Awkward Silences

Don’t you just hate that feeling when you’re in a room with a complete stranger, and there’s this awkward silence and you don’t know what the hell to talk about? Imagine being in a lift with someone that lives in your block, and you’re rising to the top at a snail’s pace, and they’re not talking and the silence is eerily deafening. And your racking your brains to make small talk, but the weather chatter just doesn’t hack it anymore, and you desperately need something interesting to say.

This situation doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I can generally think of something pretty worthwhile to say, but if it falls on deaf ears and I receive a yes or no answer with a vacant expression, I’ll just give up and not feel the worse for it. A conversation of course, is a two-way street, and if the other person can’t be arsed to engage then blow it and stick in your earphones. You can relax in the knowledge that you at least gave it your best shot.

I work at different places nearly every day, and I am quite happy just sitting in the staffroom with complete strangers and I do not feel the need to talk. I may say the odd thing if I fancy it and join in a convo, but it doesn’t bother me greatly if I don’t.

So here’s some lift chatter that may work if you can be bothered:

Mention a new local eatery

Talk about a grievance in the apartment block

The weather, if you must

Men tend to like sport so mention a bit of local football news. Some men like a woman that knows her stuff about football and you may get a date out of it

Inoffensive workplace chatter

Ask about a woman’s perfume or hair colour. Flattery does everyone good.

A current news item.

You have to remember that you’re all in the same boat and there’s no place else to go. It will all be over quite soon, and you can depart on your merry ways. I hate awkward silences sometimes, but it does depend on where I happen to be. To talk to complete strangers is the hardest thing to do because you know nothing about that person and whether or not  they can take a joke. If someone in the lift does crack a joke, however bad, be courteous and laugh for the bravery of it and it will ease the tension.

Here are some great things to do in a confined space, e.g.  Lifts, that will definitely piss people off:

Blow your nose and offer to show the contents to your fellow passengers

Stand in the corner facing the wall and refuse to get off.

Fart!! Actually don’t, that’s really bad.

Smile at your lift neighbour and say you’ve got to pick up your new Nashers (Teeth) in the morning, (Some guy said this to me in a pub the other day and I couldn’t stop laughing).

Give out a religious leaflet to every one that comes in.

Sigh and do a little tap dance and say “Got to go! Got to go! ….. Oooops!!!

Say ‘Ping!’ when you reach each floor

Chew gum and blow big bubbles and pop them with your finger. (Adults will look crazy doing this)

Swat imaginary flies and scratch your head incessantly

Do the bumps with your neighbour

Say ‘Group hug anyone?’

There you are. Awkward silences banished forever!


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