Are you like me; do you hate small talk? When chatting with a complete stranger (which is another thing I tend to avoid!), is the idea of idly chewing the fat about the weather just about the worst thing you can imagine? Or, while at a party, do you cringe at the thought of having to word vomit about nothing with people you barely know for two or three hours?
If you answered affirmatively to any of these question, then one of two things may be true about you: 1) you’re an introvert (yay!); or 2) you really hate small talk. It should be noted that both of these things do not have to be true at the same time, though they certainly can be (and maybe they usually are?). The hatred of small talk can by shared by introverts and extroverts alike!
But is there any place for small talk, idle chatter, barely-scratching-the-surface speech?
Small Talk on Mission
A friend of mine recently said that she didn’t like small talk at all. However, at a gathering we had, she engaged in some small talk and felt quite a bit differently about it. What changed?
Her words were that the small talk at the party was meaningful — it was small talk with a purpose.
The gathering we were at was a party that consisted of some folks who knew Jesus and some who did not yet. It wasn’t pushy, religious, weird, or anything like that. Instead it was literally just hanging out. It was us creating some proximity space for some of our friends to get to know what Christians are really like.
So when my friend engaged in small talk, she knew it had a larger purpose. Each “What do you do?” and “What do you think about the weather?” was centered around the gospel. Each awkward second had the possibility of representing a tiny step closer to someone she cared about meeting Jesus.
That’s small talk I can get behind!
What do you think of small talk? Let me know in the comments below.