I’m not great at small talk. I guess no one showed me how or something. I’m okay with this. I’m a not-rich, not-handsome Mr Darcy.
I know a few people who have the gift of insta-gab. Get right in there. Talk it up. Ask questions. Do your thing.
I love those people. They get me to talk about myself, and there’s nothing I love more than talking about myself. It’s okay. You love talking about yourself, too. No need to be bashful.
But there’s a certain kind of talker I just can’t stand.
You’ve probably met this guy. He makes conversation like more bellicose nations make war. Everything’s about superiority, about changing the footing, about one-upping and being right. Even the Debate Club thinks he’s an asshole. That guy.
It’s exhausting. I used to think… how can one person care about so many things? How can one person go on and on and on about stuff all the time?
Then it came to me: These people don’t care about things. They’re not interested in the subjects they’re argue-talking about. What they care about is being right. If you’re the last one talking, if everyone’s given up, if people are leaving the room and you’re still trying to shock & awe your way to the conversational high ground, you’re that guy.
Let’s all pause to mentally punch that guy in the mouth.
In all Christian love, of course. But right in the kisser.
I’ve noticed a few symptoms. Here are only few, as they’re fresh on my mind. He can’t wait for you to stop talking to start talking. He doesn’t listen to what you say. He takes a position and defends it to absurdity (this one especially). He’s right. You’re wrong. He won’t accept defeat. He won’t even accept that there is no defeat. We’re just talking.
This is why we don’t talk about politics with people. It seems like politics turns everyone into that guy. And religion too, sometimes.