I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but introverts tend to have a lower tolerance for crappy conversations than our extrovert counterparts.

We despise small talk. I mean, I’m sure extroverts don’t love it either, but there do seem to be extra aversions introverts have around shallow conversation, to the point where some of us just won’t say anything at all.

This has even been done to me. Sometimes I’ll meet someone who is even further along the introvert spectrum than I am, and whilst I might be treating the initial conversation as a kind of game of chess, a formality we have to get through until we can start talking about quantum mechanics or death, they will be too impatient to even do that much. Their eyes glaze over. They clam up.

Which is fine, I get it. No one wants to have a lame chat about the weather, even if you are British.

The way I see it, introverts already have a limited capacity for social interaction, so why waste it on the small stuff?

And, as Dr. Laurie Helgoe points out in Introvert Power, “Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

That feels very true to me. Small talk keeps things on the surface. The sooner we can get to the deeper depths, the better. That’s where we can really connect, get honest, laugh, cry, all that good stuff.
Laurie Helgoe Quote


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