So I’m sitting in the Admiral’s Club in Tokyo, trying to figure out what to write for my blog post today. I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ve been scanning my topic ideas, while kind of listening to the conversation next to me.
(Do you ever do that? Listen to the conversation of people next to you? It can be highly entertaining sometimes. Other times, not so much. Anyway.)
The two gentlemen next to me were clearly business associates, and were talking about their company’s work in Asia. Normal stuff. Then another man came up, who apparently had met one of the guys in a bar here. Next thing you know the new guy is talking about his marriage, asking questions about the other men’s marriages, asking how much money they make, and then going on a monologue about his ex-wife. He just talked and talked, with lots of awkward silences from the other men. I could totally tell that the original guys just wanted this new guy to go away, but he just didn’t get social clues.
And from this, the topic of my post today was born. Meeting new people can be one of the great things about travel. But please, please don’t share the most intimate details of your life with your new acquaintances, unless it’s very clear that the are enjoying the conversation as much as you are. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t ask them incredibly personal questions! Especially in a loud voice.
(Okay, as I’m writing this, the guy has asked everyone around him—including me—if they’ve read 50 Shades of Gray, which no one has, and then asks me to explain to everyone what it’s about. OMG.)
If you happen to be halfway listening to a conversation and it has become really uncomfortable, put your headphones in. Even if you’re not actually listening to any music, it gives you an excuse to not participate should the conversational ball be tossed your way.
Readers, ever overhead an excruciating conversation?