(This may describe about half of the population.)
At the dance studio the instructors competed to be silly. One girl was beautiful, very popular and about the most flippant of the crowd. One day it got around that her husband was in the hospital. I asked her how he was doing; her whole demeanor took a 180 degree turn; she became a real person, if only for a moment.
Three men made it possible for me to go through a pretty fundamentalist seminary with a minimum of discomfort. These men had all been educated at Edinburgh (for some reason this was considered acceptable to those in charge).
Dr. St Amant, a cajun who had been liberated to a large degree from the cultural rut taught Church History. One morning he began with a sort of aside: in a half hour ride on the streetcar down St. Chas Ave. he had been appalled at the general conversation of the other riders-- uniform trivialities.
(St. Amant was too big for that seminary; he moved to Louisville, and the last I heard he was president of a seminary in Geneva.)
Uniform trivialities: yes! I didn't get his education, but all my life I've been appalled by it. No one is interested in serious talk. Why?
Can it be because it's just threatening? Afraid to show something about yourself that you want hidden? just generally ignorant and afraid to display that? (a particular fear I've never suffered from!)
Don't be afraid? Say who you are. You're much more likely to be admired than otherwise. You will find people eager to talk to you about serious things. If you show any interest, you may go to bed that night a better person.
Generally speaking people cling to the trivial in their conversation because they are afraid of intimacy (everyone fears intimacy, and longs for it; to welcome intimacy is a fine art.) But the first 50 times you reveal your identity may be the hardest.