1. When you’re in the public restroom.
As if enduring the sounds and smells of a communal bathroom isn’t bad enough, the last thing you want is some bubbly stranger making conversation with you while you’re peeing side-by-side.
2. During a routine teeth cleaning.
It’s in the dental hygienist’s job description to put you at ease by asking about the past six months of your life, but it’s hard to brag about your awesome new job when there are fingers, a tiny vacuum, and a metal hook in your mouth.
3. While you’re waiting in a long line at Urban Outfitters (or anywhere).
There’s always an opinionated lady behind you in line that wants to talk to you about how shitty waiting is. Okay, maybe there should be another cashier working, but you’re trying to figure out if you can even afford what you’re buying, and you don’t want to get into a whole thing about how the store doesn’t have adequate employee coverage.
4. When you’re using your laptop.
You’re hunched over like a gargoyle, ugly squinting for no reason, and typing your heart out — yet there’s always that one person who sees this as the perfect opportunity to connect with you on a deeper level.
5. While you’re using cardio equipment at the gym.
Sometimes harnessing the secret powers of a Rihanna remix is the only thing that’ll keep you going, and using any energy to chit-chat with someone who appeared on the machine next to yours just isn’t an option. It’s nothing personal, but sweating is your priority right now, not making new friends.
6. When you’re being creepy on some hot person’s Instagram.
Small talk leads to accidental double taps.
7. When you’re looking for a place you’ve never been to before (or searching for a parking spot).
It doesn’t matter if Google Maps is telling you exactly where to go, looking for a new address requires your full and undivided attention. Your passenger’s latest relationship saga can wait until you arrive at the destination.
8. When you’re with your parents.
Chances are you’re going to run into someone who’s going to accidentally drop a major spoiler, like how you’re back together with the ex your parents always hated or how you got fired from your job.
9. At work after a weekend that you spent taking naps and watching TV.
While your coworkers were eating at new restaurants, visiting crowded bars, and attending cool concerts, you spent the weekend on the couch catching up with your DVR. (You wouldn’t have done anything differently, but your life temporarily feels a lot less exciting.)
10. At a restaurant when the server’s at the table.
It feels oddly guilty listening to your friend complain about her progress in Kim Kardashian Hollywood while a hardworking, undertipped stranger carefully places hot plates of food on your crowded table.
11. Whenever you’re shopping alone.
You know it’s the employee’s job to be friendly and helpful, and you really appreciate their dedication to doing a good job, but how can you decide if you really want to buy something when someone’s constantly over your shoulder asking you if you’re finding everything okay?
12. When your headphones are on.
They’re on for a reason, and right now that reason is Taylor Swift.
13. When you’re getting ready to go out.
For some reason, styling your hair and choosing an outfit becomes disgustingly frustrating when you have to do so while listening to another person’s voice.
14. When you’re reading.
It’s hard to enjoy a book (blog, text message, etc.) when someone won’t stop telling you about every problem that they’ve ever had since birth.
15. When your favorite part of a TV show or movie is happening.
Even though you own the DVD and could watch it whenever, no one should be talking right now.
16. When you’re ordering food somewhere.
You need to be ready for when they ask if you want it for here or to go. If you mess that up, all hell will break loose.