If you want to be a pleasant person to be around, never talk about these 6 things

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Imagine the scenario…

You’re talking up a storm at the office party. Everyone (including the boss) is hanging on your every word. 

Until you get mid-flow into that one story, that is. You know, the same one you told your old school chums the other day. 

Then, suddenly, it’s crickets. You could hear a pin drop – it’s that quiet.

You ask yourself, “Was it something I said?” The truth is, it probably was. 

Here’s the thing.

Some topics are perfectly fine around your close-knit friends. But others…

Well, they’re simply off-limits. Especially when it comes to small talk and polite conversation. 

They’re practically taboo. 

So, if you want to avoid another awkward social faux pas, never talk about these six things.

Trust me…

People will consider you a much more pleasant person to be around.

1) Topics only you know (or care) about

I’m going to be blunt here.

No one cares about your NFT collection, your obsession with lawnmowers, or your recent vacation in the sun. 

And unless they’re an animal lover, they probably aren’t interested in seeing your beloved fluff ball’s Instagram either. 

You see…

If someone asks, it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss your hobbies or interests. It’s only polite. But remember, conversation is a two-way street

By that I mean, try to keep one-sided or specialized topics to a minimum. Particularly if it’s something only you (or a select few) know about. 

Also, ask questions back.

Put yourself in their shoes. Even if they seem relatively interested at the time, it’s no fun sitting there being talked at non-stop. 

It’s not a presentation at the office.

Instead, keep it general and look out for verbal and non-verbal social cues that will let you know if they’re losing interest or not. 

This can give you a sense of whether you should keep going or wrap things up. 

2) Baseless gossip

We’re all guilty of indulging in a bit of gossip, here and there. It’s basic human nature. 

Even if we don’t care to admit it. 

In fact, experts suggest we spend around two-thirds of our time gossiping (or approx. 52 mins per day). 

While another study from 1993 broke it down into gender. With men spending up to 55%, and women 67% of their conversation time hopping on the rumor mill. 

But if the old saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” has any truth behind it, perhaps gossip isn’t the best small talk topic. 

It makes you look bad. 

What’s more, if you’re regularly caught talking about people in a negative light, it won’t take long for people to wonder if you’re also talking about them. 

Not to mention, the person you’re gossiping to may very well know the person you’re bad-mouthing. 

It’s toxic. 

But if you simply can’t help yourself, apparently current events, celebrities, or general pop culture are all acceptable – just nothing personal. 

3) Negative self-talk (or personal problems)

Truth is, we all have our problems. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about them – all the time. 

That’s what therapists are for!

Delving into deeply personal problems can be overwhelming for both you and the receiver.

It certainly doesn’t help lift the mood – it’s contagious.

Additionally, always focusing on doom and gloom (or negative self-talk) during social interactions may lead to discomfort or irritation among others. 

Not a great first impression when you’re at a party or social gathering with people you barely know. 

It makes everything look like it’s about you, you, and only you!

4) Money, bills, or salary

Money – we all want it, we all need it, and having it (or not) can be the difference between living comfortably or struggling to pay the bills.

For that reason, discussing personal finances, income, or debt can be a sensitive topic. Not to mention a source of stress, worry, and feelings of inadequacy for some. 

Simply put, it’s intrusive and inappropriate. 

Therefore, when it comes to money matters, it’s best to avoid divulging your financial details or prying into the monetary situation of others.

That said, it’s fine to ask general questions about their career or aspirations. 

Just steer clear of their salary or bank balance in the process. You don’t need to know every detail of someone’s life – even if it’s well-intentioned.

5) Politics, race, or religion 

Networking allows you to meet a variety of people with varying political, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. 

Think of it like a cultural exchange.

If handled correctly, it can be a wonderful way to learn new customs, trade differing ideas, and broaden your understanding of the world and the people who live in it. 

In short, connect with others on a deeper level. 

But here’s the thing. 

Polarizing and divisive topics such as politics, race, or religion can also send the wrong message in the wrong environment. Especially if you go in “all guns blazing,” with weighty political or religious beliefs. 

In a nutshell, it can come across as a bit strong or confrontational

What’s more, things can escalate quickly and easily lead to heated debates and disagreements.

That’s why many experts suggest avoiding political or religious discussions, particularly in mixed company. 

In fact, some go so far as to claim it makes enemies not friends

However, if any controversial topics do arise, strive for open-mindedness and respect for diverse opinions to prevent unnecessary tension – and ultimately, maintain a pleasant atmosphere.

6) Your sex life (or lack of)

Listen, I’m happy for you. 

Everyone deserves to find that special someone they, you know, “click with.” But that doesn’t mean we need to hear every single gory detail of how it went down. 

Nor do we need a play-by-play as it’s happening – this isn’t the Tinder Olympics. 

The same goes for sexual innuendos. 

It’s simply not appropriate small talk. Especially when you’re in a room with a bunch of strangers.

The fact is, just like the other topics, it’s downright cringe-inducing. Not to mention, widely offensive to some. 

So, if you want to avoid getting a bad reputation the next time you’re socializing, never talk about these six things. People will find you a lot more pleasant to be around moving forward. 

That goes double for your sex life! Not even your friends want to hear about that. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

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With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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