Most introverts hate small talk. They would much rather have a meaningful conversation. Conversely, they can also feel pressured to reveal more about themselves than they would like in social situations. This makes most small talk topics a nightmare for introverts.
However, small talk is often an essential part of getting to know people better, and there are topics that can help to foster a connection without being dull, awkward or infuriating.
Here are some of the worst small talk topics for introverts:
Introverts are generally not that interested in materialistic conversations about how much people earn or how much their car costs. Nothing bores an introvert more than hearing about someone’s designer wardrobe or how much they spent on their latest trip.
Introverts would rather know how other people feel about the important things in life than how much disposable income they have.
2. Celebrity Gossip
Most introverts do not particularly follow celebrity’s lives. They are too busy enjoying their own work, relationships and interests. Hearing about the latest celebrity scandal bores them to tears.
They are more interested in the people they actually know and what makes them tick. They are fascinated by interesting people who have done unusual things but usually couldn’t care less about a B list celebrity’s affair or drug addiction.
3. Personal Gossip
Most introverts aren’t keen on personal gossip either. Bitching about friends and colleagues makes them feel uncomfortable. At the back of their minds, they can’t help wondering if the gossip will be talking about them the minute their back is turned.
Many introverts find discussing the appearance of others a bit of a turn-off. While they might compliment someone on their dress or hair, they are not interested in picking other people’s appearance to bits and discussing how everyone in the room looks. They particularly don’t like negative talk such as how old or tired someone else looks like or how they have let themselves go.
Introverts find judging people in this way rather shallow and mean. They prefer to make up their minds about people based on more meaningful criteria.
In a group conversation, introverts can’t stand it when they see someone sucking up to someone in a position of power or authority. In fact, any kind of fake behaviour makes them feel queasy.
Introverts would much rather hear about what others are doing to make the world a better place than flattering people just because they think they can help them in some way.
6. Narrow-minded views
Introverts are interested in how other people think and what their inner world looks like. They are usually quite reflective and open-minded. This is why they hate talking to people who have narrow-minded or one-sided views, particularly on the subjects of religion or politics in which there are so many different ways of looking at things.
Introverts love to discuss the nuances of situations. If someone sees everything in a black and white way, introverts just can’t connect with them at a deeper level.
7. Popular Culture
Popular culture can be a difficult one for introverts. They do like to discuss all kinds of arts and culture. However, listening to someone describe the plot of a film they watched in minute detail bores them to tears.
They are often not that interested in hearing about other person’s fifteen minutes of fame on the latest talent show either. However, if they connect with someone over a favorite film or book, they are much happier.
While work is a very important part of an introvert’s life, they are often not that interested in the details of other people’s work lives. This does, of course, depend on what line of work someone is in.
An introvert might be fascinated by how someone else spends their workday, whether they are an artist, teacher or postal worker. But listening to office politics leaves them cold.
Of course, introverts aren’t the only people who hate small talk and these kinds of conversation topics.
Many extroverts take objection to many of these topics, too. I guess extroverts just deal with it better.
Introverts find it hard to make small talk because these common topics don’t interest them. However, they can also get uncomfortable if someone they don’t know too well probes them on personal areas of their lives. This can make casual conversation a minefield.
Introverts are happiest with topics that are not too personal but give an insight into the other person’s life. Questions that reveal something about the people involved in the conversation without getting too personal too quickly suit them best.
Small talk may be difficult, but introverts can benefit from having a few ideas on the topics and questions to ask to begin to develop a connection with new people.
If you are stuck for a conversation starter, you might like to try these:
- Where did you grow up?
- What are your favourite hobbies?
- What would your ideal travel destination be?
- What is your favourite type of film or book?
- What have you studied?
We’d love to hear your suggestions for the worst and best topics for small talk. Please share them with us in the comments below!
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
This Post Has One Comment
I’ve been in lots of situations in which asking the other person a question about their lives seems like you are crossing their boundaries somehow. Those people only want to talk about passing reality. There is a lot of them in society. This type of person also lacks curiosity about other people, so if they do answer your question they are unlikely to ask about you.