How To Win At The Stop-And-Chat

It happens when you least expect it: you’re walking along, minding your own business, when suddenly you find yourself embroiled in a stop-and-chat. It’s not exactly a secret that betches (and most sane people) hate stopping what they’re doing to make idle small talk with someone they haven’t exchanged a word with, or even thought about, in a number of years. That being said, it is still an interaction and like any interaction a betch experiences, winning is essential. Just because you don’t want to do something doesn’t mean you can’t also be the best at it, so follow these steps.

Step 1: Do not initiate. This step is crucial. If you initiate the stop-and-chat, you’ve already lost, even if you follow the rest of the steps. Not that you would have the urge to initiate conversation, but just in case, don’t.

Step 2: Act like you don’t recognize the person. You have to make it known, from before you even start having a conversation, that you’re better than this person, and you do that by pretending like you’re too good to store their face and name in your long-term memory. See:

Feigning ignorance requires commitment. Do you ever get the urge to be a bigger person? If so, stifle it. This may take some effort (but probably not). When the unnamed person inevitably makes their way towards you and grabs your attention, you’ve got to plaster on your face that look of total confusion. Keep it on there while they try to jog your memory (“High school math class? Remember?”), and then—this is the part that takes persistence—keep it on another 10-20 seconds after that. Only then can you exchange that expression for one of vague recognition, and say, “Oooh yeah, I hardly recognize you!” in a tone that’s halfway between sincere and total bullshit.

Step 3: Emphasize how great your life is. I mean, this is pretty much a given, but now’s not the time to be modest. Employ your handy-dandy humblebrag, and make them secretly hate you.

Step 4: Cut off the conversation first. This is also key. You’ve got places to go, people to meet, and this absolutely has to be known.

Again, if you don’t nail this step, you’ve also lost, since the last memory in this person’s mind will be of you blathering on for so long because you must not have anybody to talk to. That’s sad. Don’t be sad. Be a betch.


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