Alice Asch – “A World in Which I am An Extrovert who is Extraordinarily Good at Small Talk”


A world in which I am an extrovert who is extraordinarily good at small talk. (laughter) In this world, I am at a birthday party
or a wedding and rolling off hilarious anecdotes
because I am witty and quick and such a stimulating conversationalist,
and it’s easy for me to remember every interesting experience I’ve ever had
in my entire life that might make the other person laugh because I am not wondering how on earth
I didn’t see the stain on my pants when I got dressed this morning, or why my voice is suddenly
several octaves higher than usual if they can notice
that I really don’t want to be here and that I would much rather be in my bed listening to soundtracks
from 1940s musicals– No! I am in the moment. Because being around people
doesn’t make me feel like I’m a juice box that someone is drinking way too fast. No, it makes me feel like
I’m a water balloon that has swelled just enough. So I am spitting out small talk, and I definitely do not just say,
“Yeah” and then sit in screeching silence, mushing peas with the prongs of my fork. No, in this world you comment
on the flavor of the pasta and I comment on the flavor of the chicken because I am extraordinarily
good at small talk and I am extraordinarily good at not talking about anything
worth talking about. And we are extraordinarily good
at not actually hearing each other and so we may as well be under water
puckering fish with mouths opening and closing, and I am watching you watch me
finish my sentence just so you can keep talking
which is to say maybe the real reason I don’t talk more is because
you don’t listen enough. And I may not be extraordinarily
good at small talk, but at least I can listen. I learned that from my mother,
also an introvert. My mom knows how to listen
because she, like me, has used her butter knife to carve space
in the lunch table for the extroverts and folded her lips with her napkin. I don’t always speak up because I’m
worried that I’m not interesting enough so I stay quiet for people who are in love
with the sound of their own voice so much that they don’t mind
if it bores us. And I collect jars full of the unsaid,
every joke I worried wasn’t funny enough, every observation I thought was stupid
and empty them for my mother because she always makes me
feel interesting. She wraps her green eyes around me
like I’m in color but the rest is black and white and she tells me my voice is bigger
than most people give it room for. And I happen to think
I’m pretty interesting and if you stop chattering long enough
for the air to settle, you’ll discover that I’ve had
the words all along, and they’re just as rich
and rounded as yours. And even if I’m not the most interesting
part of your day, I think I deserve to feel like I am. (applause and cheers)

40 thoughts on “Alice Asch – “A World in Which I am An Extrovert who is Extraordinarily Good at Small Talk”

  1. Hello I’m korean boy!! 🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷
    I like this vidoe 🙆🏻‍♂️🙏🏻✨💜

  2. Love this !

    If anyone is a fan of poetry I’ve just started up my channel and sharing poems regularly looking for your comments and views 🙂 thanks for your time

  3. "and even if I'm not the most interesting part of your day, I think I deserve to feel like I am"

  4. "…and she tells me my voice is bigger than most people give it room for." In pure awe, what a way with words Alice has.

  5. "Maybe the reason i dont talk more is because you don't listen enough" oooo girl! 🗣🗣

  6. I am not wondering how on Earth I didn't see the stain on my pants when I got dressed this morning, or why my voice is suddenly several octaves higher than usual, if they can notice that I don't want to be here and that I would much rather be on my bed listening to soundtracks of 1940s musicals- No! I am in the moment. Because being around people doesn't make me feel like I'm a juice box that someone is drinking way too fast….I definitely don't say "yeah" and sit in screeching silence."

    Can't tell you how much I resonate and love this ♥️

  7. Love the turn this took, definitely relate as an introverted lily.

  8. “So i stay quite for people who are in love with their own voice”

  9. I'm an extrovert with a social anxiety disorder so I ALWAYS try give room for introverts to talk and indulge in their conversations. I know introvertedness and social anxiety are not the same thing, but as someone who feels like my presence was never intended to matter, I always try to let introverts know that they are apart of this room as well, if that makes any sense

  10. What's m&m to a soldier
    "F University when city college would do better."

  11. I just love this poem so much. Thanks for saying the words for all of us introverts, Alice :***

    >>> transcript <<<

    In this world i am at a birthday party, or a wedding, and rolling off hilarious anecdotes.

    Because I am witty and quick and such a stimulating conversationalist,

    and it's easy for me to remember every interesting experience I've ever had in my entire life that might make the other person laugh.

    Because I am not wondering how on earth I didn't see the stain on my pants when I got dressed this morning,

    or why my voice is suddenly several octaves higher than usual,

    if they can notice that I really don't want to be here

    and that I would much rather be in my bed

    listening to soundtracks from 1940's musicals.

    No! I am in the moment,

    because being around people doesn't make me feel like I'm a juice box

    that someone is drinking way too fast.

    No, it makes me feel like I'm a water balloon, that has swelled just enough.

    So I am spitting out small talk, and I definitely do not just say "yeah"

    and then sit in screeching silence, mushing peas with the prongs of my fork.

    No, in this world you comment on the flavor of the pasta

    and I comment on the flavor of the chicken,

    because I am extraordinarily good at small talk and

    I am extraordinarily good at not talking about anything worth talking about

    And we are extraordinarily good at not actually hearing each other.

    And so, we may as well be under water puckering fish with mouths opening and closing,

    and I am watching you watch me finish my sentence just so you can keep talking,

    which is to say maybe the real reason I don't talk more is because you don't listen enough.

    And I may not be extraordinarily good at small talk, but at least I can listen.

    I learned that from my mother, also an introvert.

    My mom knows how to listen, because she,

    like me, has used her butter knife to carve space in the lunch table for the extroverts,

    and folded her lips with her napkin.

    I don't always speak up because I'm worried that I'm not interesting enough,

    so I stay quiet for people who are in love with the sound of their own voice,

    so much that they don't mind if it bores us.

    And I collect jars full of the unsaid,

    every joke I worried wasn't funny enough,

    every observation I thought was stupid,

    and empty them for my mother

    because she always makes me feel interesting.

    She wraps her green eyes around me

    like I'm in color but the rest is black and white,

    and she tells me my voice is bigger than most people give it room for.

    And I happen to think I'm pretty interesting and,

    if you stop chattering long enough for the air to settle,

    you'll discover that I've had the words all along,

    and they're just as rich and rounded as yours,

    and even if I'm not the most interesting part of your day,

    I think I deserve to feel like I am.

  12. In this poem there is not that one "extra great sentence" because every sentence was well crafted and they all resonated to people.

    Just look at the comment section. It is not the same sentence that goes again, but several parts of the poem.

    Amazing poem, one of the best I have heard from Button poetry.
    👏🌹👏🌹👏🌹👏🌹

  13. I’m upset by how much I really related to this… as a poet I think I’d feel mute if I didn’t have this outlet any other time I speak I feel like it’ll just fall on death ears.. I’m trying to remember I get to be important too , if ur reading this and u wanna give a girl who loves poetry and feels unheard most of the time a listen check out some of the poetry on my channel💛

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