1. The Post Small-Talk Lull
Meeting someone new is always great. But once you exhaust the givens (how do you know Ted, how do you feel about Doritos), you often enter the crucial inflection point — the lull that will inevitably determine whether or not you guys are compatible in terms of human interaction.
Surviving the lull is generally pretty tough, because it’s a lot easier to just say that you’re gonna get another beer. But if you do, it means you’ll probably be friends for like the next two years.
2. The Abrupt Departure Of The ‘Conversational Glue’
At parties, three-person conversations often have a glue — the person who has merged his two distinct friends into a singular conversation in hopes of creating social convenience and/or to forge common ground between them.
But when he abruptly leaves two minutes in, the situation can get quite dicey. The best method of survival here is to talk about/make fun of the mutual friend, as it’s the only real thing you’ve got in common.
3. Waiting For The Bathroom In Silence
“Someone in the bathroom?”
“Yea. I’m waiting for it, actually.”
/7 excruciating minutes of pretending to text.
4. The Poorly-Timed Conversational Entry
Being on the fringes of a conversation is never fun, but it’s an inevitable reality of socializing at a party. Entering a convo is all about waiting for the right time to pounce, something that’s excruciatingly easier said than done — a flawless conversational entry requires acknowledgement from someone currently in the conversation, which means that the conversation currently going on needs to change gears. Again, a lot easier said than done.
Seamless conversational entry is quite rare, so your best bet is to loudly repeat something that was just said, giving the others no choice but to reluctantly include you.
5. The Squeeze-Out
You know when you’re walking with two other people on the sidewalk, and they kind of force you out, relegating you to the lame person trailing behind?
This phenomenon, which we will call “the squeeze-out,” is also a huge past-time for superior people at parties. The squeeze-out generally occurs when 4/5 of the people in the convo are in the same rotational program. Work gossip (as well as people who went to the same college talking about how great their college was) is notorious for facilitating squeeze-outs.
6. The iPhone Tune-out
Telling stories longer than 15 seconds is increasingly tough to do, given there’s a group text with Brad that clearly needs checking in on.
At this point, getting stiffed mid-conversation is veering dangerously towards social acceptability.
7. Dropping The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Bomb
Obviously this depends on what side you’re on, but it can often be just as awkward for the drop-er as it is for the drop-ee.
Even it wasn’t going in that direction, the s/o bomb almost always changes the entire landscape of the conversation. It’s just an undeniable inflection point — like finding out that Ben Affleck is playing Batman.
8. The Mis-Acknowledgement
This occurs when someone acknowledges you from across the room. Except that they weren’t acknowledging you, rather someone behind you.
The mis-acknowledgement is at its prime when the misacknowledg-ee is looking to impress the person they thought acknowledged them — be it a crush, someone they want to network with, or someone that they’ve been trying to be as cool as for years.
There’s a reason this scenario has occurred in every single rom-com ever created. It’s pretty real.
9. The Post-Deep Conversation Acknowledgement
You just had a pretty deep 20 minute conversation with someone you didn’t really know that well. It was a solid convo, and you now feel a lot closer to that person. The length of that conversation though, dictates that you can’t really spend the rest of the party talking to them — everything has already been said.
When you have these conversations, it’s best to conduct them closer to when you’re leaving. Otherwise, the next three hours are gonna be spent continuously doing that weird smile you do when you see someone you hooked up with freshman year of college. There’s this fun sort of secret you both share, but it gets increasingly uncomfortable when you keep running into each other — again and again and again. And again.