Introverts don’t like to talk

talkThis is the third in a weekly series debunking myths about introverts.  (See last week’s post.)  The basis of the 10 week series is the article written by Carl King.  I will show his thinking, add mine and then encourage all of you to contribute your thoughts on the subject.

Don’t know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert?  Take Susan Cain’s quiz.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.

Carl:  This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Chris:  I absolutely agree with Carl on this.

Introverts have too much going on in our heads as it is to want to play the small talk game.  We like meaningful conversations, meaningful relationships, and meaningful purpose to things.   Small talk is a waste of brain cells and oxygen.

Some people have almost accused me of being a closet extrovert.  They question whether I really am as much of an introvert as I claim because I communicate so well on this blog.  The only reason I can do that is because when I’m writing about introverts I am in my passion.  I have a HUGE amount to say on the topic.  But get me outside of my comfort zone and I shut down and observe, watching the clock and wanting to go home, just like any other introvert.

When I have to do the small talk thing, I’m good at the weather because I was a trained meteorologist when I was young.  It’s still a topic I enjoy.  The problem is that the weather isn’t small talk for me, so I usually end up going overboard and realize it when I see people’s eyes glazing over.

I can also talk about grief because of the work I do with grieving children, but let me tell you, that is not a good party topic.

OK, that’s the extent of my small talk.  Seriously.  That’s it.  Yep, I’m the life of a party.

When I first started this blog, it was my third or fourth attempt at blogging, and it was going downhill quickly.  I would sweat blood over one entry.  It would take me four hours to do a few paragraphs.  Why?  It wasn’t the writing.  I love words.  I love writing.  It was the small talk.  For those of you who are finding it challenging to write your blog, I will bet it’s because in the back of your mind blogging = small talk.  Pick a subject that you love and the words will come more easily.

Have a quiet day!

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Chris also contributes to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.

29 thoughts on “Introverts don’t like to talk

  1. very encouraging post- but also nice touch of humor too!!!
    like noting you know it is overboard when your weather talks can get rather detailed…
    “when I see people’s eyes glazing over.”

  2. I’m not sure whether I am introvert or not. But I surely feel uncomfortable when I have to think something for making small talks. People tend to say that I talk a lot but that’s because they see me when I am in my comfort zone and talking about subjects I am interested in. However, if I am in a big party and need to find something to talk to a stranger — I have no idea how to do that.

    • People say you can learn the art of small talk, and that is true to an extent, but to be really successful at it I think you have to shift your mind so that you find meaning in it. I haven’t gotten there yet.

  3. Yes! There is so much truth in this. I’m thought of as a snob or rude but that’s not the case at all. I also HATE to take on the telephone. In text (blogging, emails, texting) I can carefully choose my words and think about what I’m going to say… and avoid the small talk!

  4. So true…sit me down for a meaningful one-on-one conversation with somebody and there’s no problem; but if I’m in a group of people attempting to mingle it’s a disaster. Even when I was little my dad used to tell me, “You either don’t talk at all or you don’t shut up!” I never thought about it from the small talk perspective, but that really is where I get uncomfortable.

  5. Completely agree with this. You won’t find me talking about something “small and insignificant” and I absolutely abhor gossip. Yet, start talking about something that matters to me and I won’t shut up so easily or at all.

  6. Great post, on such an interesting topic.
    I read the other day that now there is a third option, an ambivert 🙂
    I’m quite an extroverted introvert when I’m talking about things which interest me….and there are lots of these things… perhaps I’m an ambivert!

  7. Enjoyed reading this! As I think I may have said previously, I ‘learnt’ small talk in business, and I am quite OK at parties…but still prefer meaningful one on one conversations… And as someone else said, I abhor gossip.

  8. Generally speaking – it’s easier to write than to talk.
    And about talking, IT DEPENDS!
    It depends on the subjekt and it depends on who you’re talking to and it depends on the surroundings. It also depends on how you’re feeling. Do I have a headache or have been sleeping to little? Don’t talk to me! Am I hungry? Shut up til later! Am I busy and occupied with something? Don’t even try to start a conversation.
    By the way! The small talk thing is very similar to Aspergers habits. “Don’t waste my time and energy with such pity items.” “Oh! I’m getting soooooo bored!”

  9. I agree with what you are saying about starting a blog and keep it going. I started a blog about Trompie my dog as seen through his eyes. Guess what, it helps me to get some writing done, or gives me something to write about. I still have to force myself to blog about him. It is much easier to shy away from the computer than sitting down and start writing.

  10. Sorry…Clicked enter too soon……I was responding to this: But get me outside of my comfort zone and I shut down and observe, watching the clock and wanting to go home, just like any other introvert

  11. Argh.. Small talk, soooo annoyingly pointless. I too would rather talk about something interesting and ‘Meaningful’. Sorry, Chris, you did make me laugh at the Weather comment – SEE, Introverts ARE funny! 😀 I’m glad you found your passion 🙂

  12. I just got back from the Y which was very crowded and abuzz with talk. Since recently reading Cain’s Quiet book and finding your blog, i have been watching what I do and how I feel. I used to come home from places like that feeling frustrated because I made no effort to engage, other than a smile and hi. Now I know there’s nothing wrong with me; i don’t choose to be part of the yakkers and that’s ok!! Also thought about everything I listed on my About page – someone mightt think I’m quite outgoing. Nope. I’m good for 2-3 hours a couple times a week of interaction with a purpose. Then I want to be home. Now I know that’s ok! What a relief.

  13. Yes, introverts can be funny. My posts lean towards humor, but my tendency to see life through a humorous lens is not mutually exclusive with being an introvert. Altho it can confuse people about a driving need to be alone. “But you’re so witty …. “

  14. “Get me out of my comfort zone and I shut down”…. Yep!!! I feel almost as if I’m being written about (LOL) – almost, but not quite as I am only partly introvert (beyond almost halfway between the 2).

  15. Like you, I can expound terrifically on a subject I am passionate about – but I hate to talk most of the time. Luckily hubby does all the talking for both of us!

  16. Great post and yes, that’s me, too! I can do small talk (although often I go on thinking while doing so), but bring up a subject I’m passionate about and I can sit up all night discussing, educating, sharing, whatever. Then I need some quiet alone time to recover . . . 😉 I wish people learned about this spectrum in school; it would save so many people from misery. It helps to remember that we aren’t stuck at a single point on the spectrum, either. If I’m rested up and have had quiet time, I do much better with a bunch of people. If I’m overextended, not so much. I’ve been known to pick a fight over something meaningless, just to justify having time to myself. (I was raised before anyone knew any of this stuff and just had to learn by doing; I do much better these days) 😉

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