If you’re a naturally quiet person then you know how much it sucks when you’re forced to speak to people you don’t know. I don’t care how good you are at it — small talk is never genuine. I can’t think of a soul who truly cares about today’s weather or where you’re at in your career right now. I respect those who’ve mastered the craft of filling the air with words so that their five-minute pit stop in my life is less awkward. However, I have no desire to make the world a friendlier place. Call me impolite. Call me bitchy. Call me shy. Call me uninteresting. Call me whatever the hell you want – just please, for the love of God, don’t talk to me.
Sometimes I genuinely want to get to know someone, and if that’s the case I will talk. It’s these shitty in-between moments with temporary people that drive me up the wall. I know I am not alone on this, so I’ve compiled a list of my least favorite scenarios. Feel free to add your own. But these are situations where I would rather stick hot pins in my eyes than talk to a stranger:
1. When I’m by myself at a coffee shop.
I’m only here because my apartment is a mess and my dog keeps jumping on me, causing my anxiety to be so loud that I can’t hear myself think, let alone write. I don’t want to read your screenplay and no, I am not from wherever. If I didn’t want to be alone in a coffee shop, I would’ve brought someone with me.
2. While waiting in line, for anything. Ever.
Nobody likes lines and us Americans really detest waiting. I don’t want to convene with you about how the wait is or where I’m going after this. No, I’m afraid I don’t know why it’s taking so long.
3. When you leave me alone with a mutual friend.
I sincerely hate it when this happens, there are no words — it’s the worst. So and so has just walked away to catch up with whomever and now we’re just staring at each other, awkwardly smiling. Someone’s going to be polite and it’s going to get weird. You ask me how my day is going, and I say, “Alright.” It has begun. This shit-show will go one of two ways: Either my one-worded response will make you realize that we don’t have to have this conversation so you won’t continue it, or you’ll go on about your day when I never asked about it.
4. Uber Rides.
I’ve worked in customer service before. Forcing conversations may not be my favorite thing to do, but I’m pretty good at it when someone’s paying me to be. I understand the whole idea behind customer interactions. You’re the “face of the company” so you have to be nice to (mostly shitty) people to make money. A smile and a “Hello” will always do it for me.
Actually not even the smile, just get me where I’m going and we are golden. I think it’s ridiculous that we expect people to truly care about us when they’re often providing a temporary service. What’s emotionally binding about that? I’m not that important. You sincerely don’t have to talk to me to get a good rating. And if you rate me low for not talking to you, then you’re probably shitty and that’s why I didn’t want to talk to you in the first place.