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

wizaster

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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....
Exactely! As much as I despise talking about temperature, acknowledging another persons' feeling or opinions about something we have no control over creates a bond. Small talk is a basic form of validation. It opens up a door for you know more about them, their dreams, wants and needs.

Starting a conversation, no matter how futile is the subject, with a "me me me" mindset automatically blocks you out; you put yourself in a bubble then try to interact.
 

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cy-

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...

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.
I completely agree with this.

Generally I don't like small talk either, I'm fairly introverted.

Though I believe socializing has benefits and makes me remain a mentally stable person, so my strategy to keep things interesting is always to act like I would 'sell' them - meaning that I ask why, how, what etc. in regards to what they do.

What kind of work are you in?

Which company are you working for?

Which issues are you having when you negotiate prices of X or how do you deal with the competitor going into a price war etc.

Even people with lower corporate positions can usually tell something interesting, and one thing I noticed is that the more you ask about people's lives or work, the more they light up and it becomes a real conversation.

So I always try to go into a 'small talk' conversation and learn something from it. Doesn't matter if I'm not in the industry at all, maybe you learn something and maybe it will come in handy but at least you had a more interesting conversation than "bad weather today huh".
 

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I have the same problem when trying to connect with others. The book "The Power of Vulnerability" by Brene Brown has really helped me understand how to become more whole hearted and makes it easier to befriend people.
 

Vanita Anchan

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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?
Hello!
I am smiling and when I’m writing this to you!
My journey to mindfulness began with the same feelings and level of intensity that you write with.
This is so much to do with our growing up and extroverted nature. If you are like me, I’m sure you grew up in a decently organised and disciplined household.
I can imagine the amount of frustration you face when you are trying to get things done when you’re in a large group. I was there sometime ago.

My best bet on this situation is getting closer to mindful living. Being an observer is the key. Mind controlling exercises play a very important role at any point of our lives.

Adopt an easy meditation practise. Read about mindfulness techniques. I’ve been a Vipassana Meditator for some years now. Being in equanimity under any circumstances, is the sole teaching of this practice.
Read Micheal Singer’s Surrender Experiment, in you can! Even his book Untethered Soul can do a lot good for life!

There’s a lot more you can achieve through just learning about mindfulness. And getting over this frustrating times and connecting with people will be then be just a cakewalk.
Be Happy Always!
 

Brewmacker

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Hey @MVProduct,

I totally get where you are my friend and please believe me when I say it is not your money, education, status or direction that is holding you back from healthy socializing.

I have always been a very quiet person and prefer to listen, rather than output verbally.

When I was a student I was the same, but also a habitual smoker of weed.
I was really able to focus on my engineering degree and that is all I cared about. This exaggerated my "quiet person" syndrome, in combination with a healthy dose of being in my own head and paranoia. It worried me that I was boring to the people around me. This forced me even more into my head until the point i could not fully concentrate to the people talking around me.
When smoking weed I even tricked myself into thinking that I was above others, with disastrous consequences to the relationships with the people around me. I remember some of the conversations and I still shudder.

I am not suggesting you are a weed smoker even I stopped smoking 10 years ago. Not surprisingly, my social skills improved but regardless, I still was quiet and still worried that I bored the people around me. This left me still feeling disconnected and worries flooded my head. So this can happen to anyone I believe.

My solution: The solution I found was to actively Accept that I was a quiet person and accept that it is okay not to know everything. That is who I am.
Now when the people around me are talking about sport or some random shite i do not care about and I still find myself drifting into my own head and instead I force my 'self' back to the present moment. I focus on the people around me's joy and expressions when telling their stories.

The more you Remain Present in conversations the more you observe, take in and learn. Overtime you become quicker to respond.
For example: If someone asks me about football I used to say, "Nah, football does not interest me, bunch of pansies running around crying when someone touches them".
Needless to say if i felt left-out of the conversation topic before saying something negative like that, then after I was then completely socially blocked out from the rest of the conversation.

This is your problem to deal with and only you can take action.
So you need to learn to Re-Frame. E.g. Try to understand other people's feelings and not your own selfish desires. For example instead when some one asks me about football i would say, "Sorry guys don't ask me, I have no absolutely idea about football except that Ireland are the greatest football team." Then ask a question to show you were listening or enjoy the abuse your gonna get for your ridiculous answer (even though I'm right).

Your interests as described are also very limited. Try getting out in the world and forcing yourself into new situations or hobbies or sport. No one is going to help you here, no one cares. Trust me! Only you can diversify your social interactions or find people who are more like you.

In conclusion:

Accept
that you are who you are and no one will mind
Remain Present and people will respond to that even if you have nothing to say
Re-Frame and rewrite your script. You are the author of your own destiny. No one ever cares as much as you do
Take-action and do things outside your comfort zone (that are non-business related that is)

Maybe you haven read it "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. This book helped me become a little more human again. I have read it 5 times already this year and I will continue to read it until I can read it in my sleep.

Good luck mate and I hope your social life improves
 

maverick

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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?
Because you'll be trying to sell your product or service to "Joe Nobody". If you cannot relate to your customers, you will never be able to sell to them.

Have an open mind. Stop projecting your reality onto others. Acknowledge that you can learn from any situation and/or person.
 

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I’ve never seen this thread before. Lots of interesting answers.

My take?

Business is all about building relationships. The longer I’m in business the more I believe this.

I don’t follow sports, or TV programmes, or even the news. I also zone out when I’m in a group and people are talking about the soccer.

I don’t zone out when I’m talking one on one though. I think everyone is a special snowflake and, like @SteveO, I’m fascinated by what gets each person passionate and excited. I think everyone can open up like a flower and get super excited when they talk, and I’m constantly trying to find what makes them do that.

What would get the guy just off a long shift and having a quiet pint in the pub to get animated and forget his crappy week?

Someone might be talking about Liverpool while we’re watching a game. I don’t really care about the match but I might ask what age were you when you started supporting Liverpool? does it run in the family? what’s it like having a brother supporting Man U? have you ever been to Liverpool? what’s your favourite player? why’s that then?

I don’t care about Liverpool, but I’m fascinated by *them*, and their story. Correction... *stories*. People have so many stories and not enough people to tell them to.

Seriously, learn to actually take an interest in other people. Be genuine with it. You’ll live in a sunny little world where everyone opens up to you and you’re surrounded by smiling and animated faces.

I’m pretty sure your business will do better too, but even if it doesn’t, living in a sunny world is good enough for me.
 

guy93777

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I’ve never seen this thread before. Lots of interesting answers.


Seriously, learn to actually take an interest in other people. Be genuine with it. You’ll live in a sunny little world where everyone opens up to you and you’re surrounded by smiling and animated faces.

but introvert thinkers can't really mix with feeling types . we want people "to make sense"

even if we have genuine interest for people, they view us as boring because we don't drink, we don't party and so on. social rituals like dating rituals don't make sense .

this is our biggest problem.
 

Bryan James

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Maybe you're a psychopath. Seriously. It's nothing to be ashamed of if you are. There are plenty of non-violent, non-criminal people who hold respectable careers (surgeons and crime scene people for instance) who are clinically regarded as psychopaths. There was a story I read about a psychologist who tested whether people were psychopaths using a test, tried it on himself and learned he qualified as a psychopath. Being a psychopath obviously comes with dark connotations due to pop culture, movies (Hitchcock comes to mind), and so on. The majority of psychopaths are not violent, nor involved in crime.

Or maybe you're not. Alls I know is that I connect better with people when I truly put a focused effort to listen to them, think about what they're saying and trying to understand where they're coming from and why. Hope any of that helped.
 

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Damien Dev

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You don't have to care about them but you do have to care about what they think and believe. You can't dismiss other's thoughts, attitudes and beliefs with a superior attitude because it's these people that drive markets up and down. What average Joe currently thinks about x determines where it is going to go. If you aren't in touch you are likely to miss out or be way off with your assumptions and estimates.

I used to have the same attitude but today I'm convinced there is something to learn and take away from every interaction regardless of the other party's IQ or where they sit on the socio economic ladder. Open your mind, speak to others and listen. Alternatively, pay someone else to do it for you.
 

Andy Black

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but introvert thinkers can't really mix with feeling types . we want people "to make sense"

even if we have genuine interest for people, they view us as boring because we don't drink, we don't party and so on. social rituals like dating rituals don't make sense .

this is our biggest problem.
I don’t drink (anymore). I don’t party. I don’t date (except date nights with my wife).

I’m an introvert in the sense that I enjoy my own company and don’t need external stimuli. Many-to-many conversations tire me.

Try not to put a label on yourself. Just smile and say hello and see what happens.
 

ClaytonForester

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I was listening to Jerry Seinfeld being interviewed and he said he’s never fully present with anyone, even his wife. I feel that way sometimes, too. I am constantly thinking about my business and often find my mind drifting during conversations with friends and family. Thankfully, my wife is understanding and allows me to ask her to “start over” if I’ve zoned out during a conversation.

Personally, I’ve always hated small talk. I’m very introverted and it drains my energy to be in groups of people. What helped me deal with it was a stint in retail. Being forced to engage in small talk with hundreds of people per day helped me at least learn how to believeably fake it. Maybe get a part time job at a coffee shop. It’s a laid back atmosphere where you don’t necessarily have to wear a smile all day like a psychopath but you’ll be able to practice your small talk skills.
 

Bertram

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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?
 

Bertram

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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?
You sound like a man of ideas about enterprise and that's fantastic. Get out there and let the right people find you. No one needs to be easily likable or socially compliant or normative. If you have an approach or personality that makes you a "difficult person" to know, take inventory and keep all aspects worthy of respect while discarding the rest. You may be 10X more energetic than 99% of mankind, but come off as impatient or shallow because you haven't found like-kind recently.
Also, finding new friends is not likely to occur through firsthand encounters initiated by you. Instead, people typically are introduced to friends, and life partners, via affines, in other words through friends of aquaintances. The weak social link has higher value. This research comes from Daniel Ariely.
 

Bertram

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Maybe you're a psychopath. Seriously. It's nothing to be ashamed of if you are. There are plenty of non-violent, non-criminal people who hold respectable careers (surgeons and crime scene people for instance) who are clinically regarded as psychopaths. There was a story I read about a psychologist who tested whether people were psychopaths using a test, tried it on himself and learned he qualified as a psychopath. Being a psychopath obviously comes with dark connotations due to pop culture, movies (Hitchcock comes to mind), and so on. The majority of psychopaths are not violent, nor involved in crime.

Or maybe you're not. Alls I know is that I connect better with people when I truly put a focused effort to listen to them, think about what they're saying and trying to understand where they're coming from and why. Hope any of that helped.
What a refreshing take on psychopaths.
You might be interested in the social style of high-functioning Aspergers as well.
Psychopaths are highly adept at socializing and more easily work a room than the norm. Small talk comes easily to psychos. Aspies - those with Aspergers - have to learn the rules of the game and practice.
OP does not seem interested in narratives, or scenarios with a beginning, middle or end. That includes sports games. That preference is a strong indicator.
 

Bertram

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That being said, sticking a label on someone's style of behavior is not the point. Being socially unusual always seems healthier than aping stereotypes.
I was very bashful like the OP for a few years. What pulled me out of self-conscious and extreme misery was a college teaching job which started at 6:45 am and required me to start lecturing to a crowd of 210 strangers twenty minutes before I was emotionally aroused enough to feel shy.
 
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404profound

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You are thinking about it too much. Maybe you are worried about being evaluated for something. Maybe you are making assumptions about the likelihood of being incompatible. Whatever it is, you are probably making it into a bigger deal than it is. Ignore your fears and apprehensions, and just start talking to people.
 

Mattie

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I think I've heard everyone's story and usually do listen, but frankly, i just get tired of hearing the same stories. lol Maybe a different plot twist, victim for the moment, blame, shame, guilt the other person because it's absolutely their fault. I'm thinking yeah, right, it has nothing to do with how you speak, act, and behave to get the reaction from the other person. I totally get you. And you give them any kind of feed back, "I'm the Villain in the equation that doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about."

I did have to laugh this week when some girl told me she needed to save everyone in another forum from me, because to many people were paying attention to my advice and she needed to stop them from being brainwashed by me. Now I have to have a sense of humor, because I'm brain washing people with the Fastlane Mentality, and how about we stop playing victim, creating and co-creating drama and trauma, and take control of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Geez... you better not listen to me if you actually want to get out of victim hood. Please feel free to silence my voice. I know to keep talking.

This person was Generation Z. And of course us Generation X, don't know what we're talking about, because it's more about feeling sorry for ourselves and ranting and raving how it's impossible to think that way, there might be some cause and effect with how they relate to others. I could say the dog has blue fur and they'd say no...the dog has red fur even if it really is blue, just for the sake of argument. So yes, I do not react or respond to them and move on my way.

No one in any generation wants to hear, they're part of the equation. It's all the other preson's fault. They're not going to hear of it. And than I have to just sit back and be entertained while others go through the process and fall down and my conversations are usually "Hello, Cheers." "Have a nice day.". Than they will say I'm not being social enough. And I will be social, "Oh, God. No...I had to ask you for advice or bring this up with you. What was I thinking. " "You'll give me the truth, and I don't want to hear the truth." "Can't you lie or something."

Now, "What is the script you want me to rehearse, in your play?" I'm seriously think I should just write Satire in Novel Form. Just for the humor of human nature.

Not that I don't need to improve my communication skills and social skills, always room for improvement.
 

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What a refreshing take on psychopaths.
You might be interested in the social style of high-functioning Aspergers as well.
Psychopaths are highly adept at socializing and more easily work a room than the norm. Small talk comes easily to psychos. Aspies - those with Aspergers - have to learn the rules of the game and practice.
OP does not seem interested in narratives, or scenarios with a beginning, middle or end. That includes sports games. That preference is a strong indicator.
Guess I'm a high functioning aspie then lol
 

Yzn

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I think this is just the fastlane/business sun shine. It blinds you in the beginning, and you don't see anything but the light.

Happens in the beginning stages. Not only when you go into business, but exactly the same happens when in religion, politics, philosophy, science, gaming and almost anything.

Nothing to worry about, soon you will get back your normal vision, and start looking back through balanced look on life and usually will start taking interest in normal life issues and stories. It's just a stage almost everyone goes through.

It could take a couple of years, or less, so it's usually a matter of time
 

guy93777

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I don’t drink (anymore). I don’t party. I don’t date (except date nights with my wife).

I’m an introvert in the sense that I enjoy my own company and don’t need external stimuli. Many-to-many conversations tire me.

Try not to put a label on yourself. Just smile and say hello and see what happens.

thanks

introvert thinkers rely on system thinking to understand people

since we can't really connect on a feeling level like feelings types and their random emotions that don't make sense .



for example : introvert thinkers see seductions as a system ( mystery method )

25245







.
 

Bryan James

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What a refreshing take on psychopaths.
You might be interested in the social style of high-functioning Aspergers as well.
Psychopaths are highly adept at socializing and more easily work a room than the norm. Small talk comes easily to psychos. Aspies - those with Aspergers - have to learn the rules of the game and practice.
OP does not seem interested in narratives, or scenarios with a beginning, middle or end. That includes sports games. That preference is a strong indicator.
Damn I feel stupid now. That makes sense.
 

Kevin88660

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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 have the same issue.

My manager used to tell me to develop more small talks with clients before going straight to the point on business.

My advice is to hang out with the right people. For those people who do not share common topics you just hang out with an agenda. Google the topic they like to talk about and write a brief mini-script to prepare. If I need to hang out with a client or hang out with a good looking chick I have to do it.
 

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It's just How to Win Friends and Influence People.

95% of people can be made to start talking about themselves. Get them to do so and validate them from time to time and voila....

Once you've done it enough too you begin to appreciate people more and more. Almost everyone has something I can learn. So I look for it. Once you get most people started, they don't want to stfu anyways, so it's really pretty easy. Now I enjoy finding out what someone knows a lot about. As long as it's not sports, I'm usually quite pleased. Not that I have anything against sports enthusiasts, but it doesn't typically gain me very much and is generally pretty boring to me.

Of course if you're actually into many different fields/interests, it helps a lot! But I find after talking to a lot of people, it only increased the number of things I find interesting or have some knowledge about. Also when I talk to someone, I'm completely focused on them. I'm not thinking about anything else. Nothing else exists but them. I only share when they ask me a question, or in order to resonate with whatever they just talked about to show that we share something similar.

Just my 2 pennies.
 

Bertram

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Guess I'm a high functioning aspie then lol
[/QUOTE]
thanks

introvert thinkers rely on system thinking to understand people

since we can't really connect on a feeling level like feelings types and their random emotions that don't make sense .



for example : introvert thinkers see seductions as a system ( mystery method )

View attachment 25245







.

I'm an introvert and have a full emotional life.

Some extroverts have a limited emotional life.

Feeling emotions and the expression of emotions are different categories of behavior.

Athletes and yogis experience a flattening of emotions when they undergo extensive training.

A person's social style, emotional life and personality type have zilch to do with reasoning ability, with very limited exceptions.

Eighty years ago, people used to categorize emotionally lively extroverts as hysterical personalities. Most hysterics were female and gay males. Think of Robin Williams' role in "La Cage au Folles."

More serious sounding, reserved people were assumed to have better reasoning ability, a bad guess. It is still wrong guessing. Popular media and popular belief keep the hysterical female and hysterical effeminate male stereotype somewhat alive.

Every personality style uses the whole damn brain. Left brain dominance, right brain dominance, hemispheric dominance will shuffle right and left and back and forth all day in every brain. Frontal lobes for executive function, locus ceruleus for emotions, reticular activating formation for cognitive mapping and attentional processing such as screening data, pareital lobes for spatial and self-awareness, all produce white noise or loud noise - talking about neural networks here - while brain activity keeps flickering as rampantly as light in a cuttlefish.

Stoical serenity does not indicate more reasoning ability than loudness and bluster. So much depends on the setting.

Human mammals are so complicated.

So is human sexuality.

I hope that this is just good news.

Where does the above material come from, @guy93777? It sort of reads like a storyboard from an episode of "One Life to Live."
 
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Bertram

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Psychopath != Sociopath

Sociopaths are made.
Psychopaths are born.
That is an interesting distinction.
It seems to be out there for the sake of excusing parents for bringing up a monster and likewise to get teachers and caregivers off the hook for no intervention.
Why would genetics make a bigger impact on the character development of a psychopath than the rest of us? That's pretty impossible.
The movie "We Need to Talk about Kevin" starring Tilda Swynton is based on the idea that psychopaths are born not made and that bad genes are in charge of their thoughts and feelings.
But the story is also about an uppity, distracted, career-focused, clueless single mom who never thinks for a moment that she and her child might benefit by her picking up a basic book on parenting and childcare. "Chapter One. Your newborn requires cuddling and loving verbal noises. Pick up your crying newborn. Do not hold a screaming newborn at arms length and just stare at it, counting out the minutes. Do not shake a crying infant for hours, it is trying to tell you something. Crying is reporting an issue. Identifying the problem and solving it is up to the adult, not the infant."
For the past 25 years "no geneticist worth his salt holds on to the belief that behavior and personality are driven by genetics and that the individual's unfolding personality is controlled by DNA." That quote is from Lewin, a top geneticist.

These days mass shooters are labeled monsters who were born broken.
The formula for a mass shooter is: (autism + bipolar disorder + male biology) + (bipolar mother + addiction) + social rejection and alienation.
 
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Bertram

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69
Maine, Arizona, Kunshan
Damn I feel stupid now. That makes sense.
There's a mass media pressure to label lack of social engagement psychopathology, and also a huge blindspot about autism and Aspergers.
Aspergers and autism are on a sharp rise. This is good news.
A book about it: Neurotribes, by Silberman. Great, fun read.
 

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