir

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    Pretend like it's the weekend Banana Pancakes's Avatar
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    small talk, hmmm. (good thread idea, merc) Let's see... my initial instinct was to say that it's a segue into something else but then I realized that when I have something substantial to say to my good friends, I totally skip the small talk and jump directly to what I want to talk about! I think small talk is useful when you want to talk to someone because you enjoy that person but don't have any particular topic in mind or want to gauge their mood first. I sometimes will bring up the weather or ask what they did over the weekend while I'm thinking about what more substantial thing I want to discuss with that person. But usually I dislike small talk. It's boring. But like in some cases let's say you asked what the person did over the weekend and they saw a movie and if it's a movie you saw too that could lead to an interesting discussion on movies in general or themes or books which can lead down many different paths. I guess in the end we shouldn't sell small talk too short because you never know where it might lead.
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    Hot Message FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron View Post
    small talk, hmmm. (good thread idea, merc) Let's see... my initial instinct was to say that it's a segue into something else but then I realized that when I have something substantial to say to my good friends, I totally skip the small talk and jump directly to what I want to talk about! I think small talk is useful when you want to talk to someone because you enjoy that person but don't have any particular topic in mind or want to gauge their mood first. I sometimes will bring up the weather or ask what they did over the weekend while I'm thinking about what more substantial thing I want to discuss with that person. But usually I dislike small talk. It's boring. But like in some cases let's say you asked what the person did over the weekend and they saw a movie and if it's a movie you saw too that could lead to an interesting discussion on movies in general or themes or books which can lead down many different paths. I guess in the end we shouldn't sell small talk too short because you never know where it might lead.
    Yeah, that's my take on it, too.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssmall View Post
    I like talks. Small or big.
    How about Ssmall talk ehehe
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

    INTp

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    small talk is evil.
    No.
    And it was good.

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    Slippery when wet Simon Ssmall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    How about Ssmall talk ehehe
    Sup darling?
    Looking for an Archnemesis. Willing applicants contact via PM.

    ENFp - Fi 7w6 sp/sx
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  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssmall View Post
    Sup darling?
    Ssmall talk sounds bit scary
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

    INTp

  19. #19
    Slippery when wet Simon Ssmall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    Ssmall talk sounds bit scary
    Yeh im very intimidating.
    Looking for an Archnemesis. Willing applicants contact via PM.

    ENFp - Fi 7w6 sp/sx
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  20. #20
    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Actually, you have to be careful with this attitude, because small talk for purely networking purposes is often fairly easily recognizable, as opposed to small talk for more genuine aims. Unless, of course, both parties only have networking in mind at the moment of small-talk.
    Yeah, well at my law presentations most people know exactly why we're talking - it's purely networking. That's the only place I ever want to network. Networking in clubs is just stupid, and networking anywhere else... what's the need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssmall View Post
    Yeh im very intimidating.
    I think it's the headdress.

  21. #21
    Hot Message FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Yeah, well at my law presentations most people know exactly why we're talking - it's purely networking. That's the only place I ever want to network. Networking in clubs is just stupid, and networking anywhere else... what's the need?
    That's true, in other places you'd need a wireless.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    That's true, in other places you'd need a wireless.
    That was so lame, I lol'd.

    --

    Small talk is generally recognised as 'civilised', I suppose, and more polite than ignoring people or sort of 'exploding' onto people. I'm fine with it and I have no problems with making small talk if I need to, but it bores me beyond belief and I keep trying to think of ways to end the conversation graciously -- or ask/request whatever it was I needed in a natural, rather than sudden and demanding, way.

    My biggest problem during small talk would probably be trying to keep my boredom from showing. I usually succeed, get away and then STAY AWAY, which isn't very socially gracious, but social grace is pretty much something I need to work on more and constantly. As opposed to smooth, polished conversational skillz, I'm pretty great at blurting things out, making wisecracks and saying (occasionally inappropriate) things that I find funny, through metaphor and analogy. Unfortunately for my small talk skillz is that people take me literally sometimes and I've had to excuse myself from some awkward misunderstandings more than once. Alas, my burden.
    ()
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