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NOTABLE! Having trouble making small talk; I don't care about other people

LightHouse

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Absolutely, but not from discussing the incessant mindless use of the products themselves. I'm not sure how listening to Joe Nobody talk about his latest GTA conquest while he's sipping a cold Coors Light will help me add value to his life. Maybe you can advise?
Not everything out of everyone's mouth is going to be something you can make money off of.

That's part of the point, at least be a decent likable person that isn't self engrossed in them selves and only wants to talk about making money all the time. You'll seem like an arrogant dick that will probably live a stale and relatively lonley life.

People and relationships is the fabric of humanity, it's what makes life interesting.
 

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LIkeafox

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Start with cashiers/servers/retail--they're required to be nice and friendly. Emulate them until it's actually you (not you pretending). Practice.

You're obsessed with money, that's not how you get money. Even investment bankers don't want to talk about money for fun (at least not all the time)
I don't know if this will help, but in my slowlane life I'm amazing at customer service in a retail job. In my non-work life I'm fairly standoffish and have a hard time dealing with small talk. When I'm able to switch my brain into thinking, my job right now is to be a people person: to listen to them, to figure out how I can help them, to put my most sincere looking 'really, I do care about what you're saying' face on--then I find I'm able to fool myself into being social. Personally, the more I'm able to think of my non-wage-slave hours as my business the easier I'm finding it to engage people.
 

Mike.B

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That's part of the point, at least be a decent likable person that isn't self engrossed in them selves and only wants to talk about making money all the time. You'll seem like an arrogant dick that will probably live a stale and relatively lonley life.
I cannot speak for the OP, but I try to be a very likable and altruistic person. Although when I hear the same puerile chit chat over and over again, I do have a tendency (as the OP put it) to "zone out".

People and relationships is the fabric of humanity, it's what makes life interesting.
I agree.
 

Lathan

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Start with cashiers/servers/retail--they're required to be nice and friendly.
True. That's one good thing I've gotten out of working retail. I started off talking quiet and having no energy. Now I can approach people pretty effortlessly and holding a conversation is much easier now. You also get to experience multiple personality types and what not.
 

mayana

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I would tell you how to fix this,
but you probably wouldn't listen...
Z
Yeah, I think people are being WAY too easy on the OP.

When people talk about their pointless subjects- video games, sports, life drama, other people, etc, I simply find myself zoning out and unable to participate in their discussions.
No one ever said that you have to cry when people tell you that their pet dog is sick, but you've got to learn how to have empathy. EVERY SINGLE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS out there was founded by an entrepreneur who was in touch enough with the people around him to spot actual needs that will provide value. I'm serious about this.

If everyone was just wandering around in their own little world, not concerned about connecting with others and spotting needs (even inventors, etc), we would never move forward as a society.

I think that if you want to acheive any of the success that you dream about, this will be a serious impediment for you. Maybe if you can understand the importance of getting past the problem, you'll be able to work through it.

I get it- this is a bad situation to be in. It's affecting my relationships and my ability to build rapport with other people.
Do you really get it? Are you motives for working past this purely selfish (only to acheive success?), or do you have a genuine interest in developing genuine interest in feeling empathy and getting to know others?

There are people who literally live their entire lives unable to connect with others... it's a shitty place to be. They turn into pretty miserable old people.

Everyone one who has responded to this thread has shown empathy to you and your problem. Most of us would genuinely like to see you be able to beat this.
 

Worldisyours

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...I just can't connect to them.

I think reading tons of personal development/success/business/entrepreneurship books and videos might have actually backfired on me.

The only thing I really care talking about is success, business, entrepreneurship, etc. Anything else- I simply have no interest in nor care to discuss. When people talk about their pointless subjects- video games, sports, life drama, other people, etc, I simply find myself zoning out and unable to participate in their discussions.

So, as you can imagine- I have immense struggle in making small talk with other people. I find myself ignoring what most people are saying to me simply because I'm not interested in whatever it is they're talking about- UNLESS it's related somehow to success, business, entrepreneurship, etc. I get it- this is a bad situation to be in. It's affecting my relationships and my ability to build rapport with other people.

I feel like I'm stuck. How can I get out of this?
A big part of business is your people skills and you relationships with the people you work with.
 

DavLung

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I've struggled with people skills for a long time so I can relate.
I think I come from a lower place than you do because I was dealing with a lot of social tension and anxiety also (which requires a whole lot of other things besides conversational skills). But all of it can be fixed.

In the past, I've also been: "Let's just talk about how to be successful, I don't give a shit about anything else!"
Needless to say, this didn’t help me get anywhere with people.
(And like people here mentioned before: The paradox is that being able to connect with people makes you more successful. Can’t do it alone.)

Still I thought: “WTF, what’s wrong with THEM?!”
Slowly but surely, I realized it was me and not them. Thus I began working on myself.

Here is what I did:

1) First, made the mindshift that “small talk”/”vibing”/”shooting the shit” is important. B/c it helps with connecting with people, makes more friendships, and brings more success and happiness.

2) Read lots of books on social intelligence and conversational skills. And they were great but MUST GO OUT AND PRACTICE what’s in the books. Social skills is an art not a science and the only way to get better at an art is practice!

3) Take classes: If you’re in San Francisco, Social Fluency was really a game changer for me. It’s a bit pricy but sooooo worth it. The instructors were nice and the environment was very supportive. Here is their website: http://socialfluency.com/

4) GO OUT, GO OUT, GO OUT! – commit to going to certain number of meetups/social events every week. – EVERYTHING AUTO CORRECTS BY JUST GOING OUT ENOUGH TIMES!

5) Believe it’s possible. Get it fixed now, not later.

Best of luck,
David
 

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AubreyJ

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When I read the title to this thread, I immediately thought that this perfectly describes myself.

I have always struggled with small talk, and when I was younger I just refused to do it. I would rather sit in silence than talk with some stranger or distant relative, and it was because I just genuinely did not care.

My older sister is amazing at small talk, she is the type of person you can talk to for 5 minutes and you feel like you've known her your entire life. She makes you feel like she genuinely cares about you, even though in actuality she probably doesn't. My sister told me that if I wanted to succeed in business, I needed to get better at small talk, so she tried to teach me how to do it. I still don't like small-talk, but I've gotten very good at faking it.

I think that if you currently hate small talk your best bet is to get very good at faking it. Just try and talk with anyone you have access to, like cashiers, people in line at the store, at the gas station...etc. Like any other skill, it takes practice to get good at it.
 

Tommy92l

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I think the best way to keep a conversation flowing is to ask questions, seriously. Even if I have no interest, I have a gift of formulating great questions that they love to answer. While on this forum it may seem different, I HATE talking about myself in person, I focus the conversation on the person I'm talking with and believe it or not... you actually begin to enjoy it.
 

CarrieW

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I just have a few thoughts to add...

one maybe your just hanging around the wrong kind of people?

I don't want to insult or upset anyone but have you tried to talk to a therapist? if you genuinely feel the way you do I think there may be something deeper going on...

my son has aspergers he has a very hard time talking about or thinking about things he isn't interested in... can seem to be rude and uninterested a lot of the time. and he is just made that way... he doesn't do small talk will go on and on forever about things no one else cares about but him... extremely self absorbed...

no matter what the cause the advice here is dead on... the only way to get better at anything is practice... and the advice about asking questions even if you aren't really interested is also dead on, makes the other person feel better...you may not enjoy the conversation but they will... you may not be able to change your feelings and thoughts but you can change what you chose to reflect into the outside world...

you ever hear the saying no one will remember what you say, they will remember how you made them feel!
 

chrisbiz4444

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Who are you making small talk with and why?

I mean, this sounds like a stupid question but really - what are you trying to get out of chit chatting with losers who just want to talk about a high score in a video game?

Being personable is great, and can lead to great relationships and networking opportunities but if you are going to go searching for water, maybe don't start your search in the desert?
Fast forward 1.04
LOL!
 

Christian

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Since you like success/motivational type material, you should know that you can get out of it by interrupting your patterns when they come up (see Tony Robbins for more on this).

Another approach may be to take advantage of the experience instead of being so frustrated with it. Use each of the 'unpleasant' conversations as a practice situation in controlling a conversation without the other person being aware of how you are doing it. Thus, you can pratice using your influence which can be beneficail in your business success. Find a commonality with the person, or end the conversation and move on.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson — "every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.'
 

Jesta

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Have you tried volunteering at a local charity for a weekend or two?

Being an introvert, english as a second language, only asian kid in a predominately hispanic community, volunteering really helped me break out of my shell. Not only do you get to meet some incredible people but it also taught me compassion and made me aware of some very real needs within my community. I think at these events, it really reveals how spectacular 'ordinary' people are and you can't help but listen to what they have to say.

Sometimes when we're in a situation out of our norm, we look for a reason to justify our time and attention to be there. Volunteering might not be a fast lane business but I truly think that many of the principles of entrepreneurship apply. Cook dinner for a family at the Ronald Mcdonald house and you're helping with a problem. Volunteer at a local hospital and you're easing a pain.

It might not make you a million dollars but it will make someone's life a little better. And that's a start.
 

Mike Kavanagh

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“The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them. Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain streams. So the sage, wishing to be above men, put himself below them; wishing to be before them, he put himself behind them. This, though his place be above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury.”
Lao-Tse
 

The Abundant Man

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FORM/D

Family-Talk about her family and your family
Occupation-Talk about what she does for work or what you do for work
Recreation-Talk about what you do for fun or what she does for fun. Talk about each others passions
Motivation/Dreams-Talk about what motivates her or what motivates you. Talk about each others dreams. Really get down to why.

He/She d=should be doing 80% of the talking.

ARE

Anchor-This is an observation
Reveal-Your thoughts on that observation
Encourage-His/her thoughts on that observation

For Example the other day I started talking to a cashier at a local McDonalds

Noticing her Cat in the Hat hat...
Me: I love Cat In The Hat. One of my favorites as a kid.
Her: Oh yeah! I love wearing this...

Then we kept talking about cat in the hat. Afterwards Dr. Seuss books. Then starting talking about books in general and then kids etc...
 

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NewManRising

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What you are doing is judging these people. It is arrogance. You can be successful, wealthy, and in business and still be a good person. Some people get big egos and arrogance. I slightly struggle with this as well. I already have a distrust and dislike toward most people for other reasons. But, I also struggle with judging people (sometimes actively, sometimes passively) because I notice that they talk about stupid shit. Now that I am aware of the fastlane, wealth, debts, I judge other people because I see them as clueless. I catch myself doing this too and now I am aware. What you have to understand is that even though they are still scripted it doesn't make them bad or stupid people. Try to be a little more compassionate. I know some people who are heavily scripted but they are still cool people. Another thing to consider is that when you are in business you have to be skilled in understanding people. Understanding their wants, needs, emotions, etc. And you have to be sincere. Business is not about fooling people because they are dumb and you want to sucker them out of their money. I get a feeling this is kind of your mindset. If this is, you need to change this.

There are other things in life besides business and wealth too. Don't get so closed-minded. This is a great way to miss out on lots of things. I am working on being a better communicator, being better at being more compassionate, and being sympathetic/empathetic towards other peoples' circumstances. Having this arrogant mindset is a good way of finding yourself alone and lonely in this world. Don't get too prideful.
 

Private Witt

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...I just can't connect to them.

I think reading tons of personal development/success/business/entrepreneurship books and videos might have actually backfired on me.

The only thing I really care talking about is success, business, entrepreneurship, etc. Anything else- I simply have no interest in nor care to discuss. When people talk about their pointless subjects- video games, sports, life drama, other people, etc, I simply find myself zoning out and unable to participate in their discussions.

So, as you can imagine- I have immense struggle in making small talk with other people. I find myself ignoring what most people are saying to me simply because I'm not interested in whatever it is they're talking about- UNLESS it's related somehow to success, business, entrepreneurship, etc. I get it- this is a bad situation to be in. It's affecting my relationships and my ability to build rapport with other people.

I feel like I'm stuck. How can I get out of this?
I can totally relate to this. All I want to talk about is business. Im pretty friendly but the deeper I get the more passionate and focused about entrepreneurship I have become. Im lucky others in my industry are the same way and have a lot of people to talk with. Others I just stick to weather, sports and travel.
 

SM Switi

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It's amazing to find people going thorough the same mental change that you go through and facing the same issues, really amazing!
Thank you very much for bringing this up, also great responses and suggestions.
 

ApparentHorizon

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Nobody likes small talk. Some people can just tolerate it better than others.

Introverts especially. We like novelty, so knowing what the other person is going to say is the worst waste of energy. The energy which is very limited before we have to go back into isolation for the day.

You also don't like small talk because the other person is some average wantrepreneur or 9-5er, who's not actually that interesting.

And It's not arrogance as stated earlier. Most of you don't spend your time gossiping on Facebook, and small talk with randos is the same thing.

With all that being said...

If it's such a bother to you, you're not spending enough time around the right people.

Business owners and people of importance love diving into the meat of the conversation.

Is your small talk, "How is the weather?" "You have any siblings?" "What do they do?" and 6 more questions before getting into something interesting.

or

Is your small talk, "What do you do?" "How did you manage to break into that space with X in the way?" - gets them to talk about themselves, and provide you with industry insights.

Boom! down to business in 2 questions.
 

Arun Siva

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small talk will be your best friend you just have to have enough social intelligence in order to differentiate when and where and WHOM to do small talk with. You can pretty much do it all you want in the southern united states, parts of north east and in canada. But do not even bother in Germany, Scandinavia and such. There is no room for this. Countries like japan however are tough one. As a whole, Japanese businessmen prefer not to spend hours conversing and getting to know you they are all about mutual respect but it gets confusing because they are so customary. However in arabic countries, you will often not talk abotu the deal until you have wined dined and really gotten to know each other. Nothing has really changed in this realm over the years. (its quite interesting actually). Americans prefer small talk much more then most nationalities (again except for the wealthy arab nations)
 

Solais

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I used to have the same train of thought as the OP, and avoided small talk like the plague.

Small talk is surprisingly useful. I make it a challenge to dig as much information as I can out of them for my own entrepreneurial purposes without sounding like a secret government agent in a terrorist holding cell.

For example, I went to a local meetup about 2.5 months ago (because I moved to a new city about 7 months ago, and hardly knew anyone) and joined a conversation where 2 women talked about how they LOVED [insert obscure drink] but couldn't find it except in a few restaurants.

(Sadly, this was AFTER I already started my existing business, otherwise, it would've been a great idea...<_<)

They get to talk about themselves/what they're interested in, and I get valuable information. A very good trade if you ask me.

Don't discount "petty" conversation.
 

GMSI7D

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...I just can't connect to them.



I feel like I'm stuck. How can I get out of this?

you can't and you shouldn't

you are not on earth to be another boring person with absurd small talks . there are already millions of people for this level. enough of that

" hey, did you hear about the news on TV last night ? oh my god "


there is enough people for honoring stupidity

but not enough for inteligence and what matters


even if you wanted to adapt to stupidity , you wouldn't be able to be good at it

you can't really connect with people at their level because they don't think like you

you think like a leader while people think like followers

a leader's job is not to be part of the followers but to lead them


 

nemenia

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You can at least PRETEND to be interested. Try really hard to concentrate at what they are saying instead of just zoning out.
 

ChrisV

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Guys, I hate to burst your bubble but this thread is from 2014. OP probably hasn’t used this forum in 4 years.

But there’s a few ways to deal with this for anyone else reading later.

Have other interests than Entrepreneurship, stop reading constantly or find new friends that share your interests
 

OlivierMo

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Look at it this way: if you're not interested in what other people have to say, how can you learn from your customers, unveil problems, find business ideas, etc....
 

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