Hey! How’s the weather where you are?
The traffic was pretty light on my journey over here, which was nice. Have you been reading anything this week?
I have. Here’s something from a book I’m exploring:
“Small talk is just a way of matching the other person’s tone and mood. It helps them be comfortable with you.”
It really got me thinking…
Small talk is one of those stereotypical areas of struggle for introverts.
We like deep conversations. And apparently we might not always “see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries”.
I had my introvert ‘aha!’ moment back in 2010. In the article that helped me understand myself in light of that label, Carl King wrote, “introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days”.
I often find small talk awkward, uncomfortable, and clunky. It seems like an unnecessary exploration of superficial and surface. No substance, just fluff.
But it can serve a powerful purpose. Something that stretches way back in human development.
This might be an opportunity to employ the awareness of Chesterton’s Fence.
When we look to reform things (e.g. a fence or gate across the road), we might look at it and say, “I don’t see the use of this; let’s clear it away.”
To which Chesterton’s intelligent type of reformer responds by saying, “if you don’t see the use of it, I won’t let you clear it away yet. Go and study. When you can come back and tell me that you understand the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it”.
This applies to many things.
I’ve been reflecting on it with regard to small talk. Because there are levels at which small seems like futile and meaningless chit chat. Filler. Fluff. Hot air. Wasted time and energy on unimportant triviality.
What if the real value of small talk isn’t about the talking, but is actually about the ‘making‘?
By making small talk, through the tone and mood matching, we are creating a resonance. Locating a frequency. Tuning up, syncing up, warming up. So that we might enter harmony at a core level of being.
In this week’s podcast I explore how this might look, and what it might make possible.