Conversation Killers to Avoid in Polite Company

When I was younger I was always a little awkward and nervous in large groups. It’s not that I was socially inept or anything, it’s just that I was a natural introvert and someone who enjoyed spending time alone with a good book. Over time I managed to learn how to get on in these situations though and even thrive, and even more I learned what not to say and how I could quickly kill any conversation dead in its tracks with a well timed (poorly timed?) faux pas.

Now I don’t want to see you go through the same thing, so I’m going to share with you here all of the guaranteed conversation killers that you should avoid if you want to avoid an awkward silence and enjoy your next party or event. Here we go.

Anything Too Depressing

When you’re in a crowd this is not a suitable situation to tell everyone how your parents never really loved you. While in the right setting it’s good to share these deep seated emotional scars, parties are supposed to be about having a good time and mingling, and large groups aren’t equipped to deal with anything too emotional in the way that a single pair of sympathetic ears can. Keep your tragic tales to yourself.


Anything Too Controversial

People love controversy and it’s a great way to come across as edgy and provocative – if you’re a rapper. At a party or function saying something too controversial might be loved by 90% of the people listening… but it could just as easily upset everyone into a stunned silence at which point you’ll feel like the evil character in a pantomime.

Anything Too Negative

Being general positive is a simple rule for getting by in life and being popular. Avoid saying anything too negative the and that means in particular saying anything negative about the event itself or the venue which can prevent other people from enjoying themselves and make you come off as ungrateful. If you’re at a 21st birthday party and you can think of a hundred better 21st birthday party venues, or if the food tastes like it’s made of wet cardboard, you just say ‘mmm’ and ‘wow this place is great!’. Trust me.

Anything That Might Count as Bragging

While I was never socially inept, I sure knew some people who were and you still encounter them to this day – the kind of person who doesn’t realise that saying how impressive they are is the surest way to ensure no one agrees. If you bragging in any way, or otherwise steering the conversation onto subjects that you want to talk about to make yourself look better, then you aren’t going to go down well. It’s a million times more impressive if you let other people discover the impressive facts about you, and a lot less boring if you don’t try and talk about how much money you’ve made at every possible opportunity or how many lavish holidays you’ve been on.

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