To be clear, I’m not talking about how to get better at small talk.
I’m not talking about how to improve your small talk game. I’m not even talking about how to survive small talk. I’m talking about how to shut the whole operation DOWN!
[toggles][toggle title=”Prefer to Read? Click Here”]As you guys know, I just returned from an impromptu trip to Panama City, Panama.
On my way back into the US, I found myself seated to somebody that I can only describe as “interesting”.
I kid you not when I say that this person was waiting for me to wake up from my naps so that they could start a conversation.
There were literally a few times that I could feel this person’s eyes burning through the side of my face just as I was about to wake up.
So let me explain to you how I was able to avoid small talk in this situation
First of all, I need you to understand that these tips for avoiding small talk are things that you should only do to people that you will never see again Lol
Please don’t do this to your boss, friends, spouse, significant other, co-workers, parents, etc.
These anti-small talk tactics are for those lovely chatty people in line at
- The public restroom
- Concerts, etc.
Tip #1 for avoiding small talk: Understand your rights
People that feel compelled to engage in small talk truly feel that they have the right to engage you in the conversation.
So as a person who is not interested in said conversation, you have to understand your right to not engage in the conversation if you don’t want to.
If you don’t want to engage in small talk, it is your right to feel that way and you don’t have to feel bad about it.
Tip #2: Have an Escape Route to avoid small talk
An escape route is something that looks so important or engaging that the other person gets the hint that what you’re doing is more interesting to you than talking about the weather.
My preferred escape route is my earphones.
Now, sometimes you might have somebody that still insists on talking to you even with earphones in your ears.
These people exist. I have encountered them.
Not to worry. There is still hope.
If such people talk to you, don’t ignore them if you hear them. Simply take out your earphones in the most dramatic fashion possible and smile.
Small talk pushers generally recognize and respect this gesture (aptly demonstrated in the video) by keeping the chatter short and sweet.
NOTE: do not attempt to use a book as your route of escape because if you’re so fortunate as to have a professional small talk pusher on your hands, they will inevitably tell you all about the book and how they love the author.
Consider yourself warned.
Tip #3: Do NOT ask questions
Specifically, don’t ask questions that you don’t care about the answers to.
It feels polite to ask things like:
- Oh where are you from?
- What do you do?
- How long did you spend in bla bla blah?
…but if you really would rather not be engaging in small talk and you know you don’t care about the answers to these questions, why ask?
Save yourself the trouble.
Just don’t do it. Stay strong, my friend. RESIST!
If all else fails…
You can still avoid small talk if you just close your eyes and SLEEP.
As long as you’re not operating any type of machinery, sleep is your best, most fool-proof way to completely eliminate every possibility of entertaining small talk pushers.
Good luck soldiers! Be strong Lol