I stopped smalltalking a long time ago. Just because we are waiting for the water to boil in a kitchenette does not justify someone asking me how my weekend was, at least for me. Of course, the smalltalkers would claim they are being nice and thoughtful and caring...bla bla bla. You know what I say? They lack self-confidence, the thought of standing there for 30 seconds with someone they don't know that much and NOT exchanging pleasantries is terrifying for them and they'll do anything to break that silence.
So, if your office swarms with the annoying smalltalkers here's the top 3 rude ways to get them to stop or at least to annoy them a bit:
1. Develop a short, cold reply for the typical smalltalk questions. Mine is: Good, Good.
2. Develop a gesture that is equivalent to 'Hi, how are you?', but since it's non-verbal it is not inviting for a conversation.
3. And that's the hardest one to do, never ask the same question back to the smalltalker. Smalltalkers, like parasites, are opportunists and if given the slightest chance for a conversation they'll jump on it and babel-on, until their coffee is ready and then they'll run of course.
Note: This post was inspired by Dipty's