10 Rules for Avoiding Small Talk (6 from Alex Watt plus 4)
January 24, 2011 1 Comment
I got a kick out of this! In short, the 6 rules for avoiding small talk that Alex Watt proposes are:
1. Always take the stairs (avoid the elevator)
2. Wear headphones
3. Know everything about current events
4. Don’t pay attention to the weather
5. Pretend you’re on the phone
6. Look Crazy
In Minnesota, #4 would be difficult!
To round out the list, I will add a few more:
7. Do not make eye contact. Not in an elevator (there’s a rule about that isn’t there?). Not in the hall. Not on the street. Not at a party. Once eye contact is made, you can’t undo it. They saw you see them.
Of course, you may attempt to negate the eye contact by scowling at them. Whatever you do, do NOT smile. Eye contact + smiling = invitation to chat.
If someone attempts to strike up a conversation with you, you can nip it in the bud by avoiding eye contact. Stare just over their right shoulder, acting like you’re looking for someone or something. Then, say “excuse me” and walk away like you have to do something or meet someone urgently (you can always do # 5 and pull out your phone). This leads to a general way to avoid small talk . . .
8. Be preoccupied. Be totally into yourself or your own problems. You can fake preoccupation several ways. It could be your phone or your iPod, but it can be anything at all–especially if you look like you shouldn’t be bothered. Search frantically in your purse or bag. Frown as you read something. Pick at imaginary threads on your clothes. Talk to yourself. Oops . . . we are getting back to #6.
9. Do not leave your home. Work from home. Order your groceries online. Order pizza and just stick your hand out with the money. Go into a coughing fit to avoid talking with the pizza deliverer.
10. Do NOT buy my book, Small Talk BIG Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success! You might be tempted to leave your home, make eye contact, smile, connect with people and have fun making small talk!
In what ways have you avoided small talk?