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1 year ago
9 People You Don't Actually Have to Talk To if You Don't Want To

Whether you’re always the loudest one in the room or a self-proclaimed wallflower, you've surely felt guilt-tripped into mindless banter with someone at one time or another. But sometimes you just don’t feel like talking. Like, at all. And guess what? That’s totally okay! We’re here to tell you that you have every right to not use your right to freedom of speech. In fact, we implore you to stop feeling guilty if you want to stay quiet.

Behold, a list of nine people you definitely do not have to talk to beyond the bare minimum that’s necessary for each circumstance.

1. The Hairdresser
Let’s face it: Nobody’s at the beauty parlor gabbing it up with his or her barber about the hometown gossip anymore. Exchanging a few pleasantries and perhaps a tip about the newest dry shampoo on the market should be sufficient. Besides that, hairdressers should focus on snipping and styling. You’re paying for a service; you should at least be able to enjoy it in peace. 

2. The Uber/Cab Driver
An overly talkative cabbie can be straight-up painful. All you’re trying to do is get from point A to point B, and all they’re trying to do is recite a Shakespearean monologue while simultaneously asking you 789 questions. And if you’re hung-over, forget it. Bury your face in your phone, grunt answers, or stick your head out the window for some fresh air and scenery. You don’t owe this person anything except a buckled seat belt and a decent tip. 

3. The Delivery Person
Hey, it’s the FedEx guy, and hey, he’s making another delivery. There doesn’t need to be a catch-up convo every single time you get a package. It’s completely fine if the only exchange is, “Another one for you today,” and, “Thank you.” Signed, sealed and delivered. 

4. The Dental Hygienist
This might just be the worst small-talk scenario of all time. This person should say hello, welcome you back, and make sure you’re cool with cherry-flavored toothpaste then get to teeth cleaning. No more, no less. This one is especially annoying because, oh, we don’t know, there’s metal instrument scraping at your molar when The Inquisitor wants answers! There's nothing more aggravating than getting the third degree from somebody who’s also vacuuming the excess saliva pooled in your mouth. Feel free to shut your eyes and pretend to be on a tropical island somewhere. 

5. The Person Next to You on the Plane
We’re sorry—did we just dredge up a really traumatic memory for you? We wouldn’t doubt it because that’s just how brutal these encounters can be. You’ve finally settled into your seat after several hours of airport oppression and barely any sleep. You’re ready to prop up that neck pillow, order a cocktail, and snooze until you hear the dreaded sound, "So, is Atlanta your final destination?” Shutting this chatty Cathy down could be an all-flight ordeal. Our advice? Instigate a dramatic incident involving tears, put on your headphones the second you sit down, or shut your eyes and start faux snoring. Desperate times call for drastic measures.

6. The Plumber
You thought he was just here to fix your toilet, but no, he’s also got opinions on the status of your crown molding, the cleanliness of the bathroom tile, and even your preferred toilet paper brand (Charmin, obviously—you’re not an animal). Make yourself scarce. Turn the TV volume up loud. This person needs to fix the commode, then beat it. The only thing that needs to be said is, “Thanks. How much do I owe you?” Done and done.

7. That Person From High School You Haven’t Seen Since High School
When you run into somebody you didn’t even know that well when you were seeing him or her every day, do not feel obligated to strike up a conversation. A simple, “Hey, how are ya? Great. Cool, take care,” is fine. And guess what? You don’t even have to stop walking. Onward, solider. You’ve got Christmas shopping to do!

8. The Manicurist
This one’s along the same lines as the hairdresser. You’re paying for a treatment, so you shouldn’t have to chat. Exchange polite pleasantries, then fake sleepiness. They probably don't mind, either. 

9. The Overly Friendly Gym Guy
You just want to bust out some bicep curls, but he wants to bust out a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story. And he’s always there, day or night. When does this guy sleep? Always quick to offer to spot you, he never tires of talking about the latest protein supplement or the latest development in his old softball injury. Plug in the ear buds, and get that undeniable iron-pumping game face on—the only way you can send this one the “shut it” signal is through sheer determination. And maybe skip deodorant, too, just for good measure.

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