I Hate Small Talk!
Why do I hate small talk? I’ll get straight to the point and illustrate  by way of an example. It goes something like this ‘Hello, Ma’am. How are you today?” asks the caller, whose name appears on my call display as “unavailable”.  The hairs at the back of my neck point north as I kick myself for answering, thus defeating the purpose of having call display. How am I? she asks – as if she cares two hoots. Whose bright idea was it to instruct telemarketers to inquire after our well-being? “I’m Fine” I say dismissively, leaving an uncomfortable silence where the  “ … and how are you?”  would normally go.  As she proceeds to recite her telemarketing lines I interrupt with an annoyed “No thank you” and move to replace the receiver … but not before I hear her disembodied voice politely telling me to ‘have a nice day’. How am I?  Have a nice day? When did these phrases seep into our communication with absolute strangers? I’m not good at making small talk. Maybe that’s why I hate it – or is it the other way around?  Either way, it can be a bit of a problem, since it follows us everywhere.  Being out and about in the world requires that we engage in chit-chat with sundry people we encounter along the way   … fleeting exchanges about nothing in particular.  What is Small talk? The definition of small talk says it all:  Small talk involves conversation about matters of unimportance. It is one of society’s ice-breaking techniques ... talk starters ...  fillers of empty pockets of time. And oh! empty pockets of time abound!  ...
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