Introverts and small talk do not mix.
A hallmark trait of the personality type is how cumbersome they find small talk. Experts say those with the personality type find it disingenuous and it can even be a source of anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean introverts aren’t open to connecting with new people ― quite the opposite. Introverts value deep conversations that allow them to explore their own inner worlds and connect with others. And doesn’t that sound so much better than chit chatting about the weather?
1. A personal fact about themselves or others.
“I’m actually more comfortable sharing personal snippets or stories of my life and usually the only thing that stops me from getting really into it is the potential to cross a line into ‘TMI,’ particularly if it’s in a work context. It’s important to me that I’m being genuine. What I dislike about small talk is the inanity of the exchange.” ―Annette Jaimi Williams
2. One word: Animals.
“I’ll talk with them about their pets ― especially cats (not much of a dog person, they’re too extroverted). And my work rescuing cats. Of course.” ―Ellen Arsenault
3. That dream you had last night.
“What do you dream about? Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever wondered if your dreams were more real than your waking life? ... I could go on and on.” ―Lorrie Lennon
4. Goals or important values.
“People’s true motivations, deepest and hardest thoughts, pain, doubts, fears, triumphs. Things that small talk is designed to obscure.” ―Emily Patterson
5. A funny story.
“I enjoy amusing anecdotes about daily life.” ―Lisa Steinosaur
6. Or any interesting story, for that matter.
“Tell me a story. Something I can listen to. I will probably relate to it in some way and that gives me a meaningful direction. That doesn’t mean I’ll only talk about myself, but it will give us common ground to talk about something in depth.” ―Amanda Wakefield Ryan
7. An engrossing novel.
“Books. I will talk books and writing until the cows come home. Ask me about books.” ―Dominique White
8. An awe-inspiring trip.
“Travel. Where did you take your last great trip in the U.S. and overseas?” ―Susan Moscareillo
9. Future plans.
“I’m introverted and I’d rather talk about the future, starting businesses, making life better. Things of that nature. Nowadays I can’t even call people because they just want the tea or talk about people on social media.” ―Nesha Rene
10. What makes you tick.
“I’d rather talk about what makes them who they are and the struggles they’ve faced ... I want to know what kind of person they are and what makes them tick. I don’t care about the weather or who won the hockey game.” ―Jess Amelia
11. Nothing at all.
“Sometimes we don’t want to talk at all and it can be for many reasons ... I prefer to observe rather than talk.” ―Jeff Johnson
Let’s consider this our official introvert discussion guide, shall we?