It's about conversation. And while I definitely dislike small talk, it's unavoidable. And while I'm learning how to ask small-talk-like questions that are actually meaningful, the same usual small talk queries are addressed to me whenever I meet new adults.
The questions are simple: "What did you study in college?" and "What do you do?" (The latter meaning jobs and money, not in life in general in your free time. More on that later.) I understand that my answers are in my control. I'm living at home and underemployed. I believe in responsibility and accountability, and I hold myself to my societal shortcomings. Though adults are always kind in talking about the troubled economy and job market. But it falls to me. But what falls to them are the questions. Why ask things that remind me of my shortcomings?
I understand it's easy, but even after that topic has been breached it remains the point of conversation. It's not like it's a lead in to other interests. Small talk like this would be so much better if we focused on, say, hobbies. "What do you do?" "Oh, I build LEGO creations and collect comic books." And there is so much conversation to be made going on from there. People are enthusiastic about their passions, and it allows the other person to continually ask questions and show/feign interest. And even if the job question has come up, my working in a bookstore is such a great lead for a deeper conversation about books. Everyone (mostly) reads! What isn't there to talk about in the world of books?
Until such ends are met, I will just have to live with my problems, work harder in any job, and steer the conversation into something more favorable.
Now, I know I have plenty of friends also living at home and not working in their field of study at school (if they even went to college). And I also have friends that are adulting better than I am either by making enough to move out yet remain underemployed or actually making a career out of their interests and studies. So I ask: What problems has everyone encountered? What have you done until better options came along? What kind of comments have been received; what kind of answers were given? And what is the best way to bear with the unbearable smalltalk?