Let’s get straight to the point here, in a somewhat roundabout way. I don’t like smalltalk, never did. Neither did my grandfather. He nor I in our superior wisdom appreciated the importance of it. It seemed superfluous for a very long time and to him until the end of his time. If you can’t internalise your own meandering bullshit complaints please don’t inflict them on me of all people for Christ’s sake. Yes, the fucking weather, I fucking know it’s shit, I don’t need you and every other prick on the street reminding me of it’s obvious abhorrence.
However, I did finally realise the importance of engaging in such seemingly menial verbal transactions in my mid twenties when I found myself being tolerated by few and befriended by less. In my well crafted ability to cut to the chase I was cutting out the very substance of many relationships or at least the starting point of what would later become valued relationships.
You see there are a couple of things in this world which are grossly undervalued on a daily basis and in the age of “on demand” growing increasingly scarce. These “things”, for want of a better word, are as follows;
Trust & Attention.
You cannot have one without some hint of the other. In order to successfully cultivate a meaningful relationship with anyone you must give a person your attention. If you do not give a person your attention in the aforementioned “seemingly menial verbal transaction” (I will often quote myself) you are projecting outwardly that they are not worthy of your attention and therefore they have no reason to reciprocate. That’s why such phrases as “building trust” and “giving attention” are so common place, because there is an intrinsic effort in doing such. To give and to build.
Now for a a person who likes to get to the point of a conversation or otherwise as quickly as possible but also as informed as possible it sure as shit took me a long time to get to this conclusion. Perhaps I glossed over the notes a bit too quickly or maybe I could blame someone else for not giving me the textbook or possibly and more likely I was copying from my neighbour, in my case, my ever stoic grandfather. In any case, I’m glad I figured it out.
So if you find yourself rushing through the pleasantries (which I still fucking hate by the way) and the “seemingly menial verbal exchange” (I told you so) take the time to give someone a little nugget of your attention today and it will be the foundation to building something bigger and even possibly mutually beneficial.
I will always end with a quote or a bastardised version of a quote I heard or read somewhere over the past week usually unrelated to the post but something that resonates with me personally at the time.
“There is no greater waste of resource than doing that well which should not have been done at all”