This American Life had a great segment this weekend about a woman Maria Matthiessen who is a stickler about how things should be done. She has inherited a set of seven rules — passed down from a French woman whose own mother passed them down to her (naturally, leave it to the French!) — about topics of conversation to avoid at all costs to keep boringness from your life and not kill friends with dull and self-indulgent droning.
Want to know what her seven conversation killers are?
- Never talk about how you slept. Nobody cares.
- Never talk about your period. Nobody cares.
- Don’t ever talk about general aches and pains. It’s really tiresome. Although she makes an exception for close friends and family members particularly if they’re suffering from debilitating condition. Everybody else? Save it for your doctor or for the mirror.
- Never talk about dreams. No one cares about your dreams. (Busted! I tell Jake about my dreams all the time!)
- Never talk about money, which Americans do all the time. It’s just so vulgar.
- Do not discuss diet (gluten, dairy free, Paleo, vegetarianism, Atkins, I feel so fat, are you asleep yet?).
And her number one crown jewel conversation killer is…..
- Route talk….when people tell you how they arrived, or how they came, which route they took, which road, how long it took, blah, blah, blah.
What do you think? Do you agree with this list? I generally do, but I’d like to add one of my own:
- Never go on about the plot of a movie. It’s sooooo dull. It’s one thing to summarize the plot in 30 seconds or less, but to walk a listener through the twists and turns and dialogue of each act is just pure death.
You can listen to it here if you want.