Monday, July 12, 2010

Small Talk

So I'm a bit of a shy person.

No, I am not kidding.

Meeting (and talking) to new people comes about as naturally to me as lizards attempting flight--it usually only happens accidentally and when I have successfully punched through the "I can't fly" barrier. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

And then I realize flying's not really my thing and next thing I know all my instincts are to burrow into a hole somewhere and hide until the big scary social interaction situation goes away.

This may surprise some of you who know me. I've heard reports of me being a chatterbox who can't shut up and I've also heard that I can generate an air of sullen hostility. It's probably some subconscious self-defense mechanism. I also have a limited capacity for this phenomenon known as "small talk." It doesn't occur to me to use the weather as part of the formalized ritual of greeting, which seems to go like this:

A. Hi! How are you?
B. Good, and you?
A. Good.

It doesn't seem to be an genuine inquiry for information (i.e. seeking to assess the state of the other person) as much as a "you see me/I see you/since we've acknowledged each other we must both still exist" sort of situation. When something like this happens:

A. Hi! How are you?
B. (keeps walking or otherwise ignores A's question)
A. :'(

As a result of being ignored, A may wonder if they actually exist or if they are a figment of their own imagination or even if they've gone all Sixth Sense without knowing it. The role of "Small Talk" seems to be to expand on the whole "you see me/I see you/we both exist and inhabit the same world, it would appear, since the weather sucks on both planets" theme.

You will, however not care be pleased  that I have been working hard to improve my ability to fly socially interact with human beings. I am slowly try to improve my ability to Small Talk and talk about things irrelevant to whatever it was I wanted to talk to you about in the first place.

Now, what was your name again?

1 comment:

  1. I feel you....which is why I have sat in the same room as you and Natalie for several weeks and we have said more to each other on facebook than anywhere else. Unless I know you pretty well I sometimes have a hard time keeping communications open....I can make Small Talk....but sometimes I just don't feel like it.