Life according to Brad... not!

This is from the next chapter of my book on friendship. I'm talking about how we relate in the social space.

Going to a small boarding school in the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan, our circle of friends was fairly small. We didn’t get to meet too many new people.

But Pakistan attracts people who like adventure. A young Christian couple who were cycling around the world passed through our area one year. They dropped in and spent a few days hanging out with the staff and high school students.

I remember Liz as pleasant, friendly and interested in everyone. But Brad, her husband, was a different story. He remained in the corner of the room, either talking earnestly with a small group around him or silently watching everyone else. To my young eyes he appeared aloof, arrogant, distant and unfriendly.

What was the difference between them? Liz said, “Oh, Brad doesn’t like small talk. He only likes to talk about important things.”

She said it with such pride and delight that I was thoroughly impressed.

Brad was clearly a person who had thought his life through. He obviously had it all together and was a serious Christian. All the rest of us who continued to enjoy talking about such things as makeup or sport were clearly not as mature as Brad.

Was Brad right? Is small talk worthless? Are conversations that centre around things like the weather, health, sports results or food trivial and pointless? Should we forget them and just talk about the ‘important things’?