People who secretly hate small talk usually have these 10 personality traits

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So there’s someone that you swear secretly hates small talk. 

They might play along with it, but you can tell that it annoys them and your little chats don’t last long.

It can be hard to approach someone who doesn’t appreciate the usual conversational ice-breaker.

So to help you understand them better, here are 10 personality traits that you’ll usually find in people who (secretly) hate small talk.

1) They don’t like BS

Small talk is— most of the time— all about pretending to be interested in whatever topics other people are talking about.

Its purpose is to “break the ice” and keep conversation going.

Some people might go “the weather looks nice today” not because they’re actually interested in the weather, but because they want to have some noise.

And, of course, it can feel like a show. 

It forces us to pretend we like certain things we’re not at all interested in, or have an opinion on things we don’t really care about.

People who secretly hate small talk think it’s all BS.

They would happily talk people’s ears out if they DO know about the topic and they’re interested in it, but otherwise, they’d rather stay quiet.

2) They hate kissing ass

Another reason why some people hate small talk is that it requires them to kiss ass to some degree, often so that they will seem “polite.”

It’s not rare for people to make mistakes while doing small talk, and nothing kills small talk faster than someone who corrects those mistakes. 

Sometimes people might mention their achievements, expecting to get praise or respect for it… even if it honestly, isn’t that big of a deal.

And they simply don’t like having to kiss those people’s asses by pretending they’re actually wowed by what they’ve said.

They resent small talk because they’d rather not kiss ass if they could, and engaging in small talk forces them to.

3) They’re introverted

It should not be a surprise that introverts hate small talk

Introverts find socialization with their usual group exhausting already, so they’d rather not waste their very limited energies on starting new conversations.

They do understand that they’ll have to endure it in order to “get along” with people, but deep down inside they secretly wish that people would just go straight to the point.

They don’t want people trying to butter them up by telling them how nice they look or some cute intro—if someone wants to ask them a favor, they’d rather people tell them outright.

As far as they’re concerned, the less energy they waste on pointless chatter, the better. 

It means they can retreat to their own quiet corner sooner.

4) They’re mindful of others

In fact— a bit too mindful. 

They’re worried that they might be bothering others if they speak up and try talking about the things they like.

Because of that, they often end up being passive in conversation…going along with whatever everyone else is talking about.

They don’t really enjoy that experience, and that adds to why they hate small talk so much.

It’s either that they speak up and feel like they’re annoying everyone else, or they’re invisible and everyone else is talking over them.

5) They’re goal-oriented

People who secretly hate small talk might just be incredibly goal-oriented.

They might see that there’s a lot of things they need to do or talk about, and they’d rather not waste precious time being “friendly” and having small talk.

They might or might not be aware that it makes them feel cold or even hostile to others. 

If they are, they might entertain the bare minimum of small talk but no more!

This is especially apparent in a work setting, where they will make it clear that they’re there to get things done (and not make friends).

Why would they ask Joe “Hey, how’s your weekend?” and listen to Joe talk for 30 minutes when they can just do their work? 

That way, they won’t be bringing work home on the weekend!

6) They’re self-aware 

They know what they’re capable of, and where their limitations lie. 

And they don’t exactly enjoy small talk because of how it often ends up highlighting the things they fall short in…and when that happens, it’s hard for them to fake!

When everyone around them is talking about sports, they’ll be self-conscious about the fact that they don’t know much about sports.

So they’ll stutter and say “Uhh, I’m not really into it. I actually hate sports. I think it’s boring”, putting an end to a lively convo.

And if they’re around people they barely know, they’ll be haunted by just how much of an outsider they are in the conversation.

Their self-awareness makes them awkward, and their awkwardness is highlighted when they engage in small talk.

7) They’re deep thinkers

The thing with small talk is that it is, let’s face it—ultimately, shallow and superficial. 

Small talk is not so much an actual conversation as it is a social dance—one meant to avoid offending one another or creating an awkward silence.

And deep thinkers don’t really think highly of that. 

If they must talk, they’d rather talk about things that are actually important.

Instead of talking about how nice the carpet is, they might instead prefer talking about politics. 

And instead of talking endlessly about how noisy the party is, they might instead prefer to ask “what’s the meaning of life?”

They might play along with small talk if they must, but they would rather not if they could. 

They don’t see any value in it whatsoever.

8) They’re highly cautious

Another reason why someone would secretly hate small talk is how easy it can be to accidentally share information they would have rather kept secret.

They might feel pressured to share their opinions on other people, for example—opinions that can easily be used against them if it’s about someone important like their boss or a local politician.

Or they might feel pressured to talk about their relationship, and they blurted out important information about their past.

And most of the time it’s not like they can even know that they should have kept something a secret until they’ve finally said it.

They know that words can easily be used against them, and they hate that they have to be extra vigilant when doing small talk.

They’d rather keep these info to themselves or to the people they’re closest to.

9) They want authenticity

I had mentioned before that small talk can be a bit fake.

You have to pretend you’re interested in something you’re not…

Or you have to praise people for things you honestly don’t care about.

Some people hate small talk precisely because of this. They want authenticity, and they hate how “fake” small talk feels.

They would rather that people be honest with one another and only open their mouths when there’s something genuine or important to be said.

It’s not because they’re mean or anything. They simply want authenticity.

10) They’re a nonconformist

Nonconformists often end up resenting having to engage in small talk as well.

The reason is simple—”everyone else does it” is not a good enough reason for them to do small talk!

Instead, they try to understand exactly what small talk is, why it exists, and if it’s worth practicing all their life.

Most of the time, they generally agree that small talk is pointless even if they do understand why it exists.

And almost nobody likes having to do something that they know is pointless.

Last words

There are many different reasons why someone would hate small talk

Some of them are related, others are not. So don’t expect any one person to have all of the things on this list.

But as a rule of thumb, those who hate small talk tend to be either neurodivergent, introverted, or goal-oriented busybodies.

Most will still play along, but there will be times when they simply don’t want to bother—and you know what? That’s okay! Or at least it should be.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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