Even though there are standards of discourse, you aren't under an obligation to follow any of them. It's a myth that there's some prototype human that everyone could emulate to better make friends, get along with the general populace better, etc. People can be very different. Though there are some basic rules of communication, but how those are conveyed and practiced vary, sometimes widely, between groups of people. You could say the truly sociable person is the one who naturally recognizes all these subtle group-communication differences and can easily morph between them when in the company of different groups of people. But you don't have to (can't? nothing wrong with that) be that person.
As a rule, I think it's better to focus on what you like yourself, and then find people who happen to like the same things at the same time, as opposed to trying to conform to a person or persons with the hope of gaining relationships. There is forever a place for new activities and interests, but they can't really be forced and depend on the complete context of your person and group of interests at the time -- you will or won't like something at a particular point in your life. If small talk and certain groups of people don't do it for you right now, there's not much to be done about it in the short run. Put yourself in social situations you don't like right now as a way to develop that interest later maybe -- but then again maybe you'll wind up never liking that kind of human interaction.
The internet acts as a great medium for less (or uncommonly) sociable people. If you happen to not currently coexist in person with people you like, it is pretty easy to find people on the internet to fill that void -- and on your chosen time frame. It's nice having people in person to talk with, but the internet makes a pretty good substitute. Furthermore, there are people I like on the internet but couldn't sit through lunch with. Nothing wrong with that, either.
If you're forced into situations with people you don't particularly like, be cordial, but don't let them take advantage of you and leave whenever you please. Recognizing differing methods of human interaction goes both ways, and there's no reason why they should consider their preferred methods to be superior to yours, just as you recognize theirs to be good for them but not for you.
This was my anecdotal result with coworkers this year, too. Hard workers generally, but they hated that Romney was rich. Really hated, I think. "He only paid 14% in taxes!" When I noted how that was a vastly larger sum than they paid... no change in mind. !!
Neither party is a great supporter of property rights, and both talk about "fair share"... a lot.