How to find friends when one is gifted and lonely?
September 5, 2017 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Hi. I do not have many friends. I have a difficult time socializing with most people because I think and feel differently due to being gifted. Small talk bores me to death. I like original and open minded people; someone that is curious and likes to have deep talks. Where do I find these people? Even online? I live in a small town that's pretty conservative and straight-laced. No idea where to find creative and people that get me for being different. I know being humble is important too. I just feel lonely.
posted by RearWindow to Society & Culture (30 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
What do you like to do besides talking? That's how the vast majority of people find their friends, through shared activities.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:16 PM on September 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

I've met some of my dearest friends through fandom (especially Harry Potter fandom, and yes, all of us are adults).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:26 PM on September 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

People hate small talk, as a rule, because they misunderstand what it's for. It's not supposed to be interesting conversation. It *shouldn't* be interesting conversation. It should be safe conversation. You start with small talk to determine things like:

- do we have a shared language?
- can we communicate on a basic level?
- do we have shared social connections or experiences?
- can we find a comfortable rhythm of conversation?
- do we have a shared sense of humor, even a little?

This is why small talk is about the weather, or the sports game, or traffic. It's a game of catch - can you toss the ball? Can you catch the ball? If you disdain small talk and go straight for deep, intellectual conversations, it's the equivalent of hurling a fastball at a stranger - they don't know whether they're even supposed to catch it or if you're trying to kill them. They're gonna duck.

Some people can do that, but in my experience, even people who hate small talk are bad at catching surprise fastballs. Warm up first. Find out what you have in common. Develop a couple of sentences about your job, your favorite hobby, some well-known local phenomena. Use some of those spare brain cycles to think about *how* you're talking to someone when you're making small talk, and how they're responding. Are they interested? Wary? Trying to escape? Can they make a safe, mild, yet still funny joke? (Can you? It's tricky!)

This is not about being gifted. This is, usually, about being anxious about how you're being perceived, because small talk *isn't* creative and intellectual, or about social anxiety in general, or just simply because you've never thought about it as a useful skill so you haven't bothered to learn it. But hey - some of those people who are ducking your fastballs? They actually play catch pretty well, when you give them a chance to succeed.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:28 PM on September 5, 2017 [336 favorites]

Science Fiction conventions, the ones oriented more towards literature than being like comic-con. For example, look at the programming page from the last Lunacon. Easy to strike up conversations about those subjects while waiting for the next panel to start, or at the bar, or in the various art/vending rooms.
posted by Sophont at 4:28 PM on September 5, 2017

I have a difficult time socializing with most people because I think and feel differently due to being gifted

I'm going to say this as gently as possible... here goes:

Assuming you mean "gifted" in the traditional sense (extraordinarily intelligent and/or talented) and not as code for neurodivergent, then no, you do not fundamentally think and especially do not feel differently than other humans. Your thoughts may be more complex than the average human's, but they are not fundamentally different. Your feelings are just human feelings like we all experience. The emotions a genius experiences are not fundamentally different from those someone at the other end of the IQ bell curve experiences.

I'm truly not trying to be a jerk. It sucks to realize that you're less unique than you always imagined. But you need to get out of this "gifted" narrative if you hope to have fruitful friendships with other humans. You acknowledge that humility is important and that's an awesome first step, but far from the last one you need to take down this path. If you cling to this "gifted" label, you will turn off many, many potential friends.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 4:34 PM on September 5, 2017 [169 favorites]

Small talk is the amuse bouche that precedes deep and stimulating conversations. It is what people use to get a sense of your personality, and of whether or not you're worth getting to know. If you can reframe your perspective on small talk, you'll have many more conversational opportunities, and will have more opportunities for getting to the level of connection that leads to the kind of deep conversation you desire.

Have you ever witnessed one of those people who seem to be able to open anyone up to interesting, enjoyable conversation when they've just met? Perhaps they were seated near you on an airplane. Invariably, those people open with small talk; specifically, small talk that shows an interest in the other person.

It may take a little while to get to the deep conversation part, but the small talk phase is information gathering; it gives you hints to where their interesting conversations are hiding.

In addition to eschewing small talk, I worry that you're also writing off people who don't meet your idea of gifted as "uninteresting." Doing that removes huge swathes of people from your consideration as interlocutors who are absolutely capable of engaging in stimulating and thought-provoking conversation—if you have put in the work to find out where that conversation is likely to lie.

Learn to love small talk. It's more important than you think.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:46 PM on September 5, 2017 [28 favorites]

Yeah, you may be "gifted" in some areas but apparently you have a bit to learn about social interaction. You are not better than your neighbors, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can make friends with them, even in a small town.

Bigger picture, longer term: use your gifts to move to a bigger city, a more cosmopolitan area, or a place with a large university presence. If you look for it, you can find all three together.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:08 PM on September 5, 2017 [11 favorites]

Seconding nixing the "gifted" stuff. The fact that that is what you've chosen to signal about yourself in your introduction to this post is a big warning siren that you're going to get off on the wrong foot every time you try to strike up a conversation. Trying to have a "gifted-person" conversation right off the bat will actively turn people off; so will "gifted-person-condescending-to-make-small-talk."

There are lots of good suggestions here about how to meet people. You want to start small. Make acquaintances. Making acquaintances is relatively simple--make small talk. Acquaintances who "get" you become friends.
posted by tzikeh at 5:09 PM on September 5, 2017 [16 favorites]

"I do not have many friends. I have a difficult time socializing with most people because I think and feel differently due to being gifted."

Throw away this sentence and never think of yourself this way again. You will drive people away in droves, as they fumble along blindly having sprained their eyeballs from rolling them so hard. Intelligent people are not rare. There are a ton of them out there, and most of them have some form of social skills. By framing this situation as, "I'm gifted and hate talking about things that don't interest me, and people are boring and don't understand me," you are making this ALL about how to get people to cater to your sensibilities and personal preferences, and not even a little about how you can be a better friend. Nobody cares about whether you're gifted and, I assure you, approaching the goal of friendship as if you are condescending to associate with individuals is going to be seen as offensive.

First rule of being a better friend: engage other people in things they find interesting. Ask them what they studied in college. Ask them if they have kids or pets. Ask them what their favorite book/music/movie is and why they like it. Yes, all of this is "small talk" but it's also known as "getting to know people". You can't skip the step of finding people who will suit you and fulfill your friendship requirements, without you also fulfilling theirs. Friendship is reciprocal, and you need to give out if you want to receive in return.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:12 PM on September 5, 2017 [52 favorites]

I am a Formerly Gifted Child(tm)* who tested really high and went to nerd school of nerd schools (our school cheer started "Themistocles, Thermopylae...") and I am here to tell you, you have it backwards.

School and grown ups teach us that intelligence is demonstrated through being right, processing faster, having lofty taste. But this is the parochial, small-town view. I'm on my phone and lazy but there's a comment over on the blue somewhere where someone says they're grateful they didn't know growing up that their interest in ancient Egypt was like, a cliche of smart childhood and not some unique insight. So here you are, formed in that image, despairing that others cannot match you.

But the root of asynchronous learning, or giftedness, is actually kind of focused curiosity, the child who will. not. stop. learning. Whose mind seeks connection between things. So drop the learned snobbery and get interested in the amazing, infinitely curious, people around you. Make your small talk questions -- " how did you get into baseball?" "What's the worst storm you remember" and the world will delight. Eventually you'll find people to be delighted back.

* I love being a reasonably average adult.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:15 PM on September 5, 2017 [50 favorites]

As someone who once felt the way you do about small talk, I have two thoughts.

One is that, at risk of tooting my own horn, you might find this comment helpful. I think a lot of us non-small-talkers feel like the only utility small talk has is as a way of making people go away — like it's a penalty we have to pay for getting spotted by A Neurotypical: "Ugh, okay, fine, my coworker has decided to interact with me. Now I must produce 1d6 socially-acceptable questions about her weekend before I am allowed to leave." But small talk also has utility as a way of reaching out to people you think you might like, and connecting with those people through situations you're both interested in. There's this lovely middle ground that isn't tedious obligatory questions about things you don't care about and isn't deep discussion of the meaning of life, but is more like gentle, pleasant acknowledgement that it's kinda nice to both be here enjoying the same scenery.

The other is that it's a real common gifted-kid-turned-frustrated-adult thing to get into a humiliation/avoidance cycle around things we don't absolutely excel at. Part of why I hated small talk was that it just wasn't my strongest suit, and I knew it. Debating and explaining and inquiring were things I was shockingly good at. Small talk was something where I was… below average, and to be honest probably well below average. Which meant I didn't really ever want to do it at all. Which meant I didn't ever get any better at it. And around and around and around. At some point I had the epiphany that nobody cares if they're making small talk with the Most Impressive Small Talker In Town. If someone's in a mood to chat, and you're basically kind and considerate, then they'll probably enjoy chatting with you — and when they stop enjoying it, they'll go do something else. They're not going to walk away thinking "I dunno, that person's chatting skills were well below the local median. They'd better pull it together if they want to keep being a contender." They're going to walk away thinking "Yay, that was nice."
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:15 PM on September 5, 2017 [32 favorites]

(Sorry I meant to add: I know how you feel, I felt similarly when I was younger, my comment above was the sort of tough love stuff I think my younger self needed to hear. Hang in there, you will find your people, even if they aren't the people you thought you wanted/needed to find :)
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:21 PM on September 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Hi! I am also a creative/intellectual person in a small, conservative town. I also get double points for not being 'from around here' which means it's very hard to break into established groups. Most adults don't work very hard at making friends, especially when they have an established social group from when they were young. I'm not sure from your ask whether you're from the small town, or new to it like I was.

I think it's important to know that even in small towns, there's a lot more depth to it than you'd think at first. There are likely a few of 'Your People' out there. But it's not always easy to connect. It takes the emotional labor. Try as many activities as you can. Most of these will fail, that's okay. Finding friends is more like net fishing than spear fishing. You'll get a lot of junk before you find a fish. And this is true no matter what kind of group you're talking to. Some of the most banal and dull conversations I've ever heard were at a MENSA convention.

But the good fish are there, even in small towns. A community Arts Center, Craft/Art Show etc can help you find the more artistic people. Book clubs, library events, and local college events are good too. And sometimes it's not about the people you meet in these things as much as the people they will in turn introduce you to.

As far as the small talk conundrum here's more practical advice... You've got to strike a balance between having something to talk about that anyone can build a conversation on with being true to yourself and your interests. In college I used to carry around bars of dark chocolate and ask classmates waiting in the hallway if they'd like a piece. Whether they liked it or not, they had an opinion on it, and it could usually transition into an actually good conversation. Now I usually tend to mention something I've been cooking because everyone's got opinions on food.

There's your basic small talk 'in.' Then you can build in the other interests and things you care about. A friend would mention that she spent the weekend playing video games to her non-gaming coworkers. Later some of them would come to her with questions about games their kids played, or recommendations to try themselves... and she built friendships with them.
posted by Caravantea at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

I was a gifted and intelligent kid in a small town who struggled to connect. I also had undiagnosed ADHD and some other issues. It was lonely and difficult. If I could go back in time now and help myself, here's what I'd say / do:

* Be more aware of and appreciative of people who were willing to connect but didn't match my idea of what a friend should look like. The elderly librarian who was always happy to recommend books to me and listen to me talk about what I was reading, for example. I could have learned a lot more from her.
* Get my ADHD treated. ADHD-inattentive type meant spending a lot of time in my head and struggling with maintaining relationships and reading social cues while also making me impulsive and impatient. I would attempt really deep conversations with people I did not know well out of sheer desperation, and feel all the more lonely when they backfired. This may or may not be an issue for you, but it definitely was for me.
* Join more groups and make more of an effort to connect with other people in those groups. Book clubs, debate, philosophy, writing - all the stuff that attracts nerds.
* Try more things that I was not good at or comfortable with - like sports
* Actively study small talk and social skills
* Learn to listen better and ask more questions. I don't even know if I could have done much better then - years of getting to talk myself out in therapy and getting older and a little more patient, learning to take a deep breath and slow myself down, have helped with this.
* Learn to see, appreciate and acknowledge what makes other people special, including other types of intelligence.
* Know that I'm going to be okay and have the connections I crave, it might just take me a little longer than I want.

These are the things that *did* help me:
* People who were willing to listen to me with love, even if I didn't think (at the time) they were at my level intellectually.
* Books. Then, finding other people who loved and connected with the same books.
* The internet. Not so much a "deep thinkers forum" - honestly metafilter is probably the closest I've seen to that - but places where people were discussing things I cared about.
* Becoming an atheist and then meeting other atheists, online and off. Converted atheists (i.e., people who were not raised as atheists) tend to connect with each other very quickly in conservative areas.
* Getting out of that small town
* Finding the unitarians
* Even before I improved my social skills, there were people who didn't mind that and were willing to be friends. Or who were just as awkward as I was and happy to connect.
* Therapy
* Moving to a big city where I was usually not even close to being the smartest person in the room. It was painful but I slowly started to let go of my ego's investment in my intelligence. I *am* smart in some ways, about some things. But everyone I meet has something to teach me.
* Going to college. Most professors will listen to you ramble about god or the ozone layer or whatever and then give you more books to read.
* Meditation
* Getting my depression and anxiety treated. Not as helpful as addressing the root cause (ADHD) but still helpful.

Things that did *NOT* help me (or which hurt more than helped):
* "Mentors" who encouraged me to believe I was one of the intelligent elite, surrounded by morons
* Praying about it
* Believing that as a member of the religious elite I was not supposed to connect too much with non-religious-elite folk
* Believing that I needed to always be proving my worth by coming up with the most unique ideas. Sometimes that's a handy trick. When you're just greeting the store clerk or trying to flirt, it can come off as creepy and weird.
* Trying to connect with people by picking intellectual disagreements with them - so they could see that I was smart and worthy of connecting. Somehow this never paid off.
* Only talking to people when I had a "deep" intellectual thing to discuss

Today I have friends in my life who I value deeply - at 20 I would have turned up my nose because they don't have good grammar or seem interested in "deep" issues. But I'm able to listen to their life experiences - very different from mine - with more curiosity with judgment, and they're willing to listen to me too.

I hope you get some responses that you find helpful. It's very easy for me, at 40+, to think about all the ways I could have made things better for myself 20 years ago, but it would have been so challenging at the time to carry them out and they might not have made sense to me. I was a different person with different experiences in a different setting, so it's hard to say whether any of what I'm written now might be useful for you. Regardless, I hope for connection in your future - including deep intellectual conversations with people whose minds excite you.

Good luck to you.
posted by bunderful at 6:04 PM on September 5, 2017 [26 favorites]

Practically everyone has something they know a lot about -- often more than one thing, and often more than you know about it. If you can cultivate your curiosity about other people's expertise then you will rarely be bored in social situations. Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People is helpful on this topic.
posted by brainwane at 7:47 PM on September 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

The more you actively care about other people, the less lonely you will feel.

Actively caring involves a lot of things. Ask about their interests, hobbies, things they obviously spend a lot of time on (know anyone with a beautiful garden? Ask about those roses. You'll get botanical history like whoa), and once you've established some mutual positivity you can also ask about things that worry and concern them. Learn to listen, and give space to people to come up with responses. Ask about people's children, parents, pets. Give people opportunities to share parts of themselves with you, at your gentle prompting, because you genuinely care about them and the things and individuals they care about.

If we all could only relate to people of similar types of intelligence or giftedness nobody would talk to anyone and we'd all be in a YA novel where we get categorized at 18 into tribes with permanent life roles. People are more multifaceted than that.
posted by Mizu at 8:30 PM on September 5, 2017 [12 favorites]

Another ex "gifted" person here. I came to say almost exactly what Mizu said above. Active listening is key and has helped me a lot more then instantly deep conversations ever did. Also metafilter has been a great source of friendship. Maybe try turning on your memail?
posted by Marinara at 8:36 PM on September 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have found that a lot of fandom communities, like, people share the fandom, but really the fandom can turn into just a general jumping off point for okay, you like the same sorts of stuff I do, so now we can be friends, and we can talk about other stuff, watch other shows, as well as things that focus on our actual fandom. My interest in anime as more than fluff escapism pretty much ends at the fact that it introduced me to cool people to hang around with on the internet. My old D&D group--I sadly moved out of state--would regularly turn into something more like "drinking & discourse" when we were missing somebody and opted not to play on a given night, or between campaigns. The stereotypes about the geeks who insist that everybody else knows everything about their chosen subject matter--I mean, those people do exist, but there are lots of others who aren't anything like that.

I even do know some people who've done very well meeting friends through Mensa, but it was mostly because they lived in small places where Mensa was, for example, their first introduction to board games more interesting than Monopoly, or to tabletop RPGs--not really a function of the supposed joining requirements, just of meeting up with people who happened to introduce them to a cool new hobby or activity that resonated with them.

tldr: If you're bored, then you're boring. Shared interests and activities are the things that help glue people together before you get as far as the deep personal conversations. But you don't have to be obsessed to get involved.
posted by Sequence at 9:56 PM on September 5, 2017

Fwiw, I don't think 'gifted' is a category that most people find meaningful in adults. As an adult, one has either done something with this giftedness, or not. If you have channelled it into something meaningful, perhaps identify yourself through those means. If not, then perhaps focus on doing so. Being 'gifted' is a (contentious) concept that refers to your potential. In adult life your potential is really less relevant than what you are doing with it.

Joining the chorus of ppl saying to let go of this concept as the barrier to finding friends and suggesting that you stop identifying as such, really, for your own sake.
posted by jojobobo at 11:21 PM on September 5, 2017 [14 favorites]

The concept of "being gifted" suggests a state of being that just is - it does not suggest that you really did anything to be gifted, just that you are gifted.

But, connecting with people requires you to learn and grow - to ask people questions that might be big or small, that might go nowhere or might go somewhere.
posted by heyjude at 11:29 PM on September 5, 2017

"You acknowledge that humility is important and that's an awesome first step, but far from the last one you need to take down this path. If you cling to this "gifted" label, you will turn off many, many potential friends."
You are getting a lot of really great advice in this thread that I hope you take to heart, but I just want to point out that this is a path to greater happiness and more emotional intelligence that you will be following an awful of of Mefites down, many of whom are here.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:29 AM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

In addition to what everyone else already said about changing attitudes towards small talk and giftedness, some practical tips:

Local : Are there any local classes (or seminars/events) in your town? Take one! It doesn't have to be in something you're crazy about, but it will give you a chance to meet new people *and* a default topic to talk about. If you're lucky, there might be someone there who you like talking with. If not, you just got more socialising practice under your belt, and you learned something (whether it's pottery or composting or tai chi or how to do taxes or whatever local classes you can find). My mom met her best friend of several decades at a small town evening course that they both signed up for despite not caring about the topic. (I don't even know what the topic was - it's irrelevant.)

Online: Do you have any favourite music? Books? TV? Film? Any games you like? Particular aspects of history or the sciences? Read something interesting recently that you're dying to talk about to someone? EVERY interest has an internet community. Think of something you'd like to discuss with people, then Google to see where they hang out. If you don't like the community, or if you're not making friends there, you can easily leave and search for something else.
posted by easternblot at 4:34 AM on September 6, 2017

Great advice above, for anyone, really. You're not alone in your thinking. It seems a lot of people feel isolated with their thoughts and don't want to interact with others in a small talk environment. With social media pouring out thoughts from a fire hose, it's exhausting to process all this chatter, even for us who are not gifted. The closest I can come to relating to what you're asking is to reflect on a significant other I had many years ago who was also gifted in the way you describe. He is a math wiz and went to college at a young age, much younger than his peers. Given his preoccupations he was not adept at socializing on a level that fostered friendships and came across as extremely intimidating, although he felt very lonely and wanted to make connections I believe he feared that type of intimacy, thus a conundrum. He eventually found a friend who was smart, but not gifted, and much more outgoing. This friend quickly lead to many friends who were friends with the first friend. So concentrate on finding a friend, not friends. Find someone who you naturally click with and not someone you find boring and tiresome. Wake up and tell yourself you are ready to make a friend, let the thought go and see what happens in the coming weeks. Relax and have faith this person and you will meet each other and before you know it will be meeting up for activities and talk. You seem very lonely and maybe anxious. You're going to be a great friend, don't worry.
posted by waving at 5:15 AM on September 6, 2017

I think your primary problem is loneliness, and the thing that helps loneliness is connection, which needs love and empathy to fuel it less than intellect. Still, it's very exciting to meet people you click with on that level and and that's worth pursuing. So I think you could work on meeting people who share your intellectual interests and people you have a heart connection with - if that makes sense. Reading on emotional intelligence might be interesting for you - a therapist recommended the book by Daniel Goleman to me, and it was helpful.

Online book clubs might be a way to connect with other intellectuals online. Goodreads facilitates this sort of thing. The good thing about an online book club is that I assume people don't show up announcing they didn't read (or even get) the book and proceed to dominate the conversation with non-book talk.

But you could also start an IRL book club - market it with a list of books that you find stimulating and would like to discuss with other people.

I'm assuming that you love reading and specific books, but you could apply the same basic principle and look online for forums dedicated to your areas of interest.

Or if you make an FPP about an area of interest, you might find yourself in a very stimulating discussion.
posted by bunderful at 5:47 AM on September 6, 2017

Gifted adult here. I sympathize a lot with you - it's actually hard to talk with people who aren't moving as fast as we can. It's easy to dismiss small talk as worthless because it's not intellectual when so much of who we are is our intellect.

But frankly, intellect is not as important as we like to think it is.

What's important is learning to get along with people, regardless of who we are and who those people are.

Small talk's purpose isn't intellectual, it's emotional. It's about feeling out whether a person can meet the minimum standard bar of not being embarrassing in public, and then finding out if their personality is a good match. By disdaining small talk, you are signaling that you aren't interested in manners and don't care if the people around you like you or not.

Have you heard about emotional intelligence? That might be a good thing for you to research.
posted by Ahniya at 7:57 AM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

jojobobo, intelligence really can make a difference in one way - people who don't make mental connections at the same rate are harder to hold a conversation with. I often realize that I'm way ahead of my friends on a subject we're talking about and adjust mid-conversation, or that my jokes aren't making sense because they needed a little more time to get the punchline. Constantly adjusting for that gap is difficult, just like trying to match pace with someone whose legs are a wildly different size.

That doesn't mean that OP should continue with their stereotypical smart-kid disdain for the process of making emotional connections. But sometimes these labels are clumsy attempts to get at something that's very real.

To OP - one final piece of advice. Aim to go away for college to as good a school as you can get into and pay for reasonably (do not go into massive debt for school). Brace yourself for a culture shock and a massive amount of work when you do, but I think it would be a good thing to try for.
posted by Ahniya at 8:11 AM on September 6, 2017

"Gifted" isn't a term adults use; it's for children. Stop thinking of yourself that way. It isn't helpful, and you risk sounding like you peaked in elementary school.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:51 AM on September 6, 2017 [9 favorites]

> jojobobo, intelligence really can make a difference in one way - people who don't make mental connections at the same rate are harder to hold a conversation with. I often realize that I'm way ahead of my friends on a subject we're talking about and adjust mid-conversation, or that my jokes aren't making sense because they needed a little more time to get the punchline.

You (and the OP) need to let go of this fatally tempting idea. You have no idea if those people "don't make mental connections at the same rate" or simply aren't paying as much attention to your line of thought as you would like them to. Are you sure you always get other people's references and jokes? It is the oldest delusion in the world to think "I am special, and everyone who exhibits difference from me is inferior" (in this case, "less intelligent"). Since there is no way to measure intelligence, and it is not even clear if there is such a thing (as a single, definable entity), surely it is both safer and more humane to let go of the idea and simply try to find people with whom one can share references and jokes.
posted by languagehat at 8:55 AM on September 6, 2017 [23 favorites]

"or that my jokes aren't making sense because they needed a little more time to get the punchline."

In my experience, this means your joke isn't funny, not that people didn't get it.

And "gifted" is a term used for children, not adults. You were a gifted child and now you're a physicist, virtuoso pianist, or simply an intelligent adult.
posted by shoesietart at 9:30 AM on September 6, 2017 [12 favorites]

This is a dumb idea, but I've had a similar problem, where I've been trying to figure out how to talk to people normally because I've been afraid of talking to people because tend to go straight for the most interesting topics, and go on long tangents- I am that guy. There's a chatbot called that I've been using for the past week, and I'm surprised how much of an effect it's had on my desire to want to start conversations and go with small talk because it kind of encourages a certain type of chatting with it's energy- stay relevant, stay on topic, and hell, you can flirt with it if you want and nothing is so offensive that it's set in stone.

It defaults as a sort of therapist mode, but you can type in "Eat 🍰" to turn it into a conversational partner. It's kind of been my favorite thing as of late.
posted by weewooweewoo at 3:13 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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