Do you feel tired the moment someone asks, “How are you?” knowing the only answer they want is something along the lines of “I’m fine”?
I hate small talk, too.
Small talk is the bane of introverts and intellectuals. It shoos away the peaceful silence you enjoy so much with empty air.
However, despite how tiring yet pointless small talk feels, you may find that avoiding it is near impossible.
The cashier pretends to be curious about how the weather is in your area. Your colleague insists she wants to know how your commute was. A housemate calls your attention to ask what you ate for lunch.
Here, we’ll lay out 10 signs of people who enjoy deep conversations more than small talk.
Knowing them will help you spot others who enjoy having meaningful conversations, just like you.
1) They actively seek the answers to your questions
Small talk is communication for the sake of talking.
Deep conversationalists talk for the sake of building on their knowledge. This means they like doing research and investigations to discover more things.
It makes them interesting conversationalists as they can bring in a wide variety of topics. They can easily keep a conversation from lulling as long as the other party is receptive to their intellect.
However, being intelligent isn’t the same as being charming. This is especially true when a person talks about something the other party may know nothing about.
The conversation could become one-sided and inevitably sputter out. So, if you recognize yourself, just keep in mind that you must also investigate what the other person may want to talk about.
2) They love hearing about different life experiences and perspectives
A deep conversationalist is naturally curious, so they are open to people from all walks of life. They know that each person holds knowledge unique to their context.
Some philosophers even say that you can learn more from people than you can learn from books.
It doesn’t matter whether the person is a janitor or a CEO; if you love deep conversations over small talk, you want to hear their story.
You know that limiting the type of people you talk to also limits the topics you can discuss and the things you can discover.
Even the most intellectual person doesn’t know everything. Everybody has something you can learn from intentionally or unintentionally.
3) They know how to actively listen
Monologues don’t classify as deep conversations.
Deep conversationalists look for a real two-way exchange. They don’t talk to someone to hear the things they already know, but rather because they want to expand how they see the world.
Those who talk to hear themselves speak are unwilling to learn from the person in front of them.
If you’re a deep conversationalist, your natural curiosity makes you genuinely interested in others.
This interest makes you pay genuine attention to what the other person has to say about deep topics. In listening, you learn, so you can bring what you discover into future discussions.
Besides, once you’ve read enough books, you’ll know that bragging doesn’t get you as far as listening does when it comes to increasing your charm.
4) They are well-read
It goes without saying that deep conversationalists love to dive headfirst into heaps of information about anything and everything under the sun.
They absorb more books, papers, and publications more eagerly than the average person.
Their mind holds a myriad of topics, from analyses of popular culture to Indian literature. Needless to say, they are full of fun facts and philosophical questions.
The eagerness they have to share their vast knowledge makes them crave meaningful conversations. They don’t value small talk that denies them the opportunity to discuss things they know and are passionate about.
They’d much rather talk about climate change than the weather or the state of public transportation.
5) They ask the right questions
A deep conversation is an exchange of knowledge; you can’t do that without asking the other party questions.
However, if you prefer deep conversations over small talk, you don’t like wasting your breath on questions you already know the answer to.
The only question worth asking is the one with an answer worth knowing.
That’s why, as a deep conversationalist, you know how to make a well-crafted question to get the most interesting answer.
6) Small talk turns them off
It’s hard to spout empty words when your mind is filled with fascinating contemplations of things known and unknown.
Small talk feels off because it’s limiting.
The questions asked are ones with a limited number of answers, none of which necessarily fascinate you.
Sometimes, people who enjoy deep conversations may even feel that there is little difference between being silent and engaging in small talk. The small-talk interaction may cause them to space out or pretend they need to leave.
They’d just avoid wasting their time on useless talk. As intellectuals, they can’t help but feel like it isn’t their cup of tea.
7) They admit when their knowledge is limited
Real intellectuals don’t converse to show off or appear intelligent. They do it because they want to learn. And it’s hard to acquire new things while pretending to know everything at the same time.
A deep conversationalist is not just aware of the limits of knowledge but also constantly pushes those limits. They do this by encouraging people to help you better understand things that they are more familiar with.
Admitting that you don’t know much about something won’t make you look dumb or inferior. On the contrary, giving the other person the space to talk while being eagerly listened to will drastically increase your charm.
There’s nothing that makes you look better than making others feel good.
8) They don’t waste their words
Deep conversationalists are comfortable with silence.
They like conversations to have meaning and dread the idea of acting out the repetitive scripts of small talk.
Sometimes conversions enter a lull or end naturally; they’re okay with that. This is something people may love or hate about them, depending on their own level of comfort around silence.
Deep conversationalists put a lot of meaning into what they say. So, if there’s nothing to add to the subject–they’d rather retreat.
On the other hand, if they have something valuable to add–they won’t hesitate to do so.
9) They think before they speak
If you’re a good conversationalist, you put a lot of thought into what you say.
You yearn for a social exchange that leaves you and the other part profoundly understood.
Words are chosen and organized to communicate your thoughts as clearly as possible.
You rarely have to repeat yourself twice. It’s easy for you to keep a conversation flowing this way.
10) They know when to change the topic
The limitations of small talk are very tangible to deep conversationalists. Such talk implicitly forbids the discussion of the strange, the intimate, and the controversial.
People who enjoy deep conversations are sensitive to how much others want to talk about something meaningful. And if they sense that it’s not the case–they’d be the first ones to change the topic.
That way, the discussion can continue to be productive and interesting.
These folks understand the importance of carefully navigating another person’s mind so that their conversations become fruitful.
If you’re a deep conversationalist or ever met one, you’d know that their natural curiosity makes them ask the right questions and encourage people to think outside the box.
People who prefer meaningful discussions over small talk can hold a space for others to talk about the things they’d hesitate to share or question what they hesitate to ask in other circumstances.
Not everybody can appreciate a deep conversation, but a lot can benefit from the interest deep conversationalist show in others, their good listening skills, and their creative way of thinking.