I’m new to this site and find it very uplifting, for lack of a better word. I’ve been a robot warrior for 42 years (in this lifetime), and have just recently realized that I’m sick and tired of “Hey, What’s up”,or ” How’s it going”. You don’t have the time for me to answer that! Nor do I really want you to be honest with me in your answer! Actually, I would prefer a more honest answer. Maybe, ” I feel fanfuckingtastic, I haven’t had much sleep, but I realize that life isn’t about sleep, and I understand down to the fiber of my being that all this that I perceive is illusory, and one day I will leave my fragile shell and go back to wherever it is I came from. Losing absolutely nothing.” Yeah, that’s how it’s going with me. What’s up with you?
I just don’t care about “what do you expect, it’s a Monday. Monday’s suck!”
BULLSHIT !! There’s no such fucking thing as Monday! It’s a present moment that may or may not have happened before. I’m still trying to grasp that, why? Good question.
I answer these questions honestly, and allow myself to feel bad when I feel so GREAT, and the other party is stuck on something in the past, or living a future disappointment.
I understand that I am allowing myself to feel this way, and I have made considerable progress in the last year. I took the personality test and came up as a ISFP. I think that’s right. That helps to explain my altruism.
Just something that has been occupying my mind. Any thoughts?
I usually just automatically answer it with “OK/ Fine” when sometimes it couldn’t be further from the truth, but most days I don’t really ‘feel’ in a particular mood, so how could I answer such a question? With “Neutral” or “I don’t know”? I prefer “Hi” any day. I enjoy meaningful or even humorous conversation but think small talk sucks, it’s almost mind numbing to have to listen to (or take part in) the same routine day after day after day, just for the sake of being polite. There are also many many factors in how a person could be feeling on a particular day, that make “How are you?” seem like a very silly question to ask, even if the intention is almost always good, and even if often the person even cares about whoever they are asking. I think much of the time it’s a well-intended question, but personally I think it sucks as a greeting and it’s far too ambiguous.
@seekerostillness, I drive a taxi, so I’m a small talk user :) For me it’s something I do to greet a person, if I said nothing at all I would just be a grouch. Actually, I would really really like input from anyone on what would be some good ways to do this without coming off as generic and insensitive. Gimme some good openers!
I always respond to these questions as honestly as I can without dumping my shit on a stranger. Also, by answering positively, I find it actually makes me see the positive much more clearly, so I do like it when someone asks how I’m doing in the form of small talk, unless I’m having a pretty shitty day. And if they really don’t care, it’s like a challenge to engage them and bring them out of their dull robot states to actually converse with me. But I’m predisposed to being friendly and upbeat around people most of the time, it just kinda happens!
I guess it depends on how you look at it. If someone asks you “Hey, how have you been? I haven’t seen you in 15 minutes!”, you should respond “Oh MY GOD. I’ve waited for 15 minutes for you to ask me that. Thank you so much for caring about me and the time!” Then it would be fate if you get hit by a car.
I think, on the surface, small talk seems ingenuine and at times a forced socialization, but small talk is also a doorway to very interesting people if you let it be. I’ve met pretty awesome people because I’ve let small talk evolve into “actual” conversation. so while small talk can be and usually is shallow, apathetic psychobabble, never doubt the powers of chance.
The problem with small talk is that it wastes precious time and uses energy in a completely useless way. Neither person really cares that much about how the other person is doing and no one really likes talking about the weather. I’m a waitress and jobs are one of the only exceptions to small talk having no purpose. I use it to make a small connection with people for a short amount of time so they can have a comfortable meal. And to an extent, a lot of what I say to them is sincere. In general though I believe that small talk takes too much energy and you gain nothing in return from it.
@misssunbeam, I agree with using small talk as a part of your work, it’s important, I think, to engage your client, or at least get a feel where he/she is at present. Sometimes I find myself holding back my feelings of spectacularness, so as not to upset the worker bot. I do love your idea of making it a challenge to break them out of there dull robotic experience! I’m going to try this, great idea, and I don’t have to stay in my frame of mind of “Do I have to listen to this same old insincere, run of the mill, small talk responses crap?” No. I’ll relax and have fun with it. Appreciate your input @misssunbeam.
@seekerostillness, I am part of the regular working world (work from home with mountain view and travel to big cities on the eastern seaboard every month) and I make it a point to bring my true self to my meetings.
you can reply to small talk in a way that makes it more interesting and (in my experience) although people may be caught off guard for the first moment, they almost always give a little smile and meet you at least half-way. most people don’t actually like small talk, but it’s what they were taught or all they know. they’re just waiting for someone to show them the way to a more interesting exchange.
@misssunbeam, I LOVE chatting up the taxi drivers who ferry me around while I’m in cities, sometimes the best moments of my trips happen in cabs. like every profession there are plenty of duds but there are so many interesting cabbies with crazy stories to tell . . . I hope someday our paths will cross, that would be a kick-ass cab ride! what city are you in?
I usually answer with an “Ok/Fine” as well just because I know the person asking the question doesnt really want to know how you are but is just trying to be nice. I wish that could change, I am generally interested in how others are doing.
Being a city college student, I think about this a good portion of my day. I love what you’ve said – it’s beautiful to shock or be shocked by giving/getting real, well-thought out responses. And what you said about being sleep-deprived! Haha, I think we share very similar brains. I think about these things a lot.
Small talk makes me feel very uncomfortable because it seems forced and is routine. There is no real meaning behind it. It is almost like people are obligated to make small talk and ask you questions without really giving a shit about your answers. If small talk comes from someone that I know is truly invested in me and that they care, then I can buy into that, but coming from co-workers/acquaintances/strangers, it really is not my cup of tea.