In the matter of 24 hours, two wonderful souls shared with me an article by Tim Boomer. I know these lovelies in a rather close but distant way. As in, one is my colleague with whom I spend 40+ hours a week with and the other is a close college friend who now lives further north.
Of all of the articles to pass along, this was the one.
I hear you, universe.
I am bad at small talk. Like awful. I do not enjoy it. Like at all.
Do you really need me to tell you that I'm not the biggest fan of negative temperatures? Do I really need to know that your weekend was just "fine?"
Don't let my lack of interest in small talk be mistaken for lack of interest in a person. It's not the same thing. Boomer, through the parallel telling of a rough break up, heart-healing trip to Costa Rica and reluctant jump back into dating, begs the question:
Why can’t we replace small talk with big talk and ask each other profound questions right from the start? Replace mindless chatter about commuting times with a conversation about our weightiest beliefs and most potent fears? Questions that reveal who we are and where we want to go?
Well... why not? I'm sure some will say - as Boomer points out - that is impossible to have the big talks without the small ones. How could you possibly know what to ask a person if you don't know their favorite weather condition?
I once heard that if only have the chance to ask one question, it should be, "What is your passion?"
How is that for a conversation starter?
I have the answer - it is fantastic. When you meet someone for the first time ask them. I promise their answer will be far more insightful and interesting than checking off those demographic boxes.
Even better. Ask someone you already know. Their answer may inspire and/or surprise you.
With all this talk about talk, I encourage you to find a method of communication that energizes you. I always felt awkward for wanting to dive right into the big questions but cringed at the thought of small talk. Now I've come to learn that going straight to the biggie questions can be exciting and stimulating for both parties... and you just may make a genuine, memorable connection. Who knew?