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These things are the bane of my life.

I just don't know HOW to chit-chat. I don't know HOW to smalltalk. I don't know HOW to have... a casual conversation.

I can't think of what to say. What is appropriate to say. What to say at that particular moment.

It's even harder when you're with more than one person, because generally the other 2 or more people will go on having a completely fluid, well-flowing conversation. How on earth are you supposed to break-in and contribute without it becoming very awkward and untimely?

Also, I can easily have "asocial" conversations where the point of the conversation is not the conversation itself, but in "purely" sending/receiving factual information. For example - with colleagues at work, I can easily have a "conversation" about purely "official/factual work-related matters". But stray from that to talking about "small/trivial things" or other more "personal/social" things - and I am immediately lost.

The irony of life of course, is that people "like" talking about these latter things MUCH moreso than the aforementioned "pure information exchange".

It's just painful to be that extremely quiet guy who never engages in casual conversation, and who only manages to answer monosyllabically when asked questions. I wish I could have a free-flowing banter with people, with anyone; but I just can't. I just don't know how. That "magic of conversation", which everyone seems to be "born with", seems to be missing from me...
 

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beech plees
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I detest pointless small talk that doesn't discuss anything of import or interest...from one on one face to face interactions I've seen that having opinions on a variety of casual subjects makes for good conversation. Culture/pop culture, history, music, art, sports, books, even food. I wait for lulls in the conversation to interject and listen when I have nothing to contribute. I've gotten better at it of late when people are being more positive (in terms of subject matter and humor) but people being negative/sarcastic and scathing throws me off and makes me very edgy and uneasy, since they seem to like picking on the "weak" ones in the group when the mood is like that.
 

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Been there. I know exactly what you mean. I have just figured that I just naturally have nothing to say. Some talk more than others. You might just need to find others who are the same way.
 

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Oh god it's the same for me. I just don't know what to say to people, so i usually end up panicking and saying something really weird.
 

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Beautiful Mess
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I read a book about small talk. It said that you should be aware of what is going on in the world. I just subscribed to The Wall Street Journal so I could stay current with the business world.
 

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These things are the bane of my life.

I just don't know HOW to chit-chat. I don't know HOW to smalltalk. I don't know HOW to have... a casual conversation.

I can't think of what to say. What is appropriate to say. What to say at that particular moment.

It's even harder when you're with more than one person, because generally the other 2 or more people will go on having a completely fluid, well-flowing conversation. How on earth are you supposed to break-in and contribute without it becoming very awkward and untimely?

Also, I can easily have "asocial" conversations where the point of the conversation is not the conversation itself, but in "purely" sending/receiving factual information. For example - with colleagues at work, I can easily have a "conversation" about purely "official/factual work-related matters". But stray from that to talking about "small/trivial things" or other more "personal/social" things - and I am immediately lost.

The irony of life of course, is that people "like" talking about these latter things MUCH moreso than the aforementioned "pure information exchange".

It's just painful to be that extremely quiet guy who never engages in casual conversation, and who only manages to answer monosyllabically when asked questions. I wish I could have a free-flowing banter with people, with anyone; but I just can't. I just don't know how. That "magic of conversation", which everyone seems to be "born with", seems to be missing from me...
the best thing to do is to watch other people and take notes of thesort of things they talk about, learn how others do it
 

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I think a lot of small talk is people commenting on things in the environment, isn't it? When I was in college and found myself needing to do it a lot, I used to have a sort of mental list of 2 or 3 things that the other person and I had a mutual experience with that I could comment on... "Do you think it's ever going to stop raining?" "Did you finish that essay yet?" Bonus points if you can make it a funny comment. It's when people start talking about past social experiences or pop culture that I run into trouble and don't have anything to say. I know I've read a lot of conversation-making advice that basically says people like to talk about themselves, so ask them lots of questions...but I seem to be pretty bad at this.

Really though, I find small talk to be deathly boring. If we're going to talk about something let's, you know, talk about something, rather than nothing. But a lot of people seem to really enjoy spending hours on end talking about nothing of substance...
 

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On small talk:

If it's a Monday or Tuesday, ask them what they did at the weekend.

If it's a Thursday or Friday, ask them what they're doing at the weekend.

Never talk to anyone on a Wednesday.
 

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i easily engage in small talk....most topics i can talk about no problem but usually by the 5 minute mark my brain is frying from absolute boredom.....
 

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I've always had a problem with talking to people, I can't keep a conversation going very long without running out of things to say, it sucks.
 

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one stop away
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On small talk:

If it's a Monday or Tuesday, ask them what they did at the weekend.

If it's a Thursday or Friday, ask them what they're doing at the weekend.

Never talk to anyone on a Wednesday.
:lol I do this...except on Wednesday if I absolutely have to talk to somebody usually I will ask them how their day went or say something about the weather.

I hate small talk too. I don't see that there's any point to it, except to show the other person(s) that you know how to do it.
 

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These are GREAT ideas... I have always worked in a one person office - alone - just me... now I work with 7 other women in a VERY small office - sometimes I think I will go insane... these are really great ideas. I wish I could wear earplugs though to not have to listen to what they are talking about.

If I have to listen to anything else about breast enhancement surgery, shopping, Michael Jackson's kids, and their husbands/boyfriends/lovelife... I will just freak out and go postal (no offense to any Postal Workers out there).

------------------------------------------------------

Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
On small talk:

If it's a Monday or Tuesday, ask them what they did at the weekend.

If it's a Thursday or Friday, ask them what they're doing at the weekend.

Never talk to anyone on a Wednesday.
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:lol I do this...except on Wednesday if I absolutely have to talk to somebody usually I will ask them how their day went or say something about the weather.

I hate small talk too. I don't see that there's any point to it, except to show the other person(s) that you know how to do it.
 

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I'm always afraid of saying something inappropriate. I hate when I say something that I think is interesting or if I contribute an intelligent point and then people around me are silent. It makes me think that I said something inappropriate. I don't have a problem talking about inappropriate subjects but I suppose it's too much for others.
I have interesting things to talk about, but I suppose they're not interesting to others. I try to keep up with current events and the news so I can contribute to a conversation if a certain subject comes up but no one seems to want to talk about things such as whether or not the US should ban the Burqa. I find that many times I can either not relate to what other women are talking about or I just have no interest in them.
Maybe I'm just boring.
 

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These things are the bane of my life.

I just don't know HOW to chit-chat. I don't know HOW to smalltalk. I don't know HOW to have... a casual conversation.

I can't think of what to say. What is appropriate to say. What to say at that particular moment.
Same here. I'm always afraid that (to borrow a Larry David phrase) I'll go overboard on my affability and say something completely stupid or (more likely) offensive. As a result, I keep quiet instead. :blank

It's even harder when you're with more than one person, because generally the other 2 or more people will go on having a completely fluid, well-flowing conversation. How on earth are you supposed to break-in and contribute without it becoming very awkward and untimely?
In that situation, I always feel the two of them will slowly turn to me in unison with that "Were we speaking to you?" look on their face.

Also, I can easily have "asocial" conversations where the point of the conversation is not the conversation itself, but in "purely" sending/receiving factual information. For example - with colleagues at work, I can easily have a "conversation" about purely "official/factual work-related matters". But stray from that to talking about "small/trivial things" or other more "personal/social" things - and I am immediately lost.

The irony of life of course, is that people "like" talking about these latter things MUCH moreso than the aforementioned "pure information exchange".

It's just painful to be that extremely quiet guy who never engages in casual conversation, and who only manages to answer monosyllabically when asked questions. I wish I could have a free-flowing banter with people, with anyone; but I just can't. I just don't know how. That "magic of conversation", which everyone seems to be "born with", seems to be missing from me...
Yep. You could be describing me right there.
 

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i dont know how i do it...my sense of humor gets me through alot but when your talking to someone, especially a woman you dont know, if you cant get her asking questions back at you then its over
 

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I'm always afraid of saying something inappropriate. I hate when I say something that I think is interesting or if I contribute an intelligent point and then people around me are silent. It makes me think that I said something inappropriate. I don't have a problem talking about inappropriate subjects but I suppose it's too much for others.
I have interesting things to talk about, but I suppose they're not interesting to others. I try to keep up with current events and the news so I can contribute to a conversation if a certain subject comes up but no one seems to want to talk about things such as whether or not the US should ban the Burqa. I find that many times I can either not relate to what other women are talking about or I just have no interest in them.
Maybe I'm just boring.
It may well be that the comments that you make are over their heads and they have no idea how to intelligently respond.

To answer the general question though, I think you just need to be genuinely interested in other people's interests and lives, and ask questions, and have genuine interests of your own that you can talk about. Excitement and passion for something always make for interesting conversations imho. When it comes to boring people though, just ask a few questions to set them up to talk about their cat/baby/knee surgery and they can entertain themselves for hours :roll
 

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My mind seems to go blank when trying to engage in small talk, so I ultimately stand there with a polite smile on my face. I'm sure I must look weird during those silent moments just smiling. I seem to have a million things flash into my brain once the person walks away and the conversation is over.
 

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To answer the general question though, I think you just need to be genuinely interested in other people's interests and lives, and ask questions, and have genuine interests of your own that you can talk about. Excitement and passion for something always make for interesting conversations imho. When it comes to boring people though, just ask a few questions to set them up to talk about their cat/baby/knee surgery and they can entertain themselves for hours :roll
I remember reading something very similar to what you've written above.
The article dealt with tips on making good conversation.
 

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"I'm always afraid that (to borrow a Larry David phrase) I'll go overboard on my affability and say something completely stupid or (more likely) offensive"

lol i feel the same way. remember the episode where larry runs into this guy who says hey larry and larry just says hey and walks away while the other guy is standing there wanting to small talk. thats how i am with people, or if my pops is there then i'll let him talk because he can talk about anything for hours on end.
 
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