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The Trick to Shut Up Boring People Who Talk Too Much

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Old 11-17-2017, 12:43 PM
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Revised version based on feedback:

The Diplomatic Way of Handling People Who Bore You by Talking Too Much

Have you ever found yourself talking to someone who rambled on endlessly about themselves, their opinions, or even their complaints – basically about things you had zero interest in hearing about?

Gets pretty boring the longer you have to listen to them, doesn’t it?

But has it ever occurred to you that you never have to listen to people who bore you with their endless rambling?

I mean, don’t you really have it within your power to influence the conversation away from such topics whenever they arise, and perhaps even prevent them from arising in the first place?

Well, how would you like to learn techniques you can use in future situations where someone’s boring you, all by taking control of the conversation in such a way that it puts an end to their boring rambling?

We’ll get to that shortly, but first let me ask you this…

How many bores do you think there are who actually know that they’re boring people with the things they talk about?

After all, whatever they’re talking about is interesting or important to them, right?

But they never stop to consider if it’s of interest to you, do they?

Furthermore, don’t we often tend to humor them by listening, nodding and even asking them questions?

Well, why do we humor people who are boring us by encouraging them to keep talking by our willingness to listen to them?

If we really want them to move onto something more interesting, wouldn’t it be wiser not to encourage them to talk about what’s boring us?

But how can we do that?

How do we discourage them from boring us?

The secret to making the best of people who are talking about things that bore us is to take control of the conversation and direct it onto topics that are mutually interesting.

So how do we do that?

Well, what’s interesting to you?

Are you interested in getting glimpses into other people’s lives and seeing how their lives are different than your own?

Are you interested in hearing about people’s opinions on topics that have special meaning to you?

Are you interested in learning new things that others already know?

If you want to stop people from boring you, you must realize that everyone has something interesting to say. Everyone has interesting stories they’ve experienced. Everyone has knowledge you do not yet possess. And the trick is to mine for those things like you’re searching for gold. Then, once you’ve found them, transition the conversation off of the boring stuff and redirect it onto the interesting stuff that person has to offer you.

But how do you do that?

How do you take control of the conversation and direct it onto mutually interesting topics?

Like starting a conversation and keeping it going, the answer lies in picking up cues and expanding them into central topics of the conversation.

Whenever the conversation is heading in a direction they don’t want, like someone boring them with some form of useless rambling concerning uninteresting topics, the master conversationalist is always on the lookout for cues that the other person drops into the conversation through their rambling.

Because guess what?

When someone is rambling on about something that is of no interest to you, and the more they talk, the more they’re going to drop useful cues into the interaction.

But what do most people do?

How do most people handle boring people?

Don’t they just endure?

Don’t they just put on a pleasant face and nod along, while meanwhile they often zone out and let their mind wander or even mentally complain and fume about how boring the person they’re talking to is?

Instead of doing that, why not use that same mental energy to seek out cues that can then be used to redirect and steer the conversation?

Instead of nodding your head, zoning out and enduring, why not spend that same time listening for opportunities to change the topic, and doing it in such a way that it’s natural and it flows effortlessly from one to the other?

So how is this accomplished?

And just what is a cue, and why is it so important in the art of taking control of conversations?

In short, a cue is any small mention of something that is often unrelated to the topic a person is presently focusing on.

For example, perhaps you’re talking to a person who’s rambling on about some conspiracy theory:

“We’ve been lied to our entire lives. All through school, we’ve been taught that the world is round. But it’s really flat. I’m one of the few who knows the truth. I’m not one of those mindless zombies who’s been brainwashed since they were a kid. Even the Bible reveals that the world is flat. I’ve seen footage of a camera rising up into the sky and I’ve seen with my own eyes that the world is actually flat. Globeheads have been deceived…”

Probably pretty boring to listen to, right?

But if you’ll notice, I italicized a bunch of words. Those words would be your cues. At any time in the spiel, you could jump in and ask about any of those things, if they’re of interest to you, and turn the conversation down that path instead of letting it remain on the conspiracy theory.

With school, you could ask, “So you think the school system failed us?” thus, directing the conversation onto the topic of the school system and its flaws.

With the truth, you could ask, “How do you know when we actually have the truth? How do we differentiate the truth from falsehood?” thus, turning the conversation onto philosophy.

With brainwashed, you could ask, “How would you say brainwashing works? How do people brainwash others? What’s the method?” thus, turning the topic on the science of brainwashing.

With the Bible, you could ask, “Are you an avid reader of the good book?” thus, turning the conversation onto their reading habits.

And with Globeheads, you could ask, “What the heck is a Globehead, anyway?” thus, turning the conversation onto definitions.

As you can see, in that short ramble alone, there were five opportunities to transition the conversation off of the boring stuff and onto more interesting things.

If the first cue isn’t interesting enough to you, wait for the second, and so on until you come across one you really like.

That’s all there really is to taking control of the situation when someone is boring you…

Listen to them spiel in search of cues.

When one appears and appeals to you, ask them a question about that cue.

The conversation is now off of the boring topic and onto one that is also of interest to you.

Simple.

With practice using this conversational technique you will get good at it. And when you get good at it, you will never have to be subject to people boring you ever again!

---

For more articles like this one on dealing with people, check out my blog here: http://www.keenancullen.com


Last edited by Konan; 11-22-2017 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:00 PM
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Feedback ... the technique seems boring. An overhand right would be both more exciting and more efficient.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Feedback ... the technique seems boring. An overhand right would be both more exciting and more efficient.
Right, because that's social acceptable and will keep you out of jail.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Konan View Post
Right, because that's social acceptable and will keep you out of jail.
You gotta pop the boring bastard.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Chinspinner View Post
You gotta pop the boring bastard.
ONLY if his boredom threatens your safety. In other words, pop him in self-defense.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:39 AM
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This thread may not be so boring after all. Consider this:

A boring man meets a boring woman, and the boring couple engages in a boring courtship. Eventually, the two marry and invite a whole bunch of boring people to the wedding. The newlyweds move into a boring neighborhood, raising two boring children. However, one of these boring people happens to be a scientist who discovered a vaccine that saved the lives of millions of people living in poverty. Now, why on earth would anyone want to shut up such a caring and loving individual whose only fault is being boring? Seems kind of cruel, humorless, and bigoted. Don't you think?

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-18-2017 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
This thread may not be so boring after all. Consider this:

A boring man meets a boring woman, and the boring couple engages in a boring courtship. Eventually, the two marry and invite a whole bunch of boring people to the wedding. The newlyweds move into a boring neighborhood, raising two boring children. However, one of these boring people happens to be a scientist who discovered a vaccine that saved the lives of millions of people living in poverty. Now, why on earth would anyone want to shut up such a caring and loving individual whose only fault is being boring? Seems kind of cruel, humorless, and bigoted. Don't you think?
Where did I say that boring people aren't or at least can't be valuable and productive contributers?

And where did I condemn boring people for being boring?
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:10 PM
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("...nice work well written, thanks for sharing too..." went the goblin adding "...perhaps less paragraphs would make it easier to follow though, not that I use paragraphs myself as my posts tend to be short, btw your advice is sound too, so I hope to read more from you shortly...", and with that the goblin was off to see what other posts were on offer tonight, then adding "...odd isn't it, I mean more people read "short interactive content", which is what these posts are, than most anything else, and yet see how most writers overlook this readership here for their blogs elsewhere, such a pity when we can poll our efforts like this and make a far bigger readership than any one person's blog can, ah I almost forgot, don't forget to keep an eye on the hitcount of any thread you do for it is unequivocally your readership, of which I might add yours is not bad by look of things...")

Last edited by fleamailman; 11-18-2017 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:19 PM
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Flea's a good person who provides a service with encouraging words. When you lend an ear to a boring person, you provide a service too.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
When you lend an ear to a boring person, you provide a service too.
And what might that be?
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:18 PM
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Occasionally, everybody has to get something off his or her chest; so if you listen to somebody, regardless how boring you believe the person to be, you're giving the person an opportunity to unload. So, essentially, you're doing a service. Honestly, anybody who needs a technique to deal with a person who is irritating is in pitiful shape himself. After all, you do have two feet and a mouth: "See you later, gator" is more than sufficient to make your escape. Your writing is well, but your topic is plain silly. Was it meant to be humorous? If it was then I believe I owe you an apology.


If you search, you'll find hidden beneath all the layers of bullshit the true meaning of life. And that meaning, my friend, is "service to others" -- even when the service is merely providing an ear to a boring person. Otherwise, if you're short on time or if you don't want to listen, just use your feet.

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-18-2017 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:48 PM
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How do most people handle boring people?

This line of yours deserves examination.

Scenario:

You are drowning, and standing on the long pier is a boring person who is an excellent swimmer. He looks down into the water to find you splashing around. However, he's unsure if you're playing around or really in trouble, so he starts yelling to you: "Do you need help? Do you need help?"

Now how would you handle him? What technique of yours would be appropriate in this situation?


Here's an idea for your next assignment: what to do about boring people who write too much (also a form of communication)? Take away their laptops? Turn off their electricity?

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-18-2017 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:49 PM
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Oh, thank goodness Shelly, the champion of the oppressed, came along to defend the poor helpless, boring people of the world! He's such a great guy!

Barf.

Last edited by Myers; 11-19-2017 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Oh, thank goodness Shelly, the champion of the oppressed, came along to defend the poor helpless, boring people of the world! He's such a great guy!

Barf.
Figured you were lurking in the bushes. You just can't help yourself. Realistically speaking, does society really need guidelines dealing with such a silly topic. Everyone has freedom of choice -- a person may listen and laugh at what he/she is hearing or a person may walk away and call the person a stupid b------. My choice is the laughter. Or if I woke up on the wrong side of bed, I just might hurl the overhand right, which wouldn't make me such a great guy. See you're wrong again, bushman. What the heck? Such a forgiving person like yourself... you wouldn't lend an ear?

Are you sure you aren't Joematt? You have his traits.

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-19-2017 at 07:10 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:24 AM
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Grace, thank you. I never met a boring woman.


One last comment. Konan did ask for feedback. If he is an adult he will be able to handle the positives or negatives. Besides, before I commented, there were about forty reads, yet nobody chose to respond. It was only after my reply, that the "real" criticism began to flow. I'm sure you read his post, bushman, before my response but remained mum. Do you know what that reveals about you? It tells me that you have this personality disorder. That you aren't a pleasant person and that you just cannot "let go." Quite the opposite of someone who is "really" forgiving.

You make my point -- words are empty. Actions rule. Start acting the part.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:26 AM
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Konan didn't say people who tend to be boring conversationalists are bad people or that they don't contribute to society etc.

And nothing he said had anything to do with listening to people who are troubled and have something they need to get off their chest.

As usual, it's all stuff you pulled out of thin air so you could get up on your high horse and deliver some kind of self-righteous lecture. So no, I'm not wrong -- I'm right on the money.

Otherwise, yes, there are people who are somewhat self-absorbed to the extent they they mostly want to talk about themselves. In addition to that, they're not really listening to you -- they're thinking of what they're going to say next. It can be annoying.

If you're really stuck talking to them, rather than continue to indulge them, it makes sense to try and direct the conversation to something that has relevance to both of you. I probably wouldn't give it so much effort, but what Konan is saying makes sense. Generally, I just try to politely extricate myself from the situation.

Almost everyone here knows I'm JoeMatt -- so yes, I'm all too familiar with your ridiculous M.O.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:41 AM
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He asked for feedback -- not the crap you posted.


And returning to his topic. Personally, I'll take a boring person over a hypocrite every day of the week.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:54 AM
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Here's the thing -- you can't really give any kind of remotely valid feedback if you read all kinds nonsense into the piece that you've made up and isn't even implied.

So nope -- nothing to do with offering an opinion that could be of any use -- you just saw it as another opportunity to climb up on your usual soapbox.

Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
And returning to his topic. Personally, I'll take a boring person over a hypocrite every day of the week.
...and the usual dose of unintended irony.

Last edited by Myers; 11-19-2017 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy
When you lend an ear to a boring person, you provide a service too.
Originally Posted by Konan View Post
And what might that be?
If you lend someone an ear then they might suddenly have three ears. If the ear being lent is a pig ear, it might make a nifty coin purse or wallet, for example.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Here's the thing -- you can't really give any kind of remotely valid feedback if you read all kinds nonsense into the piece that you've made up and isn't even implied.

So nope -- nothing to do with offering an opinion that could be of any use -- you just saw it as another opportunity to climb up on your usual soapbox.



...and the usual dose of unintended irony.

Sparring with you on a beautiful Sunday morning makes me wonder whether I need to have my head examined. In all fairness, I didn't ask for the nonsense. It was you who rose from bed to let stupidity lead him like a dumb mule to the computer. It was you who ignored man's golden rule -- "Treat others as you would want others to treat you." It was you who resorted to his usual tricks of trying to belittle and mock me (the proof is there -- go reread your dumbass post). And this is from a person who preaches "Forgiveness." Seems to me, a psychiatrist's couch may be of more value to you than a writer's forum is. Now, get the fuck away from me and stop your dumbass stalking.

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-19-2017 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
If you lend someone an ear then they might suddenly have three ears. If the ear being lent is a pig ear, it might make a nifty coin purse or wallet, for example.

Maybe some of you need to ask Konan for his phone number. Next time, you walk down the street and run into a confused, happy, sad, ignorant, intelligent, troubled, or excited person, you could call him for advice or for tricks on handling the encounter.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
"Treat others as you would want others to treat you."
Okay -- so what you'd really like is for people read your stuff and then purposely misconstrue it so they deliver some of kind lame lecture.

I will keep that in mind!

Last edited by Myers; 11-19-2017 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:02 AM
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Oh Shelly, you're too funny.

You preach the golden rule and accuse Myers of belittling and mocking you (which isn't treating people how you want to be treated), but then in your very next post, you go and treat me in the exact same way you condemned in him by mocking and belittling me.

Has anyone ever told you you're a hypocrite?

But you are by far my favorite poster to read here. The way you let your emotions run wild and control your actions is very amusing and makes for some great entertainment.

Keep it up!
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:45 AM
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Definitively worth the price of admission!
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:20 PM
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(the goblin returned, read through the posts thinking "usual suspects" again, and then wondered why brianpatrick hadn't posted by now, before explaining "...ok, do not be surprised if your thread gets hijacked at some point, no they mean well but to be quite honest I don't think that they're really in control of their posting habit there, where I think this forum was formally known as "postholics anonymous" too, but stay the course now, remember you're doing forumland a great service by keeping them on your thread like this...", in fact, the goblin liked Konan and hoped that konan would write more soon, then related "...online, the author and his works are like two sides of the same coin, however most writers fail to grasp the potential of that truth though, yet I hope that you wise enough to use your persona to your best advantage here, it is the other side of your work as it were...")

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Old 11-19-2017, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fleamailman View Post
they mean well but to be quite honest I don't think that they're really in control of their posting habit there...
I was doing OK for a while, but then I relapsed. Shelly coming around is like waving a bottle of tequila under the nose of someone who's just trying to climb on the wagon.

But the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.

So would you like to go to a meeting with me? Maybe the goblin can come along too.

It's not hard -- you just say, "Hi, I'm fleamailman and I'm a postholic."

And everyone enthustiaclally says, "Hi fleamailman!"

Just remember, you are not alone.

Last edited by Myers; 11-19-2017 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:00 PM
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And with that, Shelly leaves the thread in disgrace with his tail between his legs.
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:39 PM
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Oh, I doubt that. That would require some amount of self-awareness.

BTW, I get the gist of what you're saying. I just rarely find myself in a situation like that where I can't bow out. It's usually just not worth the effort to steer the conversation in another direction.

It's pretty rampant though -- this kind of boring conversation -- not among my friends or the people who I want to socialize with -- but at things like neighborhood or work related parties.

People with young children are often the most insufferable -- it's like -- yeah, I know all about potty training and breastfeeding etc. Believe or not, you are NOT the first person to have a child. And I was very aware of that when ours were little -- and I still am when it comes to talking about my own kids who are at the tween stage.

My wife and I find that we're hanging out with older people more often. One of our good friends is 91! We take him out to dinner and usually a movie every six or eight weeks. Yes, he talks about himself quite a bit, but it's the context of some very rich experience -- so it's all pretty fascinating. And yeah, we've heard some of his stories several times now, but what are you going to do?
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:06 PM
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But you do sometimes find yourself in situations where you're "trapped" listening to boring people, though perhaps not that often.

Would you consider trying the techniques in my article out the next time it happens?

I mean, if you're stuck in the situation, why not learn to make the most of it?

And it's interesting to hear that you have someone in your life who tells you the same stories over and over again, because that's on my list of topics to write about in the near future.

That said, don't you ever want to spare yourself the boredom of not having to endure the same stories over again?

Why humor him when it's a "burden" to you?

And why do you allow it to happen -- do you just not want to embarrass him or make him feel uncomfortable by making it known to him that he's already told a story?
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:23 PM
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Come on. He's an old man -- he doesn't remember what he's told us. Why not give him the pleasure of telling us a story?

Otherwise -- yes, occasionally I'm trapped.

I had to fly to L.A. and spend two days with a client on a video and photo shoot. He talked about himself the whole time. A couple of times he asked me about my work, family etc. -- but it was just an entree so he could tell me more about himself and his kids.

The guy is very sharp -- he has a wealth of knowledge about marketing, so I tried to broaden the conversation so maybe I could learn something. Nothing doing -- he just kept bringing it back to himself.

Otherwise, I don't really need your specific techniques. I intuitively take opportunities to direct the conversation to something that might be interesting or relevant to both parties -- but if it doesn't happen, I either extricate myself, or I just go along with it. It's just not worth the trouble.

And I'm pretty good at feigning interest when I'm thinking about something else. I mean, you're married aren't you? Surely you know how to do that.

Last edited by Myers; 11-19-2017 at 04:29 PM..
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