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7 Topics Boring People Talk About

I ran across this post from Gretchen over at the Happiness Project and it gave me a chuckle. She lists 7 topics to avoid talking about if you don’t want to risk being a bore.

It’s a great companion piece to an earlier post of mine, 10 Things NOT to Talk About at a Cocktail Party…especially since we’re inching up on the beginning of the holiday social season (who’s taking advantage of the fact that Halloween falls on a Friday this year by hosting a killer party for grownups on Saturday? If so, check out this article for some great Halloween party ideas.).

Gretchen’s 7 topics to avoid talking about include:

1. A dream. Ever wonder why your husband sighs in resignation every time you start a conversation by saying, “I had a really weird dream last night”? He’s bored.

2. The recent changes in your child’s nap schedule. One of my rules is, “never talk about your kids excessively”, because unless you and another new mom are comparing nap schedules, this subject won’t be very interesting to anyone.

3. The route you took to get here. Yeah, boring.

4. An excellent meal you once had at a restaurant…that the people you’re talking to will probably never get to visit (i.e. it’s in another country).

5. The latest additions to your wine cellar. To quote Chris Farley as the best motivational speaker I’ve ever witnessed…La di freakin’ da.

6. An account of your last golf game. Honestly, if I’m stuck in a conversation with someone about this, I develop a strong desire to chew off the top of my beer bottle.

7. The plot of a movie or play - in particular, the funny parts. You know those guys in high school that had a favorite movie, and never ceased quoting their favorite parts of that movie? It was boring then, too.

Gretchen also makes this excellent point, all of these subjects have one thing in common…the listener has nothing to add. They’re just stuck listening to your experience, and that’s why these topics can be boring.

Now, that doesn’t mean that these topics will be boring to everyone. It’s just that the pool of people who’ll potentially find them interesting is going to be much smaller than, say, if you brought up the new coffee shop up the street. So make sure you keep an eye out for any nonverbal cues that your listeners might be giving you that indicate that they’re tiring of hearing how you got lost on your way to the party by turning left on Broad Street, but then realized that you really should have turned right, so you made a u-turn but then realized that you couldn’t turn back on Broad because…well, you get the picture.

~tcb

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Tags: the rules


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11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Miss Ive // Oct 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Um, I DID thoroughly enjoy the article and WOULD love to share it. However, I fear that the people to whom I recommended it would take it as a ‘non-verbal’ hint at their conversational techniques. Hmmmm. Dilemma.

  • 2 Monkeytoemomma // Oct 13, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    OMFG! I almost peed myself laughing! I do numero uno! BUT, in my defense I (mostly) only bore my husband to tears. Hey, he signed on when he said “I do.” I have to listen to his crap, he has to listen to mine. Marriage is give and take.

    And, can I say, that the both of us quote movies ALL the frickin’ time! LOL! We throw them into normal conversations like they belonged there in the first place. It’s a game with us.

    Thanks for the laugh, TCB!

    Monkeytoemommas last blog post..How Many S’s Are In Buses?

  • 3 thatcoolbroad // Oct 13, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    @mtm

    How do you think I’m familiar with the “sigh of resignation”? I bore my husband on a daily basis with my dreams. Once, he even fell asleep while I was recounting a particularly uninteresting one!

    thatcoolbroads last blog post..Cool Tune: Sia “Breathe me”

  • 4 Ann // Oct 13, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I know this sounds silly, but I would love to hear 7 topics exciting people talk about. ah…

    Anns last blog post..Color Combinations

  • 5 thatcoolbroad // Oct 13, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    @Ann

    The thing is…a great storyteller can probably make ANYTHING sound interesting (even her baby’s nap schedule), but it’s tough.

    Check out my article on How to Make Dazzling Party Conversation here…

    http://www.thatcoolbroad.com/2008/04/23/how-to-make-dazzling-party-conversation/

  • 6 socalgirl // Oct 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I loved Chris Farley as the motivational speaker (that lived in a van down by the river)! So funny!!

  • 7 Frankie // Oct 14, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Case in point for #6, if I have trouble sleeping, just have my husband recount every detail about his last golf game. He can remember every detail! Usually puts me right to sleep!

  • 8 thatcoolbroad // Oct 14, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Just so that you all know…Frankie (above) had a baby at 2am. Don’t know what she’s doing blogging 7 hours later!!!

  • 9 Rob O. // Oct 15, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    As a new Dad, I have a tough time with wandering off into conversations very similar to #2.

    It’s just that, since it’s all still kinda new & exciting, it’s a little tough to hold back from telling everyone who passes by that your tot learned 3 new words just last night.

    But sure enough, I’ve seen that zombie-like daze wash across friends’ faces enough times now to know that this can definitely be a conversational landmine.

    Rob O.s last blog post..So Long, Summer!

  • 10 Ryan Marshall // Oct 21, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I always find that boring people almost NEVER realize that they’re boring. And in addition while regaling their snoozey tales, will usually insinuate that they are quite the opposite. Have you ever noticed the self congratulatory behavior that is usually companion to their stories? such as: “This is the FUNNIEST story EVER!” and the insistence that you listen always accompanies: “You HAVE to hear this!”

    But the above all worst companion to a boring story is a close talker/arm grabber. The people that physically pull you into their personal space. Basically saying: “You’re not going anywhere, you’re tapped!”

    I am off the soapbox, you tapped a nerve with this subject.

    Love your blog :)
    Ryan Marshalls last blog post..Giving birth to Stupid …

  • 11 thatcoolbroad // Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41 am

    @ rob o.

    “zombie-like daze”…ha ha! I’m sure I’ve evoked such a response as well:)

    @ ryan marshal

    you’re so right on…it IS the people who think they’re so damn interesting that are actually the most sleep-inducing! And isn’t that true of a lot of things…like the guy who keeps telling you how successful he is in business (when he’s really sucking hind tit), or the woman who likes to mention that her kids can’t bear to be apart from her (except that she drives them batty and they are counting the days ’til they graduate from high school and can bolt).

    Huh, I just there’s room enough for two people on that soapbox!

    thatcoolbroads last blog post..Diane Lane: “I’m the person I’ve always wanted to become”