You know those people that you see in the grocery store (or the feed store in my case) that you like but you know they are going to want to talk. Its chit-chat about nothing in particular and sometimes it can be very awkward because of the silence between subject matter and other times it can just wear you out because you have nothing to say so you have to come up with stuff to talk about.  That's time gone, wasted, out the window--you will never get it back.

I ran across this article by Alex Watt, 6 Rules for Avoiding Small Talk on CollegeHumor.com. Bingo! Someone that thinks like me and had the forethought to put it into a useful bullet list. You can see the full article via the link above but here is my print out and carry around version in case you freeze up with no where to go.

  1. Hoof It -- Alex says: "The elevator is like a breeding ground for meaningless conversation. Taking the stairs will most likely spare you the presence of any other people."
  2. Wear Headphones -- My favorite! If they still approach, start singing out loud and off-tune.
  3. Know It All -- Alex says to: "Know everything there is to know about current events. If someone strikes up a conversation about something in the news, the best way to shut them up is to know more about the topic than they do. Saying nothing will give the chatter freedom to lecture you about the news."
  4. Don't Pay Attention to the Weather -- The weather is the 'go-to' subject when there is nothing else to say. Respond with "haven't noticed" and I suggest mumbling. The conversation never gets off the ground.
  5. Pretend You're on the Phone -- Have something in mind to say or you will look pretty silly. I suggest picking up an item and reading it or looking up at the isle numbers as if you were sent to the store by the person on the phone.
  6. Look Crazy -- I personally prefer to look mad because no one wants to listen to a ranting freakout. Mumbling here is also a plus.

If you have one of those people that slips through a crack in the list and you want some advice on how to deal with them, send me an email. I will see what I can offer up: MimiCampbell@TownsquareMedia.com