I have a huge difficulty with “small talk.” The entire dance of “where are you from, where do you live, what do you do?” exhausts me. For this reason, parties where I know few people are certainly out of my comfort zone.
At this type of party, I will be the one standing off to the side, just watching. It isn’t that I am uninterested, but the process from shaking hands to getting to real conversation is excruciating to me. Last night proved not to be terribly different at the start. However, at some point I walked outside to the fire pit where the smokers were. In that smaller group of only 3, I managed to strike up a conversation. Most of the evening I talked to a guy named Bates. He is an “almost” native Atlantan as I am. We managed to traipse across a wide variety of topics including sports, Michael Vick, race, religion, the difference between apostles and disciples, raising children, and living life without regrets. It was very refreshing. He is married, and was clear from the start of the conversation that flirtation was not his goal. I liked that about him. At the end of the night, I gave him my card and my email information. I invited him and his wife to come to Eddie’s Attic as my guests when my next big favorite comes to town. Will anything come of this? Who knows. What I do know is that it was refreshing to have a meaningful conversation with a man without any sexual undertones. And I am proud of myself for peeking a bit out of my shell.
Are you the social butterfly who can talk to anyone about anything? Do you tend to stand by while others chat? How do you deal with these situations, and do you like the way you do it?