Weekly Cynicism: The Pain of Small Talk

Aside from my few close and valued friends and family, I am a loner. I am an introvert. I spend most of my time having philosophical and not-so-philosophical discussions and debates in my own head. I ask questions of the world, questions of myself. I can be very cynical and analytical and ask myself, “why should I go to work and slave myself out to make money, when no matter what I do I am going to be poor anyway? Why am I allowing myself to be used as a tool, another cog in the system?” But sometimes I keep it light and easy and ask myself things like, “what should I make myself to eat today?”

I never waste time asking or listening to the answers of questions to which I already know or can figure out on my own.

That’s why there are several questions and conversations that I am slowly trying to eliminate from my life; they are a pointless waste of time.

People may consider me rude when they ask me “how are you” and I don’t reciprocate the question. But I don’t need to ask that question. I know what every single person is going to say in response, and that is, “I’m good.” If I see you and I’m talking to you and you seem to be doing well, I won’t ask how you are because I can see for myself that you are just fine. If anyone asks me how I am, what am I going to say? “I’m good, thanks.” No one that asks me that question really cares how I am. They want me to say “good,” so I say it. If I answer that I am NOT doing well than I see it in the questioner’s eyes that they think I am a complainer.

The same goes for asking how someone’s friend, family member, or significant other is doing. I won’t ask that question because, obviously, everyone is fine. And please, no one ask me that question either.

If I am out and about running errands or shopping simply for the enjoyment of spending money I should be saving, I don’t want to be bothered with pointless questions like, “how are you,” or “how is your sister/boyfriend/father/mother/friend.”

I enjoy silence and self-reflection more than meaningless chatter.  If someone would like to talk about literature, film, travel, music, the English language or a foreign language, the nature of elevating one’s consciousness through the use of illegal or legal drugs, go for it. Let’s do it. Let’s talk.

If you want to ask me how I am, or how I’m doing, or what I feel about the weather, don’t. Just don’t. And don’t feel obligated to ask those questions as a means of greeting me. If someone wishes to greet me, he or she should say “hello,” or even a simple “hi,” or smile, or hand wave will do.

I’ll like you all the more for simply leaving me to my own thoughts. Don’t burden me with small talk. I only enjoy big talk.


Kasey Tveit

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