Taboo Topics

Over the last few weeks, many of us would have been doing our fair share of socializing. What did you talk about? Over Christmas the presents we received certainly dominated. The food we ate, what our children got and the unseasonably warm weather came up too. But according to a show on This American Life, one woman has a very clear idea of what we shouldn’t talk about. Her list was: health, sleep, dreams, one’s period, how you traveled to a destination, diet and money. She banned these topics because she considers them boring.

I couldn’t help but wonder what would be on my list. As much as I participated in talk about the weather, generally I detest it, so that would be at the top. I mean I can accept the occasional comment about unseasonable weather – but saying “It’s cold” when it’s the middle of winter or obsessing over actual temperature I find quite boring.

Shop talk around people who have no connection to the job is quite annoying. It is useful to get certain work-borne frustrations off our chest, but at the same time in depth discussions about office politics have no interest to the people who have no connection to the situation.

Renovations if the renovations are not in the immediate vicinity. I’m happy to hear about the hours and effort which went into getting the decking perfectly straight when I’m standing on the decking and can appreciate it. But anywhere else such detail is lost on me and is another form of shop talk.

This last one I’m guilty of. When you’re a parent it’s quite hard not to be excited and frustrated by your kids in equal measure. But not everyone wants to hear about them. And even when people do, you would like them to remember that there are other aspects to your life.