the other thing about that small-talk post is like… don’t lie to me, or to yourself. all of those things are fascinating subjects of conversation, yes. but outside of a handful of very unusual circumstances, there is no way that you wouldn’t be weirded out by someone sitting down next to you and immediately proceeding to spill their guts to you about why they’re so lonely.
the thing is, sometimes small-talk is our way of asking permission to get to the big-talk. most people have those close, special friends that you can IM at three in the morning and say “Hey, I’ve got something kinda huge on my mind, do you think I could ramble at you about it for a bit?”
but those people are few and far between, generally. and the thing is, they are almost always people with whom you have already put in years worth of small-talk in order to get to the point where the two of you are comfortable enough with each other to skip it entirely and jump right to the meat of a conversation.
the other key factor is, you’re still asking permission in that scenario. you’re just doing it directly, rather than through unspoken cues within a casual conversation. to be blunt, it’s actually pretty rude to just assume that it’s alright to dump that kind of heavy conversation on someone without either asking directly if it’s alright, or doing them the courtesy of asking about their day first, and giving them the opportunity to end the conversation, or steer it away from more intense subjects if they’re not in the place to handle them.
you don’t always know what someone’s emotional or mental state is, even the people you’re closest with. maybe they’re dealing with their own stuff and really can’t handle yours right now. maybe they’re busy with something, and feel bad because they can’t really devote the right amount of attention to a more serious conversation. or, hey, maybe they’re just plain not in the mood right then— and that’s okay!
there’s a time and a place for small-talk, just as there’s a time and place for “big-talk”. i think it’s important to remember that “small” does not necessarily mean “insignificant” or ”unimportant”. taking the time to make small-talk with someone is an often overlooked and undervalued courtesy. it’s a way to communicate that you do care about someone, and you do want to have a conversation with them, even if it’s just catching up on each other’s lives, or chatting about work.
circumstances don’t always allow for “big-talk”, but if i have the choice of asking a friend “hey, how was your day? work treating you alright?”, or not speaking to them at all, well.. i know what i would choose.
“Philosophy becomes tortured thinking. Thinking that devours itself—and continues intact and even flourishes, in spite (or perhaps because) of the repeated acts of self-cannibalism. In the passion play of thought, the thinker plays the roles of both protagonist and antagonist. He is both suffering Prometheus and the remorseless eagle who consumes his perpetually regenerated entrails.”—Susan Sontag, from “Thinking Against Oneself: Reflections on Cioran” (via sambwmn)
i would just like to state for the record that i am constantly awed by, and grateful for the variety of amazing, supportive, accepting, kind, and endlessly fascinating individuals whom i am lucky enough to be able to call my friends 8’)
…yes hello i am drunk and happy friendgay feeling ACCEPT MY AFFECTIONS!!!! >8U
“He knew why he wanted to kiss her. Because she was beautiful. And before that, because she was kind. And before that, because she was smart and funny. Because she was exactly the right kind of smart and funny. Because he could imagine taking a long trip with her without ever getting bored. Because whenever he saw something new and interesting, or new and ridiculous, he always wondered what she’d have to say about it—how many stars she’d give it and why.”—Rainbow Rowell, Attachments (via seabois)