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Old 03-04-2019, 10:56 AM
6,584 posts, read 2,369,662 times
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I don't think anyone is chastising anyone else here. Are we??
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:59 AM
Location: State of Transition
78,664 posts, read 70,531,500 times
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Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
I want to be liked by people who matter to me... family, friends, coworkers, people in my various hobbies who I see on a regular basis... I don't worry much about what random strangers on the street who I don't know and will never see again think.

An opening line like that could have also possibly been offensive to a different person, though-- but, a lot can depend on tone, I suppose. He just lucked out this time (or, the guy was offended and felt the need to prove himself). There are many other friendly but less risky ways to open a conversation with someone who has a guitar than implying they might be a talentless poser. (Such as: "How long have you been playing? What kind of guitar is that? What kind of music do you like to play? Who's your favorite guitarist? Are you on your way to a gig? Do you like that particular case? Is it hard to fly with a guitar? Do you play with a band? How do you feel about alternate tunings?")
lol. True, but the guy got that it was a joke. He was pretty cool. And I think what made it funnier, was that it came from a 13-year-old. But yes, he did go out on a limb, there. See your point about not signing him up to coach adults. His line wouldn't be as cute coming from a 25 or 30 year old.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 03-04-2019 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:09 AM
5,460 posts, read 2,298,642 times
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Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I don't think anyone is chastising anyone else here. Are we??

I don't think so. My remarks were for those who say, "I'm an introvert so I can't talk to people," rather than people who say, "I'm an introvert so I choose not to talk to people."
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:15 AM
Location: State of Transition
78,664 posts, read 70,531,500 times
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
I don't really buy into the entire extrovert/introvert thing. As someone who could have been classified as a deep introvert earlier in life, I still managed to function and talk to people. In that sense, simply saying, "Well, I'm an introvert," is basically a crutch that keeps one from acquiring an important social skill. As someone who owned a business where I had to actually engage the public, I would have starved to death if I used that excuse. Even now, after giving a presentation or a speech, I need a nap. That's how exhausting it can be for an introvert like me.

That being said, learning to have a conversation with a stranger isn't that hard at all. It's not a skill. It's an attitude. At its fundamental level, it's simply about being more interested in the other person than in talking about oneself. That's it.

The reason for this is simple. In a world where people are busily talking about their own lives, a person who is interested in the lives of others is a bit of a novelty. A few open-ended questions to the person you've just met and -- voila -- you're the most interesting conversationalist they've ever met.

So I've had incredibly interesting conversations with total strangers. My favorite story was the time I was flying cross country. My seatmate was an elderly woman. I simply said 'Hello' to her and exchanged the basic, 'What will you do in Los Angeles,' kind of question.

As it turns out, this was her first time on an airplane. She was from a farm in Mississippi. But that's not where her story ended. Her father was in the occupation troops in Japan after World War II, so she went with her father. She told all kinds of stories about postwar Japan. She moved back to Mississippi, married a man, and started an egg farm. They had kids, but when the Civil Rights Era came to Mississippi, she volunteered to help the marchers. She actually smuggled organizers in the trunk of her car as she drove into town. And that was just the half of it.

The result? A four-hour flight zipped past. We were on the ground before I realized it. I helped her with her luggage and, afterwards, she introduced me to her granddaughter. We parted ways, but I've never forgotten that conversation. This is the kind of memorable encounter you give up when you choose to not talk to people you don't know.
OMG! You got the History Channel as a seat mate! That's amazing! I imagine, though, that scoring such an interesting seat mate is pretty rare.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:23 AM
Location: State of Transition
78,664 posts, read 70,531,500 times
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Originally Posted by Atlguy39 View Post
I detest small talk. That said, I'm trying to talk to people more, which isn't my nature as an introvert who is also a bit shy. If someone starts a convo with me and I find them interesting, especially on an airplane, I'll talk. Honestly, it really doesn't happen that much where I live. I did go up to a guy in the gym the other day who was wearing a Georgia shirt and say hello because it was so nice to see someone else from my home state. Thats unusual for me, and very situational dependent.
I can relate. But you'd be surprised how easy it can be to turn "small talk" into deeper talk. Like Minivan Driver, and his elderly seat mate on the plane. Sometimes, in response to some fairly superficial info from someone, you can ask a provocative question that goes to the heart of their beliefs or interests or business philosophy, or whatever. IME people usually appreciate the opportunity for a thoughtful conversation.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:48 PM
1,832 posts, read 740,416 times
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I don't chat with strangers because I always think that people just want to hurry up and pay for their stuff and leave the store, not stop to converse with anyone. Don't know if that's true, but that's what I think. Even if it's an impersonal subject like small talk and you can't go wrong, I still don't talk with anyone.

But I'm terrible at initiating conversation anyway, but if someone speaks to me first, of course I'll be happy to respond.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:20 PM
12,632 posts, read 7,545,706 times
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Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
An introvert has no problems talking 1 on 1, so why would a stranger make it different? It doesn't. If they can't do it, they aren't comfortable which isn't because they are an introvert but they lack the social skills for that setting. No different than an extrovert
Not wanting to engage in small talk with others doesn't mean I lack the social skills to talk with a stranger. I'm just typically not interested in what they have to say. Most people who start up conversations in check out lines do so because they want to complain to someone. I'm not interested in listening to someone complain, and not going to join them in trash talking the store or cashier. I don't want their negativity in my life, so I don't engage with them.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:38 PM
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,756 posts, read 5,322,535 times
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Originally Posted by Spuggy View Post
Not everyone likes it, nothing wrong with that and not something I find difficult to understand. There have been times I have enjoyed it and other times not at all. On a plane I don't want to have a convo with anyone because I want to get my nose stuck in a book or put my earphones on and listen to music. Another couple of times I was dealing with extreme pain, or grief and I just wasn't in the mood for chit chat. I enjoy conversation and get plenty with a large circle of friends, I enjoy being friendly with a smile and how are you, or a quick chat ( like the time on a trail and the other hiker was sharing his knowledge of the plants on the trail), but I don't seem to have a compelling need to share my personal life stories with a stranger.
Well said
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:42 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 10 days ago)
Location: Texas
9,515 posts, read 3,649,616 times
Reputation: 19547
I don't mind chatting with strangers. But if it's someone that won't let me get out of the conversation, I have a problem with that.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:48 PM
Location: Minnesota
560 posts, read 139,708 times
Reputation: 1672
Originally Posted by That_One_Girl View Post
I like talking to strangers if there's something interesting to comment on or discuss.

What I have no interest in is "small talk". I find it boring and awkward, and I refuse to do it.

Edit, wanted to add that there are times I really don't have the energy to talk to anyone at all. Stranger or not. I'd say I feel that way the majority of the time. I'm super introverted and get easily drained by social interaction. So unless something super interesting is happening (like us all witnessing an event out in public, for example), most of the time, I just avoid people. OP sounds like an extrovert, and extroverts will never understand what it's like to be introverted.

On a great day when I'm feeling super high energy, I can talk with strangers. But the conversation MUST move from "small talk" to something interesting very quickly.
This 100%.

I don't do weather or 'tell me about yourself', even asking me how many kids I have can be a complicates situation since I'm remarried so there are mine, his, and even a step child deceased prior to our marriage so my answer varies greatly depending if I think I might ever talk to you again. Small talk is painful and exhausting for me because I don't do it well and then I feel put on the spot to think of something interesting or witty and anxiety kicks in. I might then spend the next three hours thinking about what I should have said in that 3 minute random chat that you forgot about as soon as you ran into the next stranger.

That said I can babble on and on with people I have a relationship with or with people who are on a topic that interests me and I have actual knowledge of. With a stranger I'm perfectly comfortable to sit in silence. I personally wonder why some people seem to be just as threatened by silence as I am by small talk.
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