The truth behind small talk: Is there any?

While I had a wonderful time at last night’s breast cancer awareness event, (which incidentally was held at The Brownstone, the reception hall owned by the Manzo family from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey“) I am pretty freakin’ tired today. Guess grandma isn’t used to going out on a ‘school night’ anymore. 🙂 I woke up to the oh-so-soothing sound of my daughter wailing and my son demanding yogurt (things I couldn’t quite deal with on only a few hours of sleep and zero caffeine). But as the day progressed, things got better.

Mood-booster #1 was taking my invigorating kickboxing class which led to mood-booster #2–taking a few minutes to sip my beloved grande skinny caramel macchiato (iced this time!) while chatting with a friend I bumped into. But what really crushed my crankiness today was thinking about the conversations I had last night and how great it was to really catch up with some good friends. I’m not a big fan of small talk or chats that just graze the surface so you end up talking forever about absolutely nothing. I love to discuss the things that really matter: the good, the bad & the ugly. The everyday, meaty stuff that’s shaping your life.

When was the last time you asked someone how they’re doing and actually got an honest answer? People don’t generally want to discuss what’s really bothering them (well, unless they’re the type of person who complains constantly to the point where no one even listens to them anymore!), but it’s important to make your friends aware that you WANT to know how they’re really feeling and that you’re there to listen, not judge. The more you support one other, the more you’ll share. And the more you vent and share, the better you’ll feel!

I encourage you to have a heart-to-heart conversation with someone. Allow yourself the time to really talk and get things out. Letting go of your burdens (or sharing them) will make you feel lighter–and happier.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    May 18, 2011 @ 16:07:36

    Tara, you are the best! Seriously. Today’s Crusher is spot on. It makes me realize that 6 to 8 months between friends catching up is way too long, but it’s great to know that no matter how long of a stretch there is between meetings, it’s as if not one day has gone by. So work through the lack of sleep and make it a Venti!!


  2. Christine Collins
    May 18, 2011 @ 17:46:53

    so true tara.. i miss you!!


  3. Melissa's Meanderings
    May 19, 2011 @ 12:37:25

    Great point–one shouldn’t have to stop and think when asked “how are you?” to decide whether to answer truthfully or to answer with the socially correct form response!


  4. Matthew
    May 20, 2011 @ 23:50:06

    Genuine conversations? Honest answers?
    These things still exist in the real world these days?
    Thankfully among true friends they do. It is unfortunate that the day-to-day small talk of the world, the grocery check out conversations, if you will, have become so sanitised and politically correct. Too many people dare not speak that which they truly think or feel for fear of offending or insulting someone; even amongst acquaintances.
    Sadly, a person is far more likely to speak truthfully about what is happening in their life to a complete stranger they believe they are never going to see again than to the friends and acquaintances who populate their day-to-day adventures and who are truly concerned with their well-being. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating spilling your guts about every little thing that is happening in your life to everyone, there are somethings that we probably shouldn’t share and that are better kept secret (I really don’t want to know the full details of that rash or where it came from), but if it is something that is having an impact on your life then I’m all ears.
    I read the following little rhyme years ago, and it has stuck with me, possibly because I disagree with it –

    When meeting people in the street
    remember this suggestion,
    “How are you?” is a greeting
    not a bloody question!

    I say I disagree with it because I see no point in “being polite” and asking someone “how are you?” in expectation of a standardised polite response. If all you want is a polite response then ask or say something innocuous yourself in the first place, “Hi” and “Hello” are two things that immediately spring to mind.
    For myself I will never ask “How are you?” without the expectation of a genuine and honest reply from the other person. If I am asking it is because I am genuinely concerned with your well-being. An answer of “Fine” may well be honest and true, but if it is not, then I would hope that anyone I care enough about to ask that question would also think enough of me to be comfortable giving honest answer. Sure there might be stuff going on that you don’t want to talk about, but you can acknowledge that and still give an honest response without having to be socially correct. Your true friends will thank you for it.


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