If you’re one of those people who has skills in this field, then picture me right now looking at you in amazement and awe.
You are my hero.
So many times I have watched with utter admiration as these people put their jedi-like powers to work. Without any hesitation what so ever, they just dive right into a crowd of total strangers and within a matter of minutes conversation is flowing freely.
Pretty amazing stuff.
Now image if you will a human being who is the total opposite of the above described Small Talk expert….
…..and you’ll be getting close to where I’m at.
I am SO bad at small talk.
If we were in some weird movie style scenario where I was selected as “the one” to save the planet from evil forces by using my powers of small talk, just assume that it would end with everyone dying a very slow and painful death.
Or to put it another way, if Small Talk were an Olympic Sport I’d be just like that poor dude who face plants into the first hurdle and then with a torn ligament and a couple of broken ribs tries to limp his way through the rest of the 100m, while spectators can’t decide whether to keep watching or just cover their eyes because it’s so cringe worthy.
That dear friends, is me with Small Talk. We don’t get along well at all.
I know what you’re thinking. How can it be so freakin hard? It’s just some light-hearted conversation between one or more people. The very word suggests that it should be SO easy.
But almost every time it happens I want the ground to swallow me whole. Preferably within the first 10 seconds.
What? You don’t believe me?
Well…..Let me give you a quick example of just how shitty I really am at this.
I’m going to show you a real conversation that took place last night after a show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The show was amazing and of course, people wanted to converse with me.
That’s apparently what people do.
Here’s what happened:
*Me standing in the kitchen picking at some left over food*
*Guy walks over to me*
Guy: Hey! Really enjoyed the show!
Me: Oh thanks! It was a lot of fun.
Guy: So, you from Nashville too?
Me: No, I live in Austin.
Guy: *Smiles at me* oh great!
*Cue awkward silence*
Me (head dialog): *okkkaay, now what? Ooooo I know….*
Me: So where do you live?
Guy: Ann Arbor.
*Cue more awkward silence along with a gaggle of imaginary crickets*
Me (head dialog): *ok so I’ve asked him where he’s from, now what?……damn it I can’t think of anything* (gets out phone and looks at it like someone has texted me) *No! Don’t look at your damn phone Katie! That looks so rude and weird, put it away….ok, ask him something…..go on…..
*Now cue both of us standing awkwardly pretending like we’re 100% comfortable with what’s going on*
Me (further head dialog) : ok, now there’s been so much silence it’ll be totally weird to say something – it’ll look like you’re *trying* to make small talk, which is totally not how small talk happens….just act like this situation isn’t uncomfortable in any way shape or form.
*Woman walks towards us with a big smile on her face*
Woman: Hey there! Really enjoyed the show!
Me: Oh thanks! Me too 😊
Woman: So you’re from Austin I hear?
Me: Yep that’s right!
Woman: Great! You like it there?
*Awkward silence, gaggle of crickets and now a hooting owl has joined in*
Me (Back into my head): oh great. Now I have two of them to try and small talk to. And they’re looking at me like I’m going to impart some real words of wisdom…think Katie think, what can we talk about?
Me (looks at woman):….so, where do you live?
Woman: Oh I’m from Ann Arbor
Me: Great! Do you like it here?
Woman: Oh yes, very much.
Me: Good. Cool. Very cool. Haha. (why did I just laugh?)
Me (head dialog): Ok, time for an escape plan. Look casual and head for the door – on 3, ready….1…2…and 3 – go! Smile and walk, smile and walk….
I rest my case.