Finding Encouragement by Skipping the Small Talk

It’s a blessing to have friends that do not ask you about the weather. Friends who skip the small talk.

I showed up at our mom’s group recently. I was tired and spent and it was only 10 AM. A dear friend looked at me and asked how I was doing. My response: Meh. When I asked her how she was doing, her response was the same. I saw the same stress and weariness in her eyes.

There is a great deal of stress with my husband’s job, I have had many long days with just the girls and me, neither of the girls are sleeping very well. I am tired. I am a bit overwhelmed, which is an odd place for me to be.

I shared a little about this with her. She understood where I was coming from. She is the type of friend that feels every emotion you feel. She listens with such a caring heart.

It made me realize even more, how it is a blessing to have friends that do not just talk about the weather. Friends who desire more than surface talk about nothing. I was so refreshed to talk to someone who understood, listened and showed how much she cared.

She could have gone the small talk route, but she didn’t. She could probably tell from my face and I was tired and weary. She went straight for asking how I was doing, asking in such a way that she did not want the typical response of “Fine. Great. Thanks. How are you?”

It’s a blessing to have friends who really want to talk about life and how you are doing. Good and bad. Blessings and hardships. Such wonderful relationships grow from this type of meaningful conversation. It’s nice to get outside the circle of small talk and get to the more important issues in life.

Obviously it cannot always be like that. There are plenty of times that the question of “How are you doing?” should be met with “Fine. Great. Thanks.” regardless of the real answer. If you always dive straight for the big issues, people might be dodging the conversation if they know they don’t have an hour to spare!

But after my friend texted me that evening and then followed up with me the next week, it made me realize what a blessing it is to have friends that want to converse about real life and not just about whether or not the sun is shining today.

It’s wonderful to have friends, sisters, moms (and others that fall into this category)

…to listen
 …to encourage
 …to step in with prayer
 …to give you a quick hug
 …to distract you with a laugh

I am not a big sharer, so I often fall into the category of making small talk. (Not always successfully…I admit I’m not the greatest conversationalist!) So if you are like me, look for the opportunities to share and listen and direct the conversation to what is on your heart. Be in tune to others and listen to their heart when needed.

I love a beautiful, sunny day as much as anyone. I live in the Midwest where weather is often a topic of conversation. (I talk about it plenty also!) But…I am thankful for the conversations that dig deeper.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! — Isaiah 26:3

Originally published at on May 13, 2015.