Imagine there’s a person in your acquaintance circle, and you really don’t like the person. Got the picture: someone you don’t like but are sometimes required to be around them.

  1. If you are at a larger gathering, like a wedding, do you talk to the person or avoid them?
  2. What if it’s a party of about 20-30 people at someone’s house: do you talk to them?
  3. Dinner part of eight?
  4. Dinner party of eight but you are seated next to them?
  5. You run into them on the street?

How do you decide whether or not you talk to the person?

If you decide to talk to the person, what kinds of topics do you discuss?

Is your answer different if this is a relative? What about an in law? What if it’s your best friends significant other?

How do you handle situations with people you know but don’t like?


48 thoughts on “Pleasant Conversation

  1. Depends how much I dislike them. If it’s just that they’re not my favourite people, I can do small talk and exchange social niceties with the best of them. I’ve had to do it in work environments so have it down to a fine art.

    But, if I really dislike them, then I’ll do all I can to avoid them completely and wouldn’t go beyond a polite greeting. But that’s an extremely rare occurrence (fortunately).

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  2. Go with avoidance tactics: offer to place myself in a completely different area in the first few cases as a helper/aid/server/cleanup-any role that directs me away from them… Spend time outside or in a dark corner absorbed with my phone… Find someone who dislikes them as much as I do and spend the evening quietly bashing them with snide remarks and comments… Seriously though, I wouldn’t go out of my way to interact no matter friend or family. I can ACT semi-cordial if needed but it would be short lived and I would move on. It’s really not impossible to avoid major interactions when necessary. I have personal experience at many holiday events and weddings.

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  3. I do avoidance. One time I was pleasantly surprised. A couple that I don’t particularly like stopped by to visit us in Arizona. It’s only one of the couple that is annoying. We had a pleasant visit together and I have a different point of view of this person.

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  4. This is interesting. Having come of age, say since 12 years old in large communal settings, I quickly learned how to get along with all types of people..or forever fisticuff…so when I don’t like someone I automatically and quickly do self due diligence to determine the why… and if I determine that I have cause to really dislike someone…95% of the time said person will damn well know it. They just sense it. Hence…they avoid me. A surprising benefit of having a back story. I know this really doesn’t advance this discussion…but it’s what I got.

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  5. Well the worst would be having to sit next to them at dinner. All the other times I’d avoid or just say the bare minimum. If I saw them in the street in enough time I’d cross to the other side and pretend I didn’t see them.

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  6. Personally, I can fake almost anything and I would for the sake of the host. But otherwise, minimum contact. Now, if I am seated next to that person, maybe just exchange pleasantries, then direct my attention elsewhere. Never make a scene. But, no one needs to know what you are thinking all the time.

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  7. I try and act respectful, say hello, small talk, wave and nod when necessary. I avoid when possible. Our time is precious and I don’t want to waste it on people I don’t enjoy. They probably feel the same about me. Hugs, C

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  8. Oh, you’re killing me LA. I read your questions and my stomach automatically started turning. The introvert in me just wants to avoid them altogether, but I hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head, saying Brian, be cordial, be nice, someone else may be mean, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Funny how the direction we got as kids comes back to us. In short, in a larger setting, I would probably give a quick wave and run for cover. In a smaller group, I may chat very high level, but nothing too close. As much as I’m not a fan of chit-chat, I have to pass on that we were at a gathering two weeks ago and ran into someone that I’m not the closest with. We actually had a nice conversation, enough that I had my eyes opened. Maybe. The jury is still out. Ha. ha.

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  9. So, I speak with everyone in all situations. I have been known not to go somewhere if someone is there with whom I don’t get along. My mouth is pretty unfiltered, and it’s not worth the fallout.

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  10. Unless I think someone is really ‘evil’, I will be polite and talk to them if necessary. I like most people enough to be civil. But there have been a couple of people I would walk away from with no qualms.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I engage in a friendly manner, I don’t like to stoop to name calling and such. So I will just put on my game face if I am around someone detest, but they’ll never truly how much I detest them. This goes for family as well, just not worth the effort to engage in negativity.

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  12. If it’s an event where there’s more people, like a wedding or even a party with 20 to 30 people, I’d try to avoid a conversation. It’s easier in those situations. But if it was a smaller dinner party or the person was next to me, I’d keep it to small talk. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), I’m not very good at hiding how I feel. So the person might get a sense that I’m not interested in chatting, which is good for me but probably not the nicest thing about me. And if I ran into them on the street, it’d be a quick hi and then an excuse (if necessary) that I’m running late for something.

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  13. I would be polite but not really go beyond that, especially if it is someone that really hurt me. I think that’s different than just not liking the person. To me it would depend on why I don’t like the person as to how much effort I would put forth for conversation.

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