YET to complete an interaction that wasn’t steeped in awkwardness, misunderstanding and regret? These are the rules:
Forget every name
Whether a passing acquaintance, a work colleague of ten years, a good friend or your boyfriend, bad conversationalists never recall a name. Extra points if you guess and get it wrong but close enough to insult. The surpassingly awkward don’t remember faces either.
Forget every detail
Does this person love fishing? No, didn’t they just get divorced? Or wait, maybe they got a new coffee machine? None of those, so you come across as a random interrogation generating AI. Make sure to panic so you don’t pay attention to their corrections.
Tell them nothing
When asked about yourself, freeze. Empty your mind of everything you have ever seen or done. Give monosyllabic answers. Remaining resolutely anecdote-free will allow your helplessness in the face of the question ‘And how are you?’ to haunt you for months.
Get hopelessly mired in detail
Backing yourself into a conversational corner with a failed joke you try to explain which ends up with you Googling ‘can peacocks fly’ in front of an unsmiling colleague is great, though if you really want to wince into the mirror tomorrow keep correcting yourself about what your geography teacher’s name was.
It’s been a f**king disaster, so you say ‘Let’s meet up!’ It’s a classic attempt to wrap things up that only deepens the weirdness as you realise this is your best mate’s ex who she dumped when you exposed his cheating. Finishes with a solid simultaneous feeling of terror that it might happen and relief that no way either of you will follow up this shitshow.