I’m learning a lot, so I thought I’d share. Plus if you’re really good, you can use these to ruin an entire relationship, not just a conversation. Good luck!
1. Respond to others’ playfulness with contradictory statements instead of a simple smile. Do Not follow the improvisational rule of “yes – and…”, not even for two seconds. That’s too dangerous.
2. Hear others’ expression of pain as a personal criticism. Take it very personally. Get butt hurt. Don’t be curious about what is alive in them. Above all, do Not consider that you might have accidentally stepped on toes in the first place.
3. Talk all about yourself. For 10 minutes, 20 minutes, a half hour, 2 hours even. Don’t ask questions about the other person. Above all, do Not be curious.
3.5 If you do make the mistake of asking a question, be sure to interrupt the reply mid-sentence. Return to point 3.
3.75 Fill every spare second with talk, preferably about yourself. Don’t take a breath after you speak. Definitely don’t take 2 breaths. And be sure to start talking As Soon as the other person’s face hole has taken a tiny pause. Return to item 3.
4. Assume you know, Everything. There’s no way it’s possible someone has a valid point of view you haven’t considered. No way. You’ve travelled the world, you’ve seen it all, surely you must know it All. You’re Omniscient. You’re God.
5. Make everything you encounter “good” or “bad”. It’s not possible that there is no such thing as good and bad, only different perspectives. Above all, be sure to apply this to yourself. It’s not that all things can be both good/bad depending on the situation, it’s that You are bad, or good. There’s no both/and. And there’s no grey area.
6. When someone else is trying to tell you their feelings and needs to resolve an issue, attack them for being “overly sensitive” or for “giving you a hard time”. Resolving issues is Such a Bother.
7. Be fearful. Presume the new person you’re talking to must be crazy. Call them names as soon as you can and run screaming for the hills. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
8. Do not take in what people tell you. If they tell you they aren’t available, insist they contact you so that You can feel better. Disregard their boundaries. If they say they don’t want single line emails, don’t listen, don’t honor their requests. See item 6.
9. Focus on the past. That was terrible. Oh no saying that was terrible too. Forget that there is a person, right here, right now, standing in front of you. Don’t smile, don’t laugh. You have more important things to think about than what’s right here right now. That was terrible. When this fails, try item 10.
10. Focus on the future. Run that train of projection and fantasy wayyyyy off into the land of what we could do. Or build a scary scenario in your mind about the horrors. Either way, forget that there’s a person you could look at, right here, right now. Don’t look them in the eye. Don’t just Be with them right now. Hey, what are your plans for next month? Oh, and remember to get butt hurt when they ask for one step at a time. See point 6. When this fails, return to item 9.
11. Never take responsibility for your actions. If it’s pointed out that you stepped on toes, or acted out one of the items in this list, quickly and without reservation Deny, Deny, Deny! Then spin it and ridicule them for speaking up. See item 6 for ideas. How dare they!
Congratulations! Now you’re well on your way to ruining conversations and relationships!