Why Introverts Hate Small Talk

“But here’s the thing: you’re not making our day better. Yes, it’s nice to meet people as an introvert. And have fun conversations. But one of the things introverts like least is having to compose on the spot – they like situations where they can lapse in to silence to think for a few moments before responding. Additionally, they are more likely to have been intensely thinking about something while just walking along the street. Small talk, in this way, is basically the antithesis of what an introvert would want to make them happier: it intrudes upon whatever they were previously composing or musing about, likely losing at least part of it, and requires that they compose several replies to unexpected questions in rapid succession on the spot. So when you see things like introverts skipping small talk in favor of talking about pet projects or scientific articles, or people tuning you out on the bus in favor of continuing to think about their own ideas, it’s simply because that’s the kind of interaction they prefer. I know you mean well, but from the perspective of an introvert, casual small-talk while they’re busily trying to think about something else in public is one of the most annoying things you could do, and usually will result in them just tuning you out. So I hope you’ll understand if we’re occasionally a little standoffish about it – we really don’t mean any offense.”

CaptainObviousMC comments on How I feel being from Seattle and visiting the South.