Recently I was at a party, in the middle of a conversation, when I had an epiphany.
I was being boring on purpose.
It sounds like I’m making an excuse for my shitty party behaviour; alas, this was hardly the situation…
It has taken me some time to learn that there are certain people I simply don’t want to talk to at parties. At the ripe old age of 25, I can spot them coming a mile off. They are the type of person who never asks you a single question, who walks away feeling like they’ve made a new best friend and yet they don’t know anything about you. Despite the fact that they’ve been talking AT you for 45 minutes.
It’s what I like to call a bad sex conversation. One person leaves feeling satisfied and the other like they’ve just been used.
When faced with a bad sex conversation, you can use the following game plans:
Game Plan 1: The Fob Off – (This is not another way of saying hand-job)
The Fob Off is when you skilfully listen to the speaker for a few minutes, nodding and smiling, before realising you need to get a drink or go to the bathroom. You navigate the speaker within proximity to another person (the victim) and you Fob Them Off. See Example:
Egomaniac: And then I couldn’t believe he’d broken up with me in Berlin and I was like, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!? Can you believe something like that would happen, just after my cat/dog/goldfish died!? [Stares at you, demanding a response to said horrible situation].
You: [nodding] Oh how horrible [sympathetic noise], Oh, I hope you don’t mind, but I need to run to the bathroom. This is Clarence, Clarence meet Ego Maniac.
Clarence (aka Victim): [confused and accommodating] Hi!
Game Plan 2: The Ghost
Follow game plan 1, but when they turn around/ are distracted, run.
Both of these techniques work well. but there is only so many times you can use them before you stop getting invited to parties altogether. (It’s also difficult to execute The Ghost when at an intimate dinner party.) This is where the latest addition to my repertoire comes in…
Five Tips on Being a Bore
- Have you ever spoken to a truly boring person? The chances are quite high because the world is sadly full of average people (especially if you work in customer service). Boring people are difficult to hold conversations with because they don’t offer anything. Nothing. Nada. When you are talking at a brick wall, the conversation becomes stagnant and awkward pretty quickly.
- If you are like me, awkward silences are your kryptonite. I’d prefer to blurt out something stupid rather than let the silence settle in. This fear has made me a fool. To get rid of that pesky person you need to EMBRACE THE AWKWARD SILENCE. That sweet, sweet, sweaty-palmed moment will have them leaving for a drink in no time.
- Be devoid of passion. The world is a weird place and somewhere there is a person who is passionate about picking lint out of their bellybutton. Bellybutton lint might not be your cup of tea, but if you speak to someone who is passionate about it, you might just discover a twinge of passion yourself.
- Give one-word answers. Again, this is one of my pet hates, but when used in the appropriate situation it sends any conversation into the stink.
- Don’t give away physical signs of enjoyment. Smiles, nods and raised eyebrows all express interest. Keep your face devoid of expression and you’re on a fast ticket out of there.
Now you might think that all this effort to get rid of someone who is ‘just taking the time to talk to you’ is really unfair. Before you make any more suggestions, I’m going to go ahead and tell you, that this is not just an average conversation you are working to end. This is a BAD SEX conversation.
The other person does not care about you in the slightest. They have not and will not ask anything about your life, your job or what you like to do on the weekend. This person just wants to talk about themselves and that is why you are boring them to death.
These “bad sex” conversations are bad for your health. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are interested in something other than themselves. Conversations are about interacting with someone else, so if it’s been a while since you listened instead of spoke, you should try and do it now.
Sadly, there is always the chance that the person who is talking at you enjoys it so much that despite all your attempts, they will continue. This is the final line of social interaction and this is where the niceties end.
I work in online communication and I listen to people whine and prattle as a part of my job. Everyday. I consider it within my right to say, if I’m not getting paid to listen to your shit, I’m going to end the conversation right here.