Boring Things People Always Talk About

1. “It’s too hot.”

People love to talk about the temperature (myself included.) It’s like a nervous tic. MUST COMMENT ON THE WEATHER. MUST DISCUSS THE BREEZE, THE HUMIDITY OR THE FACT THAT IT’S FREEZING. I DON’T KNOW IF PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF IT. If we’re having a five minute conversation about the weather, you can usually assume that it’s because I have nothing else to say to you.

Honorable mentions: “It’s too cold.” “The weather is so beautiful.”

2. “I hate men.”

No, you don’t. You love men because they are beautiful and charming and oh wow, life would really suck without them. Saying “I hate men” just sounds like some bad recycled dialogue from Will & Grace or something. Don’t go that dark sitcom place.

Honorable mentions: “Why isn’t he texting me back?” “I’m a really independent person.”

3. “I work in…”

Talking about your job is boring, which is kind of sad because it’s usually where you spend 80% of your waking hours. People are just so judge-y about occupations. Telling someone you work in retail is met with a sympathetic look and a bullshit statement like “Well, that sounds cool! Like that could be fun!” It’s not fun. It’s horrible. You know it, I know it, and here we are both pretending to not know it. Get off me.

Honorable mentions: “Do you have a 401k?” “It’s not really what I want to be doing but for right now, it’s fine.”

4. “I really feel a lot better since we last talked. I think I’m finally over my ex.”

Consoling a friend post-break up can often feel like you’re following a script. “It’ll get better. You’re so strong. They were an asshole. This needed to happen!” There’s no room for improvisation. Even though the whole thing can get tedious, the feeling of heartbreak is so universal that it makes sense to recycle affirmations. The frustrating part is knowing that nothing you say will actually make your friend feel better. So you just go through the motions. Hug, agree with everything they say, and make a few jokes to break the tension.

Honorable mentions: “I’m so over it for real this time.” “J/K, I’m not over it.”

5. “I can’t eat that because I’m a vegan.”

Oh, really? Bye.

Honorable mentions: “I eat meat.” “Do you want to see a picture of the cake I just baked?”

6. “Oh, do you know so-and so?”

When you first meet someone, you must find out if you have mutual friends. Because if you do, this person immediately becomes validated in your eyes. They’re not a random, they make sense for your social group, and you can potentially proceed with a friendship. But getting through that conversation of “Where’d you go to school? Oh, did you know Jennifer Lalalalala? Oh my god, really? She’s like my really good friend! Crazy.” can be super boring. And you know how every single one of these conversations end? “IT’S SUCH A SMALL WORLD.” Yes, people who have similar interests as you hang out in overlapping social circles. In other groundbreaking news, the earth may not be flat.

The conversations I’ve listed above are necessary social evils. People are always going to be meeting each other, breaking up, talking about food, their jobs and the weather. That’s never going to change and it’s okay. I just wish I had a stand-in for when these interactions take place because they’re just so…boring. TC mark

image – Samael Kreutz

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • brandollars

    #5!!!!

  • Special_purposes

    If you honestly think that some of these are so boring that they shouldn't be talked about, like work or mutual friends, then you must be awful at chaining together conversation topics. All of these topics can become interesting conversations, or just be used as a buffer from one topic to the next.

    • Asdf

      I believe everyone should immediately expose their inner most thoughts to perfect strangers. No buffers required. Just lay it all out there. Thinking about this, it may explain why I have no friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    loves it

  • http://twitter.com/lukebourassa Luke Bourassa

    I feel you can glean a great deal from these social necessities. Not in the subject matter, but in how the speaker chooses to divulge the information. Also, they are useful springboards to other, more important topics.. conversation is like chess. Keep your moves open.

    • Asdf

      Yes. I believe the term is small talk.

  • newbornrodeo

    Directions, route taken, or how a drive/flight was.

    • Alisalei

      Yeah! I am bored to death when people talk directions

  • vince

    This makes me feel…like, so much better about myself.

    Thank you, Mr. O'Connell

  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    “Get off me.” is how I'm going to end all my boring convos from now on. #best

  • http://twitter.com/bpnjelly Brady Plunger

    You've just described perfectly my daily conversations with my neighbors (#1,3,6) and #5, well whenever anyone says that to me it is all I can do to not punch them in the face. 

    Perhaps I've just been unfortunate, but all the vegans I've met have been bitches. I can't help but think maybe it's because they don't eat real food and they're hungry.

    • Rae

      I think you have just been unfortunate, and we do eat real food. Probably more “real” than the food the majority of the country eats.

      • Tim

        Oh man and you totally just ruined your point about not being pretentious. WTF man?

        Look, I'm a vego moving towards Veganism, and I hate the pretentious bullshit about it. Are you doing it to better the planet and the welfare of animals, or do you just enjoy the moral superiority? (Not you personally Rae) So I totally understand when meat-eaters get pissy at us and our holier than thou attitude. But on the other hand, don't fucking hate on me for living what I believe in. And don't try to fucking convert me back! I am perfectly open to having my mind changed, whereas you, ms. clearly offended chef's wife, are not. I've done plenty of thinking about whether this is a lifestyle that's good for my health long-term, and whether the issues of food production are worsened by Veganism, so don't assume that I haven't. I am looking for some objective truth, not trying to defend the position that gives me the most self-satisfaction.

      • not a vegan, nor an idiot

        people go vegan BECAUSE they believe it is a better way of eating. why else would they go vegan? claiming so is not pretentiousness, it's honesty.

    • http://www.patricks40khobby.com Patrick

      Most vegans I have met are pretty pretentious. If I ever go vegan I would like to change that stereotype.

  • Min

    Since you say it's mundane, why don't I see any suggestions for more interesting ice breaking topics? This article is nothing more than a pointless rant.

    • Asdf

      It's TC. There will be a follow-up counter article to this doing precisely what you proposed.

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    I genuinely love it when people send me pictures of cakes

  • modedossier

    You must be psychic.  You exposed all my default lines and thoughts! Oh no!

  • Jeff Darcy

    #7: “That's a boring topic.”

    Working in computers as I do, I see the same aversion to small talk in many of my peers.  I'm not wild about small talk myself, but I've learned to recognize its sub-textual value.  Very few have the ability to fill time spent together with true wit and wisdom.  Filling some of the gaps with small talk is a good way to get the measure of someone in terms of how articulate or educated they are, how excitable they are, how quick to laugh or to make a joke, what their general leanings are.  Maybe you only gain small nuggets of information that way, but those nuggets allow you to make your more serious conversational forays in a direction or a way that's mutually engaging and not awkward or alienating.  It's not like people are going to be exchanging little cards that tell everyone they meet about their deepest beliefs and likes/dislikes, so we can all skip the small talk.  This is how conversation gets done.

  • Sam Ferrigno

    Haha! God this is so true, but whyyyyy. I guess these convos are all buffers to help you weed out the people who are just talking to you for the sake of talking and not looking like a total psycho (we're standing in the same corner of a room at a party and he's not speaking… definitely crazy, AVOID THIS LUNATIC FROM NOW ON). If all someone wants to do is to appear normal, then he'll probably be limited to weather/job talk. But what do I know, the heat may be getting to me… has anyone notice how hot it's been lately?

    • Asdf

      This could be a fun game. Let's go with it.

      …this guy is thinking about me in all caps. I can see it in his eyes.  Avoid this lunatic from now on. 
      …this guy is using trailing off when he speaks. He clearly uses ellipses and multiple exclamation points in his written correspondence. Avoid this lunatic from now on.
      …this guy stutters. He likely accentuates by repeating characters in his written correspondence. Avoid this lunatic from now on.
      …this guy is thinking for the sake of thinking. Avoid this lunatic from now on.

      • Sam Ferrigno

        Person from across the room: Those two lunatics have been staring at each other for five minutes. I should probably avoid them.

  • Guest

    ftfy: things boring people always talk about

  • alex

    See also: “I had this dream about…”.  (Exception MLK Jr. I suppose)

  • Astraea162

    Topics like the weather, your job, dreams, friends, etc. are necessary because they're things we all experience. When I'm riding in an elevator with a stranger I'm not going to burst out with “so what did you think of Ryan Gosling's weird-ass eagle sweatshirt in Blue Valentine?”

    Unless the elevator happened to be at a theatre screening Blue Valentine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dawn-Croff-Haltug/791804277 Dawn Croff Haltug

    The weather-why do we ALWAYS talk about the weather?! It's so true…or when someone asks “How are you?” Really?…do you want me to tell you…how about I just say “Fine” and we call it a day cause you're already halfway down the hall anyway haha

  • Kim Windyka

    “Oh really? Bye.” #dead

  • http://profiles.google.com/jasmine.nicodemus Jasmine Nicodemus

    i'm thisclose to deactivating facebook if another one of my friends feels the need to give me a weather report via their status update.  like you, i have the internet, television, and a smartphone, so i too can read/watch a weather report.  i am also a living being with the ability to feel heat and cold.  heat waves in june do not impress me.  below freezing temperatures in january do not impress me.  a blizzard in july might impress me, but even then i don't think it's my responsibility to warn my facebook friends that it is, in fact, A BLIZZARD IN JULY!

  • Jester

    #1: me, always

  • eddyindigo

    One CAN just jump into deep and interesting conversational waters by making a declaration and forcing the other person to engage you on it. It works best if you are beautiful, terrifyingly charismatic, or a movie character (see also: beautiful, terrifyingly charismatic).

    • FR

      Actually, I’ve found that you mostly just need to be interesting (or at least well-read or thoughtful); the beauty and all that other stuff comes with time and getting to know somebody.

  • Nixter_doodle

    “Oh, do you know so-and-so” bothers me SO MUCH.  The others, not as much.

  • Stephen B.

    I assume at least %85 of TC readers are vegan, lapsed vegan, or would-be-vegan-but-like-you-know. I'm happily and unpretentiously in the first category, but hey, judge anyone you'd like.

    • Peter

      lol.

  • kiera

    I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY “I CAN'T EAT THAT BECAUSE I'M A VEGAN.” It's really simple, just say “no, no thanks.” I get it, I probably know you are vegan, but you don't have to rub it in my face every time I offer you a store bought cookie or slice of pizza and forget. I didn't know one of my good friends was vegan for a year because he simply didn't put a label on it.

    • Sally Jenkins

      i think it's funny people projecting their meat-eating guilt onto not-meat-eating people. the reason people usually give a reason is because if someone offers you something it's usually rude to just say “no.” so you say no, i don't eat things like that as a rule (not because it looks terrible and i don't value your hospitality).

      • Joey S

        Meat-eaters don’t have meat-eating guilt that we’re desperate to fob off onto non-meat-eaters, as opposed to what many vegetarians and vegans want to believe. Vegans are just difficult to accommodate at a dinner party as one person out of eight and should make their own arrangements for food instead of thinking everyone has to bow down to their lifestyle choice.

  • Guest

    I wish I had a stand-in who would live most of my life

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