So interesting to hear what other nationalities think of American small talk!
I live in Canada, which has a similar small talk culture as the US. I’ve actually been invited to lead groups of people because I am good at small talk. It’s a dubious honour, since everyone appreciates having someone around who can break the ice, but people also often denigrate those good at small talk as shallow. It is often hard to go deeper, though, and transforming my comfort with conversation into something more than relieving awkward silence is a challenge for my 30s. I’ll let you know how it goes.