ARE you that person who takes pride in saying things that make people uncomfortable or upset? Here are some excellent inappropriate ice-breakers.
Remarks about weight
A cheerful ‘You’ve put on weight since I last saw you!’ will make anyone feel terrible. But compliments-cum-insults are great too, like ‘Have you been on a diet, Lucy? You’ve got less of that bloated look in your face.’
Dodgy but not overtly racist comments
The sort of comment that’s well away from actionable racism but makes everyone feel extremely awkward, for example: ‘I’m in favour of immigration. Where would we be without curry, reggae and weed?’
Dredge up embarrassing incidents from the past
If a friend wet themselves during a primary school play or had a hopeless teenage crush, remind them of it in company. Really drag out all the humiliating details and congratulate yourself on being such a hilarious raconteur.
Idiotic thoughts about lesbians
Especially popular with old people who are trying hard to fit in. Comments like ‘You wouldn’t think a pretty girl like that would need to be a lesbian, would you?’ or ‘You can tell which one is the man’ are a great help.
Be upfront about bodily functions
You may think you’re refreshingly unembarrassed by bodily functions, but people really don’t want to hear a graphic account of your bout of constipation, including such details as ‘it was stuck halfway out like Winnie the Pooh in that story’.
Bring up the sex lives of others
Joking to younger colleagues ‘I bet you’re at it five times a night!’ in a creepy, envious way is upsetting for them, but when HR get involved they will probably conclude – correctly – that it wasn’t deliberate sexual harassment and you are just a twat.