#77. Have an opinion.

Speaking out the trivialities of life is satisfying.  Small talk is after all, the most common talk.  It is the lubricant, the filler, the appetizer accompanying the entree of social interaction. It is safe.  The weather is safe.  There is no option of opinion with weather.  In the social game of Never Offend, the weather is a green zone, the weather is Switzerland.

This conscious quelling of verbal panache has led many of us to talk small and only small.  We forget, whether it be on a date, a round of golf, or over a beer, that there are complex, titillating subjects waiting to be digested.  We have become satiated, our minds have grown a penchant for regaling each other about the absolute spot-on color of the menus! Giggle giggle…

Small talk is no talk.  It is necessary but, if anyone can do it, what is being seen, what is being shown?  Dive into a topic that leads somewhere.  Force yourself and your company into an intellectual meeting of the minds. Healthy, deep conversation does not mean a debate yet, fear not the line of offense! Furthermore, force yourself to pause for that perfect word, the word that you last saw on the SATs you so assiduously, so scrupulously studied for.

Remember, gossip is far lower than small talk and has no place in conversation.  It is a cavernous mess of insecurities and negativity that should never be breached.


8 thoughts on “#77. Have an opinion.

  1. Could not have said it better myself my friend. Yes, we “debate” but from those debates we learn about each other and from each other. At the end of the day we will still be best friends, no matter if by the end of the conversation one of us wants to kill the other one. We could be at opposite sides of the spectrum on every single issue, but from that we can learn more about a subject than we would ever know, had we not spoken about it because of our “disagreements”. There is nothing more satisfying than having an intellectual conversation with a friend, taking a long walk in this beautiful city we call New York, and learning about the person who knows you most.

    1. Face-to-face absolutely. The irony of digital conversation is that it allows for a speaker to think about their next line. The very essence of small talk lies in combating the generally awkward nature of human conversation in the first place. Online, this awkwardness does not exist because there is a screen in front of you, not a persons facial reactions and piercing eyes. The next time you watch an interaction between two people who may not know each other quite that well, look at how they end the conversation. Goodbyes are one of the most awkwardly executed conversational necessities out there. We’ve only been conversing for a few thousand years. It is still a pretty new concept. Furthermore, we are all operating on different wavelengths in our own minds. A conversation is different mental existences playing with each other. Weird stuff happens when this occurs.

      1. I think good-byes are much easier to do online (via chat in particular). If you’re typing to someone you know well, you could just sign out or off (after being idle for a long time) and depending on the context of that conversation, you may not need to explain your sudden signing off.

        The other scenario is to “gotta go!” and that’s that.

        Yet, I think online communication is filled with “small talk” that can easily escalate into much bigger talk via misunderstanding of intent or connotation. Trivial repartee about the state of arts or sports or laundry detergent is more of the norm when conversing with someone you don’t know well online (whether or not you met them in the offline world first).

        Now, what about video conferencing? Is a medley of both?

  2. Did your brothers teach you all this? Wise old brothers! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and congrats on the 6300 hits. Guess a lot of other people want to hear your brothers’ advice as well!

  3. I’m with you on this subject. I’m not much for small talk. I like to dive into the heart of the matter. Bye the way, I love reading your posts. It forces me to get my dictionary out and expand my knowledge of words. HaHaHa! Thanks!

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