Ways to Avoid Small Talk with Painfully Unexciting People

Yes, we have all been there. You’re walking down the street and you see someone you know who deserves more than a wave but significantly less than to hear details about your one nightstand with an overweight local you met in a hazy trip to Crown Fried Chicken. You start to panic because its mid November so the question of “how was your summer” is obsolete and it’s too early to ask how their Thanksgiving was. There is nothing more uncomfortable than awkward silences. Except maybe what is said to break those silences, such as commenting on how you’re soooo tired from your fruitless job search (omg investment banking!) You may think that small talk is unavoidable, which it really is, but there are ways to have less of it. And by less of it I mean there are ways to avoid the kid who resembles a bald Danny DeVito or the dumb athlete who’s best chance of getting through a four-year college is it he went to a two-year college twice.

Utilize your Phone: While talking on your phone these days is about as common as finding a condom in Pope John Paul’s pocket, it is the perfect way to avoid that awkwardly religious guy who once claimed that God speaks to him. Whenever I have the feeling that god is speaking to me, I eat a snack and wait for the feeling to pass. Anyways, when you see him wave, you pretend that you are getting a phone call from your mother. Granted, your mother already called you three times that day asking if you want her to bring down that kosher salami you love so much, but fake conversations are a real people avoider. Thus, you get away with strictly a wave and you are able to get home just in time for an afternoon masturbation session before your meeting with the rabbi at Hillel. Success!

Pretend you’re late for class: This avoidance mechanism requires quick physical movement. If the last time you went to the gym was the first week in January with the other fatties who had ambitious New Years Resolutions, then this one isn’t for you. When you see that girl who is certifiably bipolar with her pole landing on the arctic side of things 99 percent of the time, you know that talking to her would be a huge Debbie. The solution is to hastily look at your watch and start running for a few blocks until you are weighed down by the three squirrels you captured when you were high and your microbiology textbook that’s still in its wrapper (what is microbiology anyways?). That way, you successfully filled your exercise quota for the week while simultaneously avoiding someone whose social skills make woodchips seem like they have charisma.

Respond in Guttural Grunts: There will be occasions when talking to someone lame is unavoidable. And by unavoidable I mean you’re awoken from your nap in the library while you were dreaming about naked laser tagging with the Jonas Brothers. Not okay. The key to quickly end conversation is to respond in monosyllabic tones laced with disdain, hate, and post nap drool. Through whatever bizarre alchemy it is that causes things to succeed, this tactic always works. Perhaps even the person will reevaluate himself and then give up on the game of hide and seek he has been playing with his personality. Some may consider this tactic to be vicious, but people don’t even know what viciousness is until they have watched all of Shark Week.

If you are one of those people who often gets avoided (I’m talking to you smelly kid in my English class), stay tuned next time for “Exciting conversation topics for the boring, butch and blind.”

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