YOU’VE been rattling on about shite and your partner has zoned out completely. Here are five signs that mean you should shut up next time it starts happening.
A change in posture is often the first sign your partner is about to enter a state of anecdote-induced catatonia. Look out for: folding of the arms, a mournful sigh like the one after dropping a kebab in a puddle, hands on hips, drumming of fingers, threatening foot-tapping. Now would be a good time to stop talking or risk being punched in the face.
If during the opening gambit of your monologue about appropriate colours for recycling bins, your partner suddenly interjects with comments on a completely unrelated topic, take this as a hint that she values her time on earth and wants you to shut the f**k up. Persisting with your coma-inducing claptrap will only lead to further comments, probably about the future of your relationship. You have been warned.
The eyes are the window to the soul. And if their soul is shrivelling like an uneaten Christmas satsuma during your story about Gavin from work and his cavity wall insulation problems, stop and turn the telly on or something. Alternatively you may notice a psychotic thousand-yard stare as your partner fantasises about you having your bowels cavity insulated.
Random displacement activity
The more you drone on, the more your partner will try to find an escape. Look out for them examining their nails, intently watching an uninteresting van outside, or tidying anything they can find. This is a psychological defence mechanism to blot out your tedious shite about roadworks. For now they’re channelling their annoyance elsewhere, but if they start approaching you with the sharp scissors, stop talking immediately.
Even if you’ve picked up on the previous warning signs and shut your trap, your partner may still say ‘I’m still listening’. This means they’ve developed an unconscious affirmation response, which can be upsetting to you, especially if they’ve clearly put earphones in or are texting you from the bottom of the garden.