How much small talk is too much? -

Surf and TERF

kiwifarms.net
People often tell me that I'm quiet and I have recently begun to notice that more and more people are taking offense to it. I don't know if it's because I live in a new town or am just hanging out with more extraverted people or what, but people often perceive me as "cold" because I will not insert myself into conversations or engage in lengthy small talk.

This is very odd to me. I was raised with the understanding that small talk is just something you do out of good manners. It is polite to make it as brief as possible so that you are not taking up the other person's time.

What length of small talk is acceptable to you?
 

DeerSeason

kiwifarms.net
I used to have the same problem. Small talk is annoying and trying to force small talk is autistic. I think when people say stuff like "you're too quiet" they're saying that their interactions with you seem unnatural. Like you're trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. It's really not a trait that's worth changing if you have to force yourself.

But anyway, the length of small talk I find acceptable depends on how tolerable I find the other person. Some people are entertaining talking about pretty much anything and others irritate me just by opening their mouths.
 

Surf and TERF

kiwifarms.net
I used to have the same problem. Small talk is annoying and trying to force small talk is autistic. I think when people say stuff like "you're too quiet" they're saying that their interactions with you seem unnatural. Like you're trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. It's really not a trait that's worth changing if you have to force yourself.

But anyway, the length of small talk I find acceptable depends on how tolerable I find the other person. Some people are entertaining talking about pretty much anything and others irritate me just by opening their mouths.
Okay but how would you change it? My approach is to always get the person to talk about themselves and things that they are interested in, but this only works if a person is willing to go off rather than providing just a sentence or two in response.
 
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Depends on the context. Small talk like you describe it is for people you don't really want to be friends with. Like you say you're only talking out of good manners. For people you do want to be friends with the small talk will hopefully lead to more enjoyable discussion.

If you have trouble making conversation a good trick is to wait for them to mention one of their interests, or just ask them what they do in their spare time, and then keep asking them simple follow up questions about it. If you're bored out of your skull doing this then just make excuses and find someone else to talk to.
 

DeerSeason

kiwifarms.net
Depends on the context. Small talk like you describe it is for people you don't really want to be friends with. Like you say you're only talking out of good manners. For people you do want to be friends with the small talk will hopefully lead to more enjoyable discussion.

If you have trouble making conversation a good trick is to wait for them to mention one of their interests, or just ask them what they do in their spare time, and then keep asking them simple follow up questions about it. If you're bored out of your skull doing this then just make excuses and find someone else to talk to.
To add to this: sometimes, if I want to get to know someone better, I'll tell them a short anecdote from my life and gauge their interest.
 

Marco Fucko

ow
kiwifarms.net
All small talk is too much, but then I've had people deeply offended by me interrupting them and telling them to get to the point.

That being said, I've learned how to get by. Reflect back to them what they're saying to you, offer baseline empathy, dumb shit like that. Doesn't change the fact weirdos will try and tell you their life story sometimes, though.
 

Babyspackle

Dumpster Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
Okay but how would you change it? My approach is to always get the person to talk about themselves and things that they are interested in, but this only works if a person is willing to go off rather than providing just a sentence or two in response.
This aspect you shouldn't change. If there is anything you feel you need to change I would think of it like adding tools to the box rather than changing what you already have. I also think the advice anyones going to post here isn't quite going to be as good as what you're going to pickup on your own from in the moment social interactions if you start thinking about acquireing tools / gauges you see in other peoples methods of conversation.

I think for one, it's going to be mostly insecure extroverts that find a problem with you not talking more, and are uncomfortable with silence and/or feel some need for more constant validation. I've always been real extroverted and have had a problem with running over people in conversations with fuckin my ranting and rampant storytelling but I was with a girl for 3 years who her perfect social outing would be everyone else talking tons and her just getting to watch, listen, and drink. I think if the extroverts understand that you (and half the fuckin world) aren't the way they are there should be no issue, but if that were true this thread wouldn't have been made.

There is no such thing as too much small talk only small talk that is too flat or boring. Then again a pointless conversation that is really entertaining useually ends up being described differently
 

sasazuka

Standing in the school hallway.
kiwifarms.net
I've never found it easy to have small talk with friends, unless it's a topic where I actually can contribute something to the conversation, but the worst kind of small talk is when random guys on the bus try to start conversations with anyone sitting nearby because they're usually idiots with no filter who won't shut up with their horrible takes on local politics and quite often they've obviously been drinking.

That's one reason I usually listen to the radio on the bus to avoid random conversation-starting weirdos, and i'm a weirdo myself but at least I'm a weirdo who doesn't want to bother strangers with my own half-baked opinions (this half-baked opinion I'm sharing with strangers here notwithstanding).
 

obliviousbeard

As white as schoolshooter
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
There is no such thing as too much small talk
I mean, this might be bit cultural thing, but I live in north-european nation that is not exactly known for small talk, and I just find it awkward concept general. To exaggerate a bit, if I'm stuck somewhere with you I'll let you have your space, please respect that and let me have mine. I really can't help it, but I do get bit weirded out when I have to actually think what would be reasonable response. Given that it usually just feels bit forced experience.
 

Slimy Time

Rape Face #4
kiwifarms.net
I have the opposite problem. Is there a silent moment between me and someone else? Got to fill it with mundane talk about something because I think it might be rude to not say anything for too long. Would actually benefit from being a bit more curt/quiet. I remember crashing at a friend's place for a week or two in London, the entire house wanted to kill themselves by the end of the week and were not so subtly hinting at me to leave sooner rather than later.
 

Babyspackle

Dumpster Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
I mean, this might be bit cultural thing, but I live in north-european nation that is not exactly known for small talk, and I just find it awkward concept general. To exaggerate a bit, if I'm stuck somewhere with you I'll let you have your space, please respect that and let me have mine. I really can't help it, but I do get bit weirded out when I have to actually think what would be reasonable response. Given that it usually just feels bit forced experience.
I was speaking about idle talk between friends / acquaintances / co-workers as that is what this entire thread has been about.
I would say it's not useually okay to just talk at someone who is sitting somewhere quietly (holy fuck especially if they're reading something).

If someone isn't enthusiastically engaging with you / doesn't seem entertained stop clearly.
 
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Tryphaena

You too can find an axe and grind it
kiwifarms.net
I used to have this problem and still do to a certain extent. It's a problem as in I don't like it but sometimes you have to do it. It became less of a problem when I accepted that it's who I am and I'm okay with it. On to you though. Is it something you genuinely want to change? Or do you feel obligated? Do you have good conversations with people that don't involve small talk? If it's obligation, don't change. Not everyone is cut out for small talk. Not everyone even likes it. I feel like I wind up having more meaningful conversations with people by not doing small talk. However, most people are not very bright or even interesting. Most people default to small talk because they legitimately have nothing else to say. That's something to factor in. That said, in situations where you feel like you must, or if you really want to befriend someone but are struggling to properly carry on a conversation due to them talking about things that you and I both know are shitty dead end topics, make eye contact, nod at appropriate moments, little noises like "hm" and "ah", take what they said and reword it or ask very open ended questions that encourage them to keep talking. "Oh yeah?" "Is that so?" "Well, what about...?" "Huh. Really?" "Well how do you feel about it?"

I'm not much of a talker unless it's a subject I'm really invested in but I swear this works. Some of it, like rewording things, is basically mirroring. A lot of people are so absorbed in whatever mundane bullshit they're spewing that they won't even realize you haven't said much at all and you've turned the conversation around where they've done almost all the talking. Most people walk away feeling like they really connected to you and had a meaningful discussion because you've let them ramble on. Sometimes though, you get a nice surprise and wind up leading into something you actually want to talk about and you can make a decent friend.

Good luck!
 

Kacchan

Carbon-based lifeform
kiwifarms.net
I really don't talk to people myself (because I have other problems to worry about), so I really can't help you much, but I'd say listening is a good tactic, and if you catch on to something you could add on to, do that. My problem is that I have a hair-trigger attitude and really only get along with people who are generally chill, but fairly miserable as well, and I deal with this by generally not talking to people.

If someone says something you're fairly interested in, that might be a good opportunity to try and jump in with something attaining to the conversation.
 
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Gustav Schuchardt

Trans exclusionary radical feminazi.
kiwifarms.net
You start a conversation you can't even finish it
You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?

"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads

 

Idiotron

kiwifarms.net
Why do you hang out with these people?
Unless you're working on a project together or something, you're just wasting each other's time anyway so small talk is kind of necessary.
 
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