“Working Hard, or Hardly Working?”

I hate small talk.

I understand that sometimes it serves a big purpose–opening the door to conversations with new people (can’t exactly walk up to someone and go into a monologue about your embarassing moment now, can you?). But for the most part, it is just frustrating.

As I hate small talk, and don’t have the amazing social skills at starting conversations that a few of my friends have, I usually do not go out starting conversations with “new” people. Even though I want to. Instead, I just stick with the same isolated groups of friends and hope that someone else will bring in a new person.

This is part of my goal of “putting myself out there”–I need to start not being afraid to walk up and talk to someone new, or, perhaps more importantly, be more receptive to small talk and not shut down immediately.

Being more receptive to small talk will help me not feel like I come off as a bitch. If I can bear with the small talk and be polite even for a few minutes, I will have succeeded.

Right now, I am trying to be nicer to the janitor at work but I am having such a hard time. However, I think the problem with him goes beyond small talk. For example, he’ll just BURST into my office and say, “WAKE UP!” or “WHATCHA DOING?!” You know, making a very tactful interest. Or he’ll ask me what I’m reading or listening to, then say, “Never heard of it” and make a disgusted face or laugh at me, saying “Now why would you read/listen to THAT?”

Take today for example:
Starts by BURSTING into my office, yelling “WAKE UP!” (I was carefully reading a lease agreement) then asks me if I’m cold because I’m wearing a sweatshirt and a scarf. I say, “No, just comfortable.” And he looks at me like I’m stupid then says, “why would you wear that unless you were cold?” Ummm, because I want to? I promptly looked back down at my work and he got the hint, after making some weird noise. I did thank him for emptying my garbage, though. And the thing is, I know he’s a nice guy and not some creep, but it is SO ANNOYING.

But I will try to deal, and try to be a “nicer” person, and try to be a more engaging conversationalist. Starting . . . now.

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