Introverts need good chat with good friends, too.
I’m an introvert. But I love having good conversations with people. I can still feel the invigorating feeling of leaving a catch up with a friend feeling completely refreshed and deeply happy after a life giving chin wag.
Small talk is necessary.
Now I realise small talk is necessary, it’s (usually) deeply uncomfortable and, well, weird to have someone launch in with information only appropriate for a long time friend. I add that (usually) because I had the strange and oddly welcoming experience of a woman launching to chat about her desire and road to losing weight, the menopause (hers, impending) and the highs and lows of singleness (again, hers specifically). That one time, it wasn’t uncomfortably and it was only slightly weird - that weirdness was evened out by how welcome she made me feel in this brand new group of women in a brand new church in a brand new town in a brand new country.
A cool hack to overcome awkward small talk.
So while I know small talk is necessary, I can’t stand it. However, I recently heard a trick to overcome the awkward silence of repetitive chat about the weather when you’re in a lift with a stranger for 30 seconds or hanging around during coffee after church. Ask for their advice. Something along the lines of “where is a good place for brunch around here?” Or “what should I get for my nephew’s 4th birthday?”
This is the perfect trick for me - I love asking questions, but I am rubbish at finding good questions to ask. But with a bit of forethought or a question in mind to ask, you could spark some light conversation without it feeling weird or awkward.
I believe this kind of interaction enriches both lives. The person being asked the question will likely feel useful and like they have been helpful. The person asking (you) will gain valuable information and both of you will have been saved for awkwardly watching the numbers increase on the lift or pulling your phones out, again.
Be a good friend even to your acquaintances.
These interactions may never lead anywhere more than just that brief 30 second conversation but they can still enrich two lives. Be a good steward of these moments God has given you with other image bearers. Add some positive to someone’s day!
I’ll be writing a few more posts more specifically directed at friendship and how to be a good friend and deepen friendships, so keep your eyes peeled for these soon!