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Awkward people

(51 Posts)
GagaJo Wed 17-Feb-21 16:36:31

Ever known anyone it is difficult to talk to? I have a few people like this.

One is the wife of a friend. I really like her. But conversation is stilted and awkward. It doesn't flow and isn't easy. It is always hard work being with her. Odd, because I can usually chat away to most people.

Another one is an ex landlady of mine. I lodged with her for a few months when I moved to the other end of the country. Not as keen on her, although she was perfectly nice and actually, was very kind to me. But again, I found making conversation with her very difficult. Stilted. Abrupt. Hard bl**dy work.

My current boss. I never really know when conversation is over and end up shuffling awkwardly out of her room, not knowing if I am being abrupt and exiting before the end of the convo. Strange woman. I always find it hard to talk to her.

OR maybe it IS me? But then why do I find it so easy to talk to most other people?

Grandmabatty Wed 17-Feb-21 17:43:28

My brother. He never begins a chat or asks you questions about yourself or family. He mansplains too and you cannot actually have a conversation with him. He wasn't like that when he was a child but he's very difficult in all sorts of ways now.

Happyme Wed 17-Feb-21 17:45:14

When younger I was very shy and preferred to listen as opposed to talk though I don't think people found me difficult to talk to.......but there again maybe they did 🤔. Now I am happy to chat with anyone and yes I know a number of people who meet your description GagaJo. I find myself rambling on and talking rubbish to fill those awkward gaps and possibly as a consequence they seem to find it difficult to know when to leave. I then have to force myself to 🤐 till they get the message that our conversation is at an end and go.
I do actually like these individuals and enjoy their company.....up to a point....but yes conversation is hard work. Wonder what they think of me hmm

Erica23 Wed 17-Feb-21 18:00:37

Yes my sil and bil ,isn’t it hard work, my dh always says it’s like pulling teeth! I’m quite chatty, but feel I have to be or there would be silences I feel like I’m asking lots of questions, because they never add anything to the conversation. They’ve been together nearly 20 year and I know nothing about their lives work or family, even their likes or dislikes. Dont know why we bother really.

hollysteers Wed 17-Feb-21 18:06:15

Not asking questions is the annoying thing for me. My closest friend lives 45 miles away and it’s not too bad talkwise in the flesh, but the phone is a disaster. Long silences if I just wait for him to carry it on. We have loads in common, but he has hang ups about various things, feminism etc, so I find myself tiptoeing around stuff.
He is extremely brainy, doesn’t speak unnecessarily and I feel, as he listens to me, he is working out his argument for the other side. Can be interesting, but yes, bloody awkward.
Rationed meetings 😁

Gingster Wed 17-Feb-21 18:31:41

Listening to my DH on the phone to his old friends (school) is painful. He just doesn’t know what to talk about. Never asks a question or relates his ‘doings’. He’s known these people for 60 years. I cringe in the background and even have to go into another room.

timetogo2016 Fri 19-Feb-21 12:47:04

I know the feeling GagaJo.
I can talk for England,and to anyone and everyone but some people are just hard work.
I have a step son-in-law and he doesn`t say a word,he mmm`s and ahhhh`s, i did one day said to him that i wish you would shut up,to which he burst out laughing then promptly went back to saying nothing.
In the end i stop trying.

grandmajet Fri 19-Feb-21 12:58:04

I know what you mean.
Some people are just to easily ‘offended’ that I’m scared to say much to them and have to be careful where the conversation goes.
I was always extremely shy until quite recently, and learned early on that the key was to ask questions about the other person to enable conversation, but I still find it hard to open up myself. Maybe I’m hard to talk to?
I think some people are comfortable with silences and others are not. I’m not, so I jabber on mindlessly I’m afraid.
I know what you mean, hollysteers, some people seem to listen to reply rather than to hear and respond.
I suppose we’re bound to find some people easier to feel comfortable with than others, especially as society is so mobile these days and our shared experiences are fewer.

kircubbin2000 Fri 19-Feb-21 13:01:47

My son in law is perfectly nice but we have nothing in common. He thinks in a totally different way from our family and I feel he thinks we are all mad. Last time he stayed here he sat in the room with me for more than an hour without speaking. I was relieved when he decided to go out for a walk.

ClareAB Fri 19-Feb-21 13:39:17

Some people do not enjoy small talk. Silence can be perfectly comfortable. Don't feel it's your responsibility to fill the gaps. Sit back, relax and let them lead the way.

tidyskatemum Fri 19-Feb-21 14:02:20

Some people do not enjoy small talk. That’s me! I’ve never been able to understand how some people can prattle on seemingly about nothing for what feels like hours on end to me. It just makes me tired. I’m happy to chat when I’ve got something to say but I accept that a lot of people just enjoy talking. And I don’t mind if people think I’m hard work - I probably am!

M0nica Fri 19-Feb-21 14:14:00

My father found small talk difficult and acknowledged it. Even my mother said that he only really relaxed and talked to her when they were lying in bed at night, and one of my memories of childhood, was, if I woke in the night, the house would be dark, but not silent. I could hear my parents having long conversations lying in bed. It was very comforting.

My sister, who has brought up an autistic step daughter, has commented that she has seen parallels between her and our father.

So may be, if someone doesn't want to talk, just sit in silence.

Polarbear2 Fri 19-Feb-21 14:25:45

Ooh that sounds like my OH! Very bad at chat but once we’re in bed (no not TMI!) he relaxes and will talk happily. He’s not affectionate in the day but holds my hand tight at night. It makes me smile.

Susiewong65 Fri 19-Feb-21 14:27:46

Same here Erica23 I could have written your post.

Poppyred Fri 19-Feb-21 15:22:03

I’m no good at small talk especially with strangers. I never know what to say after the obligatory first few sentences.

I’m introverted and quite happy being so. Not sure what the point of jabbering on and on is. Makes me want to run a mile.

grandmajet Fri 19-Feb-21 15:35:44

I wonder if this is why we all chat online? We can just shut off when we want?

Battersea1971 Sat 20-Feb-21 10:43:18

I think some people are just wrapped up in themselves and are not interested in other people. I have a friend whose husband is like that. If you ask him a question he will just answer but wouldnt dream of asking you a question. Ivwe known him for years but have never had a conversation with him.

JdotJ Sat 20-Feb-21 10:44:22

I always think I can chat too much but a friend of mine really does not stop for breath. She's lovely and will ask endless questions about me and my family but she never stops to properly listen to my answers and then when we next meet (pre Covid) she asks the same questions but I cant keep saying 'well you've asked me that, I've told you that', so I have to repeat myself as she denies knowing that we've spoken about the topic previously.
The older we get, the more exhausting I find being in her company, it actually wears me out to the point of getting a headache.

Hilarybee Sat 20-Feb-21 10:49:12

I find small talk hard work too so I think I’m quite difficult to chat to. Some people are very good at chatting about themselves but don’t ask questions from others. I do ask questions but don’t want to come across as nosy either Likewise if I’m asked questions I feel I may be boring the other person or I’m worried I may say something controversial so don’t say too much. I find group chats the hardest of all

ExD Sat 20-Feb-21 11:01:02

I have an online friend who's the same. She has a few set phrases such as "how are you today?" and "how's your weather this morning?" and then nothing. I a single answer "yes" or "no" but no top up. Its like a sandwich with no filling.
Sometimes I can think up a question that she has to expand on but its sooo difficult.
She lives in the states, and when we do meet up (when we did meet up) we can gabble on for hours. Strange.

knspol Sat 20-Feb-21 11:15:34

My DH has become one of these people and it really is hard work and even embarrassing when other people are in the conversation. If someone asks how he is he'll say he's OK but never reciprocate. The worst thing is when the two of us are having a meal out (remember those days?) and I find myself mumbling nonsense just to avoid sitting in silence.

Panda25 Sat 20-Feb-21 11:16:43

My daughter and son in law are nightmares. Always scared to say anything around them

nanna8 Sat 20-Feb-21 11:22:13

I have a friend like this ,too. She was brought up on a remote island so I put it down to that but I often feel I am just talking to fill the gaps. Difficult.

sazz1 Sat 20-Feb-21 11:23:10

Yes my niece's husband is really obnoxious. You can say hello to him and he will just ignore you, or go in another room. He's a lot older than my niece but is very good to her and a great father to their children. He just ignores most of her family, and is quite a snob.

BlueSky Sat 20-Feb-21 11:28:17


“Some people do not enjoy small talk. That’s me! I’ve never been able to understand how some people can prattle on seemingly about nothing for what feels like hours on end to me.”
Tidyskatemum that’s me too! grin