Please Don’t ‘Small Talk’ With Me!
In a Ted Talk by Kalina Silverman where she addresses the apprehensions of societal small talk (video below), Kalina also mentions the awesome idea that maybe we should all just stop this small talk stuff and as she calls it, do “big talk” instead!
I fell in love with this lack of small talk for so many reasons. One; because the social anxiety I get as an introvert for having to go up to a stranger and talk to them about mortgages and how much fun they had on their latest vacations simply makes me furious! Two; when I compare that to how well I do with a stranger when I dive right into the intricacies of life, it’s so refreshing!
I hope to see a day where we can walk into a dinner party and introduce ourselves like this:
Hi, my name is Angel! What’s your biggest fear? Mine is the fear of failure and being alone with my thoughts.
It’s ironic how those that do this already are kind of seen as people who “over-share”. But I’m starting to think they’re onto something! I’m all for discretion and tasteful discussion, so it’s kind of odd for me to be writing this however; the more I think about it the more I see the value in coming right out with our thoughts! Things would be a lot less muddy, there would be a lot less girls eating rocky road ice cream while watching Friends re-runs and crying. There would be a lot less guys listening to Drake and pretending not to miss their exes. Even our beloved politicians might possibly say a thing or two that they actually mean. Things might just be better all around. Maybe the world of over-sharing is something I want to dabble in. But only if you join me.
The idea that we should have these pleasantries, some societal need to remain surface level for no good reason is ridiculous. What is the honest reason that we don’t make an effort to connect with new people when we meet them?
Time? Some may say that it is because we are never going to see them again, others may say that they have plenty of friends and they don’t need any more. The honest reason woven into humanity is the fear of being known.
But here’s the thing. To be loved is to be known. You can’t be loved by someone unless they know you. Know you completely; with your flaws, faults and upsides. The wider the net is of people we know, the more vulnerable we are to love. To many that is dangerous, to many that isn’t reasonable. To many they’d rather close off the possibility and choose carefully who it is they want to be vulnerable to. I understand the principle behind “guarding your heart”
“but there’s a difference between guarding your heart and hardening your heart”
To me it seems that this is why we keep our acquaintances at surface levels. We hold onto our own fate and refuse to open up to everyone in order to let God decide who should be in our lives. We keep our interactions with random people in our every day lives mundane because of fear. But if fear is the opposite of faith, then we are living faith-less lives. Lives of mundane relationships. Where every once in a while we choose who we want to let into our “big talk” but never giving any one else a chance.
Whenever I choose to let faith dictate where my conversations go, leading me to a place of deep connection with whomever I’m talking to; the outcome of the conversation becomes a spiritual one. I don’t mean this in some lofty energy transfer way; what I mean is that when you make a deep connection with someones spirit you begin to understand why God created this person. This takes you to a new depth of relationship where not only can you see your friendship but you can speak confidently about their future because you know God has a great plan for them.
SMALL TALK NO MORE CHALLENGE
I challenge you today. To ask every single person you encounter (or at least one person you don’t know so well) a deep, thought provoking question. One that you wouldn’t normally ask an acquaintance or stranger. Watch how it changes your perspective on humanity.
You see, this is what I love about church. Everyone around me gets “big talk”. There is almost no small talk. If you want some substance in your life, get to a church quick because questions will be answered and debate will be genuinely discussed. The God question is one many are looking to answer, and that simple question is one that could inspire a huge connection with someone. Go make “big talk” with someone, and leave the small talk for the water cooler…as a matter of fact…throw it away.
An introverted big talker,