Thought Catalog
November 19, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Time On Small Talk

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Leon Seierlein
Leon Seierlein

If I ever fall in love, it won’t be with a man who talks about the weather.

Sure, maybe it’s nice outside or it’s colder than it’s been all week, and that’s lovely to observe, but I’m not interested in small talk. I simply don’t have the time.

See, I’ve spent too many years fighting my tendencies toward all things big, shrinking and silencing and destroying myself just to blend a little better, to be more acceptable in a world that so clearly feared the volume with which my voice had been born. I’ve put too much time into suppressing all the questions I could have asked, following the paths I didn’t want to walk, and submitting myself to all the things with which I could never fully agree—things like ambiguity and harmful acceptance of circumstance and fucked up religious and political and other dividing “values” that were of no value at all.

In fact, of the twenty-three years I’ve been around, seventeen of them have been dedicated to the task of shrinking; to reducing myself to the mindless and trivial matters of small talk and submissiveness when all I’d ever craved were the unlimited possibilities of deeply meaningful discussion.

I refuse to waste one more moment denying myself that fulfillment.

So if someone should fall in love with me (and I with him), the first thing I would tell him is that I don’t have time for small talk—that I’d spent enough years reducing myself to that same level of insignificance for so long that to revert to such a shrunken state would be counterproductive and a waste of time.

I’d tell him that I don’t want to talk about the weather, but that I do want to talk about the ways of the world and whether or not God can be defined by something as limiting as religion and the causes of pain and strife in both global and personal spheres.

I’d tell him that I want to talk about perspective—what makes it and what changes it—and how it informs who we are and where we stand in the world. I want to talk about how where we stand in the world pushes us into our next steps; and if it doesn’t, then I want to talk about what does.

I’d tell him that I want to talk about fire and what makes it burn, about metaphor and symbolism and art and the weight of words. I want to talk about questions of spirituality and higher con-sciousness and the deep roots that take us there. I want to compare our understandings of this world and whatever other worlds exist, of time and dimension and the meaning of life.

I’d tell him that I want to talk about our journeys, the many wrong turns that led to the right ones that brought us here and just how those right and wrong turns have shaped us to be who we are. I want to talk about the things that hurt us, the things that numb us, the things that make us cry, the things that make us laugh, the things that bring us to life, the things that awaken what would otherwise lie dormant inside. I want to talk about impulse and inspiration and our most intense passions to the extent that we can’t stop talking about them and we lose track of the time—the time we’re taking to dive headfirst into the depths of each other instead of making small talk.

And if we should find ourselves like that, together and falling and talking, I have a funny feeling that the weather will be the last thing to cross our minds.

Because what does it matter that it’s nice outside or that it’s colder than it’s been all week when we could talk about all the things that could turn the world on its head? Why waste our words on small talk when we both know that it’s the mind-blowing, earth-shifting, often-unanswerable things that we wish to uncover? Why stay at the surface when we have it in us to dive so much deeper?

I don’t have time for small talk, but I can make time for that—for the big stuff, the stuff that I’ve spent too many years avoiding, the stuff that I vowed never to suppress again.

From here on out, I only have time to embrace the overwhelming volume of my voice, and I only have time to spend with the man who honors and engages with it just the same—that is, if we should fall in love.

And if we should find ourselves like that, together and falling and talking, I have a funny feeling that the weather will be the last thing to cross our minds. TC mark