JOURNAL

Small Talk

Ever since I started writing, I’ve had people tell me that I tend to rush through pieces of the story. Usually it’s the little (not-as-important) stuff, and I don’t even realize I’m doing it. As I’ve grown in my writing, I’ve realized it’s because I do the same thing in real life.

I tend to skip what I consider the “not-as-important” stuff and jump right into the nitty-gritty real life stuff. I’m one of those people that hate small talk. I hate how shallow it feels, and to be honest I don’t really care about how tired we all are or how much it rained in the past week. I apologize.

Maybe I should care, though.

Yeah, it feels kind of pointless sometimes, but as humans we are designed to be in relationship with each other. And relationships don’t just happen. We have to work to keep them strong. I was writing in my journal the other day (yes, I still keep a real-life paper journal), and I wrote this:

Relationships don’t flourish unless you water them.

It kind of spilled onto the page without even thinking about it, but I stopped as soon as I wrote it, in awe of how much truth was in that statement. To some people, this comes naturally. But for me, I tend to avoid people instead of pursue them. This comes off as stuck-up and bratty, which makes me cringe. I definitely don’t want to be known by those words.

But how do I change without compromising my own natural character (i.e. being an introvert)?

It’s called being intentional.

I’ve learned I don’t have to say “hello” to every face that looks familiar at the grocery store. When I first moved to this small town, I felt obligated to make conversation with everyone I had recently met through work, church, etc. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I felt like I had to. It gave me anxiety at times to go grocery shopping because I. hate. small. talk. and you run into practically everyone you know at the store.

Now, I politely smile and wave to most people and then go on with my shopping. However, I go in expecting to have at least one intentional conversation with someone I know. That way, I’m not stressing myself out with trying to make small talk a dozen times, and yet I’m still pursuing relationship with someone. I find that after a few intentional conversations with the same person, that relationship begins to get stronger. And in a deeper way, because I didn’t skip all the little stuff.

Watering relationships is crucial if you want to see them flourish. Don’t forget to get out your watering can every now and then. You might be surprised how many of your friends need that extra love today.

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