Small talk is one of my least favorite things ever. Most introverts like myself say they don’t like small talk because it forces them to step out of their shell and talk to people. They want to do as little talking as possible, especially about nominal matters like the weather. That’s part of the reason I don’t enjoy it, but there’s another reason. I find it difficult and even frustrating. Small talk, at its core, is a way for us to talk without asking or listening.
Take this popular scenario for example. Chris walks into church and see Bill. Bill says, “Hey, Chris! How’s it going?” Chris, without hesitating, rattles off a, “Fine, how are you, Bill?” Bill wastes no time in replying that he is “fine” as well and asks how Chris’ wife is. “She’s doing well,” Chris responds and he returns the question to Bill. “The wife is good.” Chris and Bill do this tennis match of shallow interrogation for a few minutes, covering wife, kids, job, and remarkably, like we’re back in the Garden of Eden, it’s all good!
Have you been in this kind of exchange this week? (Read more at Gospel-Centered Discipleship)