Small Talk

Few days ago one of my friends got ‘sucked into’ an impromptu lunch with 2 people. Lets not focus on who these 2 people are…lets just called them common (normal) people.

And this is how it went in her own words “we talked about society, then some music and when we were coming back we talked about the weather.” In the end, what was supposed to be one of the last meetings of these 3 people together turned out to be a boring lunch.

Why would such a thing happen between otherwise normal, social, law abiding, peaceful, optimistic, friendly people of our community?

Well, the answer is partly available in the question “What we think, other people think, we think?”  or, the corollary “How other people think, we think about them?”

We have a decent mileage on our evolution as humans and have thus far accumulated sophisticated conscious and subconscious personal and social cognitive abilities. The abilities that instinctively tell us how far we can trust a new acquaintance. And we go on developing these mental-strengths to such levels that the results of analysis of any new person, event, experience is dispatched to our brains in matter of minutes, if not seconds.  Overtime, such consistent feedback are accumulated about a person in our brains and then comes a moment when  we cannot share anything worthwhile with this person because we are not sure how this will affect our cognition / opinion of this person. And because our behavioural psychology prefers consistency and normalization we don’t dare to take any risks of the new information developing new models in our brains of already known people, events and experiences.

And therefore, when we sit on a table with the person we have known for a certain period of time, we don’t have anything to talk about because we have already bracketed this person in a certain order and don’t want to risk our socio-economic-psychic ‘success’ due to the fact that we gave one little advantage to this person in terms of a little joke, information or just a sincere laugh.

Lesson to be learnt:  Don’t make so many social contacts that you end up being anti-contact, anti-sharing and actually being lonely inside.  And when meet them, don’t just listen with the excuse that you believe that ‘Listening is more important than talking.’ Because these days nobody is actually talking, and the ones who do talk only hogwash to be polite in your company. But if you really don’t have anything to say, lets propose a quiet lunch because it is way better. But then how many of us can have a quiet lunch with others without feeling the need to fill in some blabber.


Categories: Philosophy

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