Comments on
Why Small Talk Causes Anxiety


One of my specialties in my practice is working with people who struggle with various forms of anxiety, including social anxiety. And it’s a consensus that small talk is a thorn in most people’s sides.

3 thoughts on “Why Small Talk Causes Anxiety

  • September 26, 2018 at 9:13 am

    This was an interesting topic! I would like to add that usually the reason people are having “small talk conversations “ is because they’re in a situation where they’re forced to such as work functions where getting beyond small talk can be misread as flirting or invasiveness. The very reason for the situation where small talk needs to be made (for me, most recently was a wedding my husband and I attended where we knew no one except the couple getting married) we were twice the age of most of the attendees and had little in common with them. It’s hard to connect when the group you’re socializing with is one you can easily size up before you even get there as one you wouldn’t ever see again. Sitting at a round table for 10 with complete strangers is daunting for most of us.

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  • September 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Small talk eh, well, yup, it definitely causes me grief. I do look for substantial conversational topics that require a bit of intellect. What I find is nothing but small talk, and the few who do enjoy a stimulating conversation are difficult to run in to. Once I do find a good conversationalist there are no holds barred. Even if the other party is a member of the opposite sex there never seems to be any misreading in the conversational words. I find where the misreading takes place is in the small talk itself due to a lack of commitment and vagueness. Small talk has always been a sore spot for me and now it seems, I know why, thanks for the article.

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  • September 26, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Nathan – come on down to us folks in the south! Small talk is part of the southern culture and actually reduces anxiety! When you start a conversation with others by using pleasant small talk, it immediately creates a positive and friendly tone. It’s often difficult for someone to be unfriendly to someone who is being friendly to them, and most often generates a positive response, which in turn makes everyone feel more comfortable. When people are more comfortable, any anxiety that they may feel is reduced. It always works! All you have to do is open up to others with a nice “Hello – how are you today?” then share a bit of nice and pleasant small talk, and almost everyone is left with a good feeling!

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