Why/When to Never Miss An Opportunity To Shut Up – On What To Do During Small Talk

“The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.” – Henry S. Haskins

Actually, this is a daily double because Mark Twain quoted the title. I can’t count the times in my life that I wish I hadn’t said what came out.

This will serve you well in negotiations. At the time to close the sale, any sales person will tell you the first person to talk loses. The sale could be a business plan, a product or yourself to a company or a promotion.

This is the most obvious thing possible for introverts. As others drone on in mindless small talk, they have already begun a new adventure in their minds. Yes, they nod and perhaps might give a monosyllabic answer to the conversation but it is likely they left a while ago.

It is a matter of politeness, not what the other person is doing by talking too much and too long. Note: it is not being mean, it is how minds work. It happens unintentionally. It is why one should take this saying to heart. Read the last sentence.

Of course introverts will talk endlessly on a deep subject or something of importance, when we find someone who cares. The difference is that when others are nodding or giving one word answers, the conversation is over because we can read body language better than most.

The biggest benefit of not always talking is you never have to take back something you said.

Others won’t avoid you if you read their signals and stop talking. I’ve seen it too many times at work, at school and in social outings.

This eventually includes everyone, not just the introverts.

Great Sayings – On Intellect and Sociability

A high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial.

-Arthur Schopenhauer
I knew there was a reason I want to talk less and less.  My tolerance for small talk decreases everyday.  I thought it was just a function of being an introvert.
Now that I ponder the intellect of those I interact with, this clears up a lot of things.
I am not trying to be anti-social, but my ability to put up with doing stuff I don’t want to do is a cost/benefit ratio.  The costs often outweigh the benefits so I find that keeping to myself has made my life a lot better.