In contrast the English have this very scripted way of starting a conversation ("How are you?", "How has your week been?" "What are you going to do tomorrow?" "The weather is horrible, isn't it?"), they are trying to be polite and as a German I feel that they are not really interested in me as a person but are just reading from a script out of awkwardness and because sharing your true emotions/thoughts isn't encouraged in English society. I could live with small-talk as an introductory ritual if at some point the conversation would go deeper. But my experience with English people is that they tend to hover for a LONG time (weeks, months, even years) at small-talk level which makes it hard to get to know the real person behind the social etiquette.
I have been going to the same church for almost a year now and spent quite a bit of time with some of the people there but when entering the church for coffee and cake before the service I still feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights, there are loads of people I "know" but I can't talk to them about how I really feel but have to go through the whole small-talk procedure again ("How are you?" "How has your week been?" blah, blah...), which is exhausting and after a while starts to feel like Groundhog Day. So I know how to interact with these people but I have no idea how to get to a level of deeper interaction that I as a non-English person find satisfying so despite having lived in England for almost a decade now I have made quite a few good friends but hardly any of them are English, I just don't know how to build a deep and meaningful relationship with an English person. So yeah, small-talk sucks if it is this neverending, draining experience.