How to Avoid Talking To Annoying People

Jenna Marbles has a hilarious video on this, where she basically tells you to make a weird face and hope it scares them away. (Here’s a link) I think The Face is brilliant if you’re not planning on meeting them ever again, but what if the annoying person you’re trying to avoid happens to be a teacher? Or a classmate? Or your boss? They’ll either think you’re insane and a) give you detention and/or send you to the school counselor b) avoid you like the plague and/or spread nasty rumors about you c) start a fight  and/or hate you for life or d) fire you and send you to a mental institute. Basically, you might be better off just talking to them.

But this list gives you some suggestions that you can use that will help you avoid talking to the person without the person knowing that you’re trying to avoid talking to them. (And, for convenience’s sake, I will use ‘him’ and ‘he’ instead of ‘him/her’ and ‘he/she’ because typing so many of those is tiring and, um…annoying. I’m really not being sexist.)

1. Ask him about homework. Say you don’t understand a topic/subject at school you’re pretty sure he takes. Then, spam him with questions about it and ask him to explain all sorts of things to you. If you run out of questions to ask, and he is still there, come up with a new topic and repeat the whole process all over again. You could also get out a piece of homework and ask him how to do it. Sooner or later, he’s gonna get really tired of explaining things to you/talking about school, and ultimately walk away. If he doesn’t, congratulations. You’ve just found yourself a new, free-of-charge tutor.

2a. Pretend that you can’t hear what he is saying, and be very apologetic about it. Don’t say anything other than “what?”, “sorry…what did you say?”, “could you please repeat that…”, “I couldn’t really catch that…” and “huh?”. You can even misinterpret everything he says. Change the first syllable of each word so it becomes a completely new sentence. Here’s an example. Him: “I bet I earn more money than you.” You: “You learn more honey than me?” This works best if you’re in a crowded, noisy place. After a while, the person will most probably give up and try again another day. In which case, you are welcome to come back here again for another method.

2b. If it’s a phone call, pretend reception is so bad, you can’t here a thing he’s saying. Just keep saying “Hello? Hello…Who’s there? Sorry, I can’t hear you… Hello? Darn, must be the reception…What?” He’s guaranteed to hang up after a while, and- you’ve just saved yourself a few dollars off your phone bill, and a few miserable minutes of conversation, without having to hang up on him. This also works on telemarketers. But you can just hang up on telemarketers with no dire consequences.

3. Start hacking and coughing loudly. Then, apologize and tell him you have just caught a flu bug from your aunt. If he’s germaphobic, you don’t even have to continue to the next phase of this. But if he isn’t, continue having coughing fits, right in the middle of whatever he’s trying to say. Apologize again and ask him to repeat what he was saying. Soon, he will give up.

4. Keep changing the subject to something a) you know he/she is extremely bored by (politics and the best way to wash your clothes is a good bet) b) is completely weird and obscure, like your obsession for pink shoelaces c) the weather. Try to twist everything he or she says to something along the lines of the topic you have chosen, and spend a long time ranting about it. Here’s an example. Him: So, I bet you don’t earn as much as me. You: Yeah, and you should really spend the money on some new umbrellas. Just look at the weather! It’s raining everyday. (RANT) Him, after ten minutes: Yes, well, that’s enough about weather. You’re such a bore, you know that? You: Yeah, there’s this time I got stuck at the bus stop with this person because it was raining, and he was an absolute bore… It’s this weather, you know? Everything seems dreary in this weather. It’s raining everyday, isn’t it? (RANT) Soon, he/she will be so bored by you, he will walk away, of his own accord. If you’re lucky, he might never bother you again.

5. Act like you’re very shy. It helps if you’re good at blushing. Stammer (hopefully convincingly) and pretend you can’t look him in the eye. Shuffle your feet and fidget nervously. Look so uncomfortable that he feels uncomfortable for you and does not speak to you ever again.

6. Pretend you don’t speak English/whatever language it is he/she is speaking. Obviously, it only works on strangers. Stare blankly at them and shake your head. Repeat the following phrase, “I no speekuh eenglis.” or it’s equivalent, until he gives up and goes away.

7. Stare off into space regularly, (actually, throughout the duration of time you are with him), and when he tries to shake you out of your trance, or says something along the lines of, “hey, are you listening?”, or expects a reply, stare a little longer, and then make an exaggerated show of coming back to earth. Apologize profusely and say that you have a lot of things on your mind lately, and somehow you can’t seem to concentrate. OR, say the medicine you’ve been taking for your flu has been making you rather ‘spacey’. Hopefully he will go away. If he doesn’t, well, at least you can tune him out and have a reason to do so.

8. Look very depressed about something. If you can, tear up a little. Tell him that you really just feel like being alone now, because you’re really having a rough time. If he doesn’t leave, run to the toilet and start bawling loudly for his benefit. (If you don’t mind other people seeing you bawl, or there is no one around, you don’t have to run to the toilet.)

9a. Say you have to go to the restroom, and make your escape. If he questions you about it the next day, say that you had a terrible stomachache/constipation. Grimace like you don’t want to go into the gruesome, gory details.

9b. Give a little shriek and say you left something behind somewhere, and look extremely anxious. Apologize and say you have to go and look for it, and rush off, thereby making your escape. (If he offers to come and help find it for you, refuse. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly trouble you like this…”)

9c. Suddenly remember an appointment you have to get to (dentists’, friend’s house, meeting, violin lesson) and make your escape.

10. Pretend that your phone is vibrating and take it out. Look really apologetically at him. “It’s my boss/classmate,” you say, shaking your head sadly, “I’m sorry, it’s about this project/report that’s due next week, I really have to take it.” Pretend to yak on and on about the project/report, until annoying person has left. Or, go out of the room, as if you need some privacy, and then make your escape.  Even better, you could pretend to answer the call, while actually speed-dialing a friend and have a much better time talking to him/her instead.

And if none of the above work, just talk to the damn fellow. I mean, if he’s survived all of the above, he/she has to really want to speak to you pretty badly. Maybe he/she just wants to tell you that you won the lottery or something. And maybe, when you just get to know him better, you realize he’s actually a pretty awesome person.

I hope you’ve found that useful, and if none of the above work (including the one about if none of the above work, just talk to the damn fellow, because he/she turned out to be the most obnoxious, disgusting, selfish, mean, brutish person you’ve ever known), then you can a) try Jenna Marble’s Face Of Doom, or b) fight fire with fire- be as annoying as him. Good luck.

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March 2012
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