Avoiding small talk with strangers

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Foreigner

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It's awkward when you may want to avoid chat with persons alongside you on airplanes, buses, trains.

The Bose QC15 noise cancelling headphones would be really useful but I don't use them when in Sydney and travelling to and from work. Otherwise during trips these come in useful.
 

JessicaTam

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I find getting engrossed in a good book or magazine helps. And saying 'I beg your pardon?' each time they speak to me so they have to repeat what they said. They soon get the hint without me being rude.
 

Sdtravel

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I know what you mean.
When I travel as soon as i sit down qc20 headphones go on qantas magazine comes out.
travelled with a friend once who was amazed how I travel. After a few flights he was like. I'll see you in BNE. Not a stranger but still avoided small talk. It's just how I travel. Im in my own world / zone.
 

defurax

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The worst I ever encountered was a guy seated next to me who absolutely wanted to chat the whole way from MEL to LAX:shock: When I actually told him I wanted to listen to music he took offence and started talking with the guy on his right, who also got fed up pretty quickly. The small talk addict then proceeded to call the FA and told the FA we were ignoring him and he wanted to talk to someone!:!::shock: I thought the FA would tell him to calm down and get lost, but no, the FA invited him to the galley and found some other chatty passenger to entertain the compulsive chatter. Still remain one of the weirdest thing I've experienced while flying.
 

casanovawa

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Hmmm, thankfully i am not that scared/worried about others... :)
 

Hvr

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Surely a chatty seat neighbour is the best person to talk about Amway or your recent religious conversion? ;) Find out what their relationship status is and hook them up with a person you hate. So many opportunities to do good to a talker.
 

Anna

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I usually try to exchange some pleasantries to see whether a conversation starts that I'm actually interested in. I don't start with the assumption that everyone is a terrible bore.
 
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I can be a chatter, but for me it depends on the time of day, and where I'm heading. Long haul, I'd like to have a quick chat (especially in Y) as it might help later when I need to get up etc, but Friday 5pm flight SYD-MEL...leave me alone! :)

I've had some interesting chats over my time, even got offered a job interview the following week.
 

harvyk

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I typically have a conversation with pax sitting next to me whilst sitting on the ground, but as soon as we start moving on go the head phones.
Of course I judge if the pax actually wants to talk based on their actions / tone.

Once we're in the air, the only way you're getting words to me is if they are part of the following sentences,

"What would you like to drink"
"What would you like to eat"
"We need to get out now, the plane is on fire"
 

Pushka

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I had to rescue a guy in a suit a couple of years ago from my mother who thinks everyone likes to chat. She was once upset that the courier company call centre wasn't up for one. Maybe we should get her to deal with the overseas call centres.

But yes, I'll say hello but most likely won't engage particularly. But I have had some interesting encounters. Like the guy who was an iPhone beta tester and I'd just got my first iPhone (first day - first Aus release).
 

Foreigner

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Small talk with cab drivers is best avoided. Many are professional in that they keep to their driving only. Radio on low volume helps and I frequently keep eyes on my mobile to limit chat.
 

Warks

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It's a sad sign that we don't want to talk on planes any more. I know because I'm probably as guilty as everyone else of trying to avoid the chat. Nearly everyone up the front end knows the drill though, it's only when they considerately slot someone who flies once a decade into the middle seat in the first row of Y that trouble occurs up there. If I do talk to anyone it's usually late in the flight and something relevant. Maybe something out the window. Most people know it's not an invitation to a gab fest.

The worst thing is actually travelling with people you work with who somehow feel obliged to talk even if it's for 14 hours. I had an unspoken agreement with my colleagues when flying long distance. We would make sure we weren't seated together.

I also pity any poor sod unfortunate enough to get my mother next to them for SYD-LAX...
 
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Once on a flight to hkg i had to say to the guy next to me "I'm sorry but I don't want to talk" when he didn't take any of the polite hints I made. But did that stop him? Oh no... So it was headphones on all the way even if I wasn't watching or listening to anything.
 

Cynicor

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Don't we all wear headphones all the way anyway? NC is the only way to fly.
 

JohnK

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Fall asleep?

I have had some nice chats on planes but occasionally I'd like some time to myself to relax and watch a movie I haven't seen.
 

Plutonus

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Only fly in F or J where the seating arrangement is 1-x-1 ;)
 

Zampari

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I generally keep to myself while travelling but on occasion have had some great conversations with people next to me. I was lucky enough to be seated next to a Qantas air hostess on a flight from BNE-SYD. I was embarking on my first long haul flight(SYD-LAX) & as a very nervous flyer at that point her advice was invaluable.

Sometimes those who continually want to chat, especially while flying, are actually nervous flyers who are trying to distract themselves.
 
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