Kris, I love this (and often feel the same way). Small talk is tough. “How are you” can be a killer, especially if the person being asked is having a hard time with something. The answer can kill a conversation! And, more importantly, quite often the person asked knows it’s just an empty, meaningless question and an immediate turn off.
As an introverted sales person, I try to encourage everyone not to ask it.
The other killer is when you walk in someone’s office and see a pic of family or pet. NEVER compliment or comment. The answer could be the most depressing thing you’ve heard and create an instantly irrecoverable situation.
Introverts struggle with these questions and often with generally starting conversations because the normally actually care about the question they are asking.......