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Sanskrit anahata in heart

Devaki Sokaris

Discovering autism

Small talk

Small talk is subjective because it is influenced by personal beliefs, and feelings rather than based on facts thus it is not based on truth or fact but rather a person’s thoughts, and feelings.

Many autistic people say they do not like small talk, and I am one of them but here’s the thing I do believe many autistic people do like chit chat, and from my perspective that is what I have witnessed many times on social media. Although they wouldn't agree with me because they may be talking about something that is of great interest to them.

Conversations don’t have to be about world peace, climate change etc to have meaning or be enjoyable conversations. Do we automatically put them in the shallow basket and label them small talk like they are of no importance? That’s very black and white thinking. Small talk can be varied topics of conversation that basically doesn’t have a lot of depth, but that doesn’t mean they aren't interesting enough to talk about. If someone is banging on about something in depth that isn’t meaningful to us it doesn’t mean it is meaningless to them or someone else.

There are some people who think it’s a good idea to ask people personal questions like, what are you most grateful for in life or when was the last time you cried in front of another person, are you happy with your life, what are you passionate about, what’s your biggest dream, what’s your favourite memory etc and think this is deep conversation. Asking a lot of questions can be a shallow approach to having a conversation because it is used is to steer the conversation way from themselves, and may also come across as being nosey which it often is.

Of course, there are shallow people in the world that are only interested in surface level conversation like gossip, drama, and trivial things about themselves. Focusing on gossip, money, obsessed with looks, material things, status in life etc is often what shallow people want to predominately talk about. We can try to put a lot of effort in talking deeper to these types of people but their lack of depth isn’t there so it generally never goes anywhere. They will be with us when it’s fun and games but when it comes to serious matters, they abandon us.

We are all superficial from time to time given we may talk about light things of not great importance, because humans need some light relief from the stress of life sometimes which is fair enough. However, shallow people are clouded by their own self-imposed drama, thus they think the world revolves around them and are like this all the time. Shallow people are all about the lights on but no one’s home because they only care about themselves.

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