The Art Of Dealing with a Bore

Mademoiselle Mumu on how to handle boring people at social functions

June 03, 2017
We Social Creatures know all too well that it is an unpardonable crime to be boring. One can be anything from ugly to horribly dressed at a party but once one is a bore there is no way out. The problem is that a bore never knows that they are one.

When we were young(er - ahem!) we often mistook the quiet type for the most boring of all. We asked ourselves, "What contribution do they make, coming to a party and sitting more silently than the furniture?" But, as we grew older, we realized that such bores are quite manageable; talkative types, however, can be disastrous!
Imagine going to a party and being introduced to someone who makes you feel that coming to the party was a mistake, as an hour of your life has been taken away for good. You have encountered a bore.

Were it a cocktail-style party or a relaxed gathering, you would not find it not too difficult to evade such a character, but at a more formal sit-down dinner, if you were seated next to such a bore, you would be doomed.

The most typical bores always talk about their babies and/or husbands. They go on and on and on, even if you are single and happy to be so (or have no other choice) and are clearly not interested in the least.

A more rare breed is the bore with so many issues but doesn't bother going to a psychiatrist because they’ve got you to listen to them for free for the whole night, right?

The craftiest ones are so skilled, the way they speak, they will even trick you into believing that they are asking for your opinion—being the kind-hearted and empathetic person that you are—only for you to realize later on that, no matter what you say, your suggestions will never register in their heads. They just want to hear their own voices.

Is there a way to get rid of any of them?

My usual reaction is to “politely” tell them to stop, such as by saying, “Oh, I must be MONOPOLIZING the conversation here, would you like to change the subject?” But some people just take things so seriously these days that they might get offended.

Sometimes it’s better to just excuse yourself to go to the loo and never come back or, in the event you are seated together and simply can’t escape, give an Oscar-worthy performance as a mute and avoid eye-contact for the rest of the evening.

The most rewarding solution of all, however, is to outdo them, come up with your own monologue, and beat them at their own game. Perhaps you can tell them about the time you sat next to Mademoiselle Mumu at a dinner party!