I am not a Small Talk Person

“I cannot entertain them anymore”, I said to my husband. “But they are your relatives”, he replied. I looked at him in utter confusion, how could I have missed it? “But still”, I said, “I am tired of the small talk now”. Nevertheless I went outside to attend my guests, only praying fervently that they leave as soon as they can.

This is me, the part of me which I don’t know whether I hate or love the most. If I am portraying a picture that I am anti-social, let me be clear I am not. I just like my kind of people, I am OK to keep my circle limited. Those close to me can vouch that I am big-big talker, but with the ones where my wavelength does not match I come out to be the most snobbish person around. I find it very difficult to continue having conversations just for the sake of it, I can do it for some time but after a while my thread of patience snaps.

This aspect of my personality is very difficult to maintain and live with especially if you live in Punjabi family, and as my good luck would have it, I am a part of a big fat Punjabi family. It is a task to make them understand that I am not rude but just this is a way I am. Entertaining guests and relatives is a huge part of Punjabi household, and when I say entertaining it means that they are not left alone or bored when they have for all three meals, probably even for days. It is considered outrageously rude in a Punjabi family if you are not capable of making and fabricating conversations. I mean I am not talking about just finishing the conversations after the pleasantries, or making sure they are fed and are comfortable. It goes way beyond it, it involves count of breaths you have taken, liters of petrol filled in your car, number of times you visited washroom, to topics which are way beyond your comprehension. And if you are like me, after sometime the whole aura becomes claustrophobic as all you hear are conversations which are loud, cross conversations where no one is understanding what the other is saying, but still continuing with the conversation, or just nonstop talking with no end. The constant pressure of proving yourself in the Punjabi household is enormous. The word “Introvert” is non-existent in a Punjabi dictionary.

And when the family is not enough, you have your office. I always believed that your work should be able to speak for itself, but I could not have been more wrong. In today’s cosmetic corporate world everything hangs on whether you are a glib sycophant or not. I am an opinionated and informed person I love talking about a subject if I know about it, but to talk just to climb the ladder of success or be in good books is just not me. I mean complimenting for genuine things is one thing, but to keep having conversations just for no rhyme or reason when everyone knows you are not best of friends is absurd to me. I am bad at this, and trust me I regret it, it affects me both emotionally and financially and comes with a baggage of insecurities, but there is nothing I can do about it. I cannot fake conversations.

I understand the importance of small talk, I realize that I come out as a very self-centered person to many which I am not and I am very sure of that. I know small talk is so essential in today’s time and time and again people have tried to make me understand this but somehow I fail to. I love the cocoon shell I create for myself, of thoughts, of ideas, and perspectives. Conversations are personal and sacred to me, I have my reservations for them. Being genuine is a very important facet for me in anyone hence small talk is not for me. But yes I need to improve on my social skills to be able to survive in a Punjabi family, but that’s a separate story all together which I will take up some other day.

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To Start Living, Rather than Merely Existing

I can’t see the bigger picture, I just can’t. I live in the small things, I am always scared to take the leap, personally, professionally, financially, anything, change terrifies me. My husband always teases me that I am not a risk-taker, I calculate my steps, I am a planner,  I save, I fret about finances, I fret about expenses, I ponder a lot before making any investments. Ahhh, this is me, and trust me I so want to change somethings about myself, I want to feel free, slacken, enjoy life, but it does not come easily to me. And also over time I realized that nothing is enough for me, I always kept praying, “God, just a little more and then I would be content”. But it so never happens.

So I decided after a lot and lot and lot of pondering that there are certain things that I really need to change. I mean I see people around who have much less than what I have and they manage just fine, and I keep wondering how? The trick is to find solace in what I have right now. So here are my set of rules that trust you me I would imbibe them soon into my life (Fingers crossed!!!).

First and foremost, STOP, STOP and I mean like RED LIGHT STOP moaning about things I don’t have and appreciate the things I have, I know it sounds trite and stale but that’s the truth, looking at the world around and envying what they have achieved, does not help in any way, so I think it would be better that I start appreciating and improving what I have right here with me.

The next up on my list is something I absolutely loved doing when I was much younger, I really don’t know why I stopped, and it is to DAYDREAM. OMG don’t we all just daydream, I used to daydream about almost everything when I was much younger and those little precocious dreams of mine eventually used to turn to reality. But then I stopped, I thought it just did not make sense, I came to believe in doing rather than dreaming. Though no doubt the latter is important but so is dreaming, it opens so many doors to go out and achieve. And so I have decided to spend some time in dreaming every day. Oh it will be so much fun!!! J

Alright so up next, you see I am very bold, I argue and challenge things a lot, but I am scared of making fun of myself in public and hence more than often I don’t take risks or don’t try something new. It scares me to bits to think that I would not turn out good at it and this stops me from even giving it a shot. Perfection is very important to me. I really need to stop doing that and start taking risks as there is so much to explore and achieve. I so need to get out of my dreadful zone of doubt and just go out there and do whatever it is.

And yet again, I have to absolutely stop being the control freak that I am, let go and accept certain things, my house can never be clean all day along, especially when I have a toddler. I cannot keep wiping the bathroom floors after every single drop of water that is spilled. I cannot keep arranging my cushions every time I feel that somebody sat on the sofa and pressed my cushions too hard.

I don’t want to be miserable anymore. Stress from job, marriage, home, kid, gets on me most of the time. The pressure to be the best hovers on my head all the time, and in the process I am losing my sanity. Letting go, delegating, taking a break now and then, making time for myself, not being affected by what others a have achieved or what others are doing, especially the social media crap, I mean watching my friend’s post of the latest place she visited swirls my mind, as if I am missing out on so many things, where in reality I am happy where I am. I think I push myself too hard, sometimes so hard that I fear that the thread of my patience would snap. So from here on, I have decided to take a break, give a pat on my back now and then, because I know I am awesome. I still have many years to live (I hope!!), so it is better that I start living it as well.