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My wife is boring

(61 Posts)
sands67 Sat 05-Apr-14 12:14:57

OK, to sort out the flamers and haters from the helpers. Let me clarify. My wife is not very good in social situations. She struggles to converse and I would like some constructive advice on how to help please.

Making friends has always been difficult for her, long before she met me probably since school. When I first met her I couldn't understand why she didn't have more friends. She is a nice person, caring, thoughtful, helpful, genuine and one of the most simple and straightforward people I have ever met.

Yet people will make reasons not to meet up with her or politely avoid her in social situations. She thinks it is because she comes across as stand offish because she avoids conversation. I think part of that is true but having been out on many occasions I think it simply because she is not very good at making conversation, she can be a bit boring. Ironically she is not boring, she has a real zest for life, she is a successful business person and very good at what she does. But socially...she struggles.

I have wondered whether I should try and explain this, but to basically tell her she is boring would be devastating to her. I would like to help her but I am not very good at being supportive. She doesn't have many friends yet you wouldn't hope to find a better friend.

She had been at a business event and someone she met on the first week, really liked and thought she had got on with very clearly avoided her this week and it brought out all her insecurities.

I took the opportunity to give her a couple of books that I ordered for her a couple of years ago, books along the lines of "the art of conversation". I can't remember what specific event made me buy them or why she wouldn't read them but I gave them to her, she looked a little flat when I did (unsurprisingly).

I tried to find a course that she could go on "better conversation" on Google brought up language classes and other phrases didn't' fare any better so I wondered if there was anyone on here that could suggest ways to help. Soft skills classes, social skills courses. That sort of thing or even some practical advice. It is making her unhappy and I want to change that.

Why doesn't she try an adult amateur dramatics class?

It's great for getting out of yourself and builds confidence.

There's nothing wrong with your wife, she just hasn't met the right people yet to bounce off of.

MummyCoolski Sat 05-Apr-14 12:20:35

Have you read the books? If so, could you chat with her about the contents in a conversational way so that she gets to hear the tips without having to have a conversation about how people find her difficult to talk to?

Lovingfreedom Sat 05-Apr-14 12:25:45

Has your boring wife asked for your help or for recommendations of books or training courses? I'm assuming you are well meaning but I think you're in danger of getting something shoved up your arse upsetting your wife

sands67 Sat 05-Apr-14 12:26:28

@mrscumberbatch i think her confidence would hold her back, to stand up in front of people (even though she can and does do it) fills her with dread.

@mummycoolski - you know what, I haven't. Thats a really simple idea, thank you.

Toohardtofindaproperusername Sat 05-Apr-14 12:27:59

Does she want help with this issue? If so - encourage her to post and ask for it herself..... ?

Toohardtofindaproperusername Sat 05-Apr-14 12:29:32

X post - same as lovingfreedom! Potentially patronising....?

MummyCoolski Sat 05-Apr-14 12:29:38

Glad to be of help!

You seem like you really care about helping and that you realise it's not going to be easy for her, which I imagine will be a good start. Tread carefully!

BoffinMum Sat 05-Apr-14 12:33:06

A couple I know did a drama improvisation course together which proved very successful.

Out of interest, are your in-laws poor conversationalists?

HecatePropylaea Sat 05-Apr-14 12:35:12

If she has expressed unhappiness then it is entirely reasonable for you to suggest things that you think might help her.

Under no circumstances utter the word boring grin

Instead, talk about struggling in social situations.

That's what my husband does for me.

Because I am very much like your wife.

He has taught me how to mimic the social dance. I still don't understand why most of it is done, but I understand that it is. Once you know what is expected, it's easier to fake it. Those initial interactions - they are the key. Learn them and you can create rapport and progress to the next level.

I have learned patterns of eye contact. - too much or too little are both a problem. I have learned a formula for social interactions that, basically is about obtaining two pieces of information for every one you offer. It demonstrates interest in the other person, can help a conversation progress and stops that awful thing where you whitter on about yourself for hours.

It's really complicated but it is doable. She may need some other input, maybe from courses or books. I know you have tried books but you made a mistake when you presented them to her. Here's a few books to help you cos you're shit with people, dear. Never going to end well.

I am now waffling on so I will end here. But honestly, if your wife wants to learn how to better interact socially, then she can. I have a friend now. An honest to god real life FRIEND! We spend hours chatting and laughing and it is never awkward or false and the time flies. I never thought I would get to a point when I would have that. I have now been able to reveal the real me and - she likes and accepts me!

That's what your wife needs.

sarahquilt Sat 05-Apr-14 12:36:41

The key to conversation is asking other people questions about themselves as everyone loves droning on about their own lives. Once she gets that she's set.

BeforeAndAfter Sat 05-Apr-14 12:36:52

I read on MN that someone joined Toastmasters to develop their confidence and it worked. Not done it myself mind.

Is it possible she's mismatched with the social circles she's hanging out in?

What I mean is -- sometimes I've been at social events and I know I'm coming off as boring, but it's because I don't have anything in common at all with the people there and I just don't know what to say. Is she struggling even in situations where she should have a lot to talk about?

Does she suffer from anxiety?

I would be careful not to help her too specifically, it will not come off well. I think just be supportive and talk to her whenever she wants to talk about it.

Yes confidence is an issue at drama classes but you don't actually have to get up in front of people at these groups.

A lot of it is improvisation and role play which, without you even realising it at the time, is a great way to learn/practise different scenarios or conversations.

QuiteSo Sat 05-Apr-14 12:40:38

Echoing other posters above, does she actually want to change? Perhaps she's a contented introvert and doesn't understand why you want her to be a sparkling conversationalist. Are you ashamed that she's not as extroverted as you?
I personally hate making small talk in party situations. I can do it, but I hate it. I think I have other great qualities - maybe your wife does, and perhaps she excels in one-on-one situations. So just leave her be!

Twattergy Sat 05-Apr-14 12:41:50

Could she find a business /management training course that covers personality types (I think its called Myers Briggs?) That would enable her to reflect on her preferences/modes of communicating and think about her limitations/challenges in this area? I found that this kind of learning helped me top learn that I could play with different ways of 'being'that would help me make impact in a variety of settings. Suggesting this as a career development thing might be easier than taking the personal approach. Or what about coaching?

ravenmum Sat 05-Apr-14 12:45:23

"someone she met on the first week, really liked and thought she had got on with very clearly avoided her this week and it brought out all her insecurities" - makes it sound like she would like to be more sociable but finds it stressful and is over-aware of what others might think of her, making it hard to act naturally? Have you googled avoidant personality? Might be a key word to start out looking for tips. If she is struggling with self-esteem maybe a little therapy would help?

Timeforabiscuit Sat 05-Apr-14 12:47:12

second that Myers Briggs really helped with the different personalities, how to recognise and work with them while acknowledging your own style.

Cringechilli Sat 05-Apr-14 12:47:51

Well, firstly don't use the word boring!

Is it really a problem for her? I personally like having a small number of trusted friends rather than having lots of superficial and meaningless exchanges with people I don't know very well. Perhaps she isn't interested in having a wide social circle.

Oh yes, I think Myers Briggs is really helpful. You can do the online tests for free if you google it.

Ubik1 Sat 05-Apr-14 12:57:00

Does she have outside interests?

Talking to people in a work or social situation is difficult if you are not a natural smalltalker.

Much easier to talk about some shared activity, build up intimacy through shared experience with people.

My husband is not great in social situations until he has had a few beers but can then go completely 'the other way' and rant - football, Scottish independence, politics in general, religion... I have learned to step back and let him negotiate these social occasions himself.

sands67 Sat 05-Apr-14 12:58:57

Wow, thank you. To be clear she is "ultra" aware of the fact she struggles with this and it does make her anxious,. She hasn't asked for help, she has said she wants friends. I gave her the books as i didnt' know how to address it, not to patronise. But there is an issue there. I am not looking to make her a sparkling conversationalist. I want to make her happy.

@ravenum I'm going to google "avoidance personality"

I'll read up more on Myers briggs. Similar insights show me as (very) red DW as green/yellow

@ BoffinMum very inciteful. In laws found it difficult as well.

@HecatePropylaea - Yeah, you get it. x

MrsAtticus Sat 05-Apr-14 13:00:43

I think the phrase "you are boring" would not be helpful, or from what you've said accurate either. It sounds like she might need a bit of encouragement to talk about the things which she is interested in and passionate about. I think some sort of self-help strategy might help, but I think you need to be very sensitive with how you approach this with her, which obviously you are trying to be.
I am quite a chatty person, and there are people that I really like but because they are not very talkative I feel a little embarrassed in their company sometimes, because I'm not sure what to do and it makes me chatter on about rubbish. Perhaps the people that avoid your wife feel a bit like that?
Perhaps an easy thing for her to do would be to ask people questions about themselves, which puts the emphasis on them for making conversation, but also seems friendly and interested.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sat 05-Apr-14 13:03:46

If she suffers from social anxiety, telling her she is boring is the worst and nastiest thing to do.

It's probably not even true. Most talkative people can babble on for ages without really saying anything about anything, whereas shy people only speak when they actually have something to say, and struggle to do small talk.

The problem is that other people are made uncomfortable by any silences.

Not that that helps your DW. But neither does criticising her.

SuddenlySqueamish Sat 05-Apr-14 13:17:56

Hi sands

What you have written about your wife you could have written about me. I am not very good in social situations and get very anxious that people may perceive me as boring because I am terrible at instigating conversation or talking to people.

I am very introverted, quite shy, and have generalised anxiety disorder so basically socialising is a nightmare for me! The thing is, once I get talking to people properly on a deeper level, I actually enjoy it and am capable of making good friends. However I really struggle with the initial bit. I find small talk really tedious. Most people understand social basics to kickstart conversation - they ask about the weather, or their journey, or their job etc. I don't ask this stuff. It's hard to explain why and I'm aware that it makes me seem stand-offish and rude yet I still find myself unable to do it.

However I do go to events and can survive them.

First of all, I almost always go late. When you're early and there are just a few people standing around feeling awkward, it's even harder.

If I'm with somebody, I'll find a way to be alone so I can assess the situation. This is usually by going to the bathroom then taking the long way back so I can get a feel for the room and who is there. I always get a drink before starting any socialising - taking a sip is a useful distraction in awkward silences!

If I'm with a friend, they understand the difficulties I have and so will initially include me in their conversations to get me started. This is something you can do with your wife - rather than going to a friend or a group and starting a conversation leaving your wife standing by, keep your body language open to her and make your conversations joint. Bring up topics you know she is interested in and ask her questions that introduce her to the conversation. When she's really in to it and feeling more comfortable, you can then excuse yourself and leave her to it.

If she's alone, conversation starters will help. Making it about the event will help avoid bland topics like the weather - maybe something about the event, the venue, or the speaker. Asking questions is always good - get people talking about themselves to deflect the attention.

Definitely do not tell her she is boring. And conversation guides may make her feel inadequate. I would suggest the book Quiet by Susan Cain and taking a Mayer Briggs test - even if you don't believe the labels, better understanding her preferences and way of dealing with the world will help you both.

AnUnearthlyChild Sat 05-Apr-14 13:25:56

mrsatticus I thought just the same! I am the exact opposite of the OPs wife, socially very outgoing and appear very confident.

However I secretly think /worry that I am actually not lively and fascinating but full of of shit and a crashing gobshite who won't shut up.

I talk more under pressure or when in an unfamiliar situation, So the shy ones who don't say much make me feel insecure and envious because they seem poised and quiet. All the things I can't pull off!

Please reassure your wife that us chatty ones might not actually be looking down on her, but are envious of her ability not to get verbal diarrhea in a social situation.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Apr-14 13:29:23

Clearly she is not actually boring per se, she just comes across as sounding boring, which is a different thing.

Conversation is a skill that needs teaching and learning. My parents and school taught me, I give tips to my children, and I think that's all stuff your DW must have missed out on.

Key to it all is asking people about themselves and remembering small details about them for next time, also ignoring the inner voice that criticises your own efforts and makes you doubt if you are getting it right.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 05-Apr-14 13:39:54

From the example of the person who she met at the business event, I wonder if the problem might not be that she is boring but that she comes across as clingy? I have always found it easy to make friends (i'm lucky, I know) and I go to lots of business events. I usually end up with a group of people who I hang out with. People being "boring" doesn't actually bother me at all. Some people are shy and take a while to open up, some people are quiet and just want to tag along. No problem with that at all. What would make me avoid someone like the plague is if they are at my elbow the whole time and are in every conversation I have.

I think adult friendships are different from children's friendships in that way. People need room to breathe. They need to be able to come and go without having someone else tagging along. If I were you, I'd check out to see if your wife is doing this first.

mercibucket Sat 05-Apr-14 13:41:30

aspergers in women is usually not picked up on, could it be this?
a diagnosis in adulthood can be a big relief for someone who has alwsys felt 'different' but not known why
just an idea, not an online diagnosis

Viviennemary Sat 05-Apr-14 13:45:08

I agree with joining an amateur dramatic society. Even if it's just helping with costumes and scenery. Some of the members will be very outgoing but there will be quiet people as well I would imagine. Just because somebody doesn't talk much doesn't mean they're boring.

sands67 Sat 05-Apr-14 18:50:42

Thanks all - and for those who haven't read/fully understood my post. I am not going to even suggest she is boring, I am concerned she may come across that way (she really isn't) The post title was really intended so that the post got read. I have had a number of really helpful posts.

@SuddenlySqueamish - thank you for your thoughtful post
@AnUnearthlyChild thank you
@Pippilangstrompe its' worth considering as i hadn't

TheTwistedYarn Sat 05-Apr-14 19:54:08

For people who are shy or socially awkward, it's far easier to chat and make friends whilst doing something together. It immediately gives you something to talk about. What does she like doing? If she hoes running, she could join a running club. Reading? Join a book group. Knitting? Join a stitch-'n'-bitch. Painting? Do an evening class in art.

It really really is the easiest way to connect with people.

Well, that and alcohol.

TheTwistedYarn Sat 05-Apr-14 19:54:58

GOES running, that should say!

Zipadeedoodaa Sat 05-Apr-14 20:09:54

Oh this is so me, and to be honest, I think it is lovely that you are trying to help her.

Zip x

Zipadeedoodaa Sat 05-Apr-14 20:10:57

Lol'ing at Stitch n Bitch....

EverythingCounts Sat 05-Apr-14 20:26:26

I think the phrase I would use to her would be something about developing her networking skills. No-one likes to be told their conversation is not sparkling, but it's much more acceptable to admit you're 'not good at networking'. Lots of the advice books on networking would give very similar guidance to the confidence/conversation ones.

Like pp, I have heard good things about Toastmasters or drama/improve. Also stand-up comedy courses can be very good for improving self-confidence. But books-wise, the old classic of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is actually great. It says what someone mentioned earlier about asking lots of questions rather than talking about you, but really rounds that out.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 05-Apr-14 21:03:23

You've had a lot of great suggestions OP I just wondered, is it that DW isn't very confident with small talk?

I know some people roll their eyes and think it's just drivel but it's a bit more than wittering. It puts others at their ease.

We knew a bright guy, very nice, who wasn't really a Victor Meldrew but when asked at a social gathering,
"So, how was your day?"
answered too truthfully so that the listener gradually glazed over and moved away.

He even wondered if it were something to do with lack of "fresh breath confidence" and ate mint sweets but it was simply that he was a bit downbeat.

People like to hear light topics not a litany of worry or complaint.

Eliza22 Sat 05-Apr-14 22:38:31

I find social situations hard and need to psych myself up, to get through them. I've learned how "to be" because it doesn't come naturally. My son has Aspergers and it doesn't surprise me. I see much of me as a kid, in him.

You sound as if your trying to help your partner but does she feel up to it? Personally, I'm happily married, have a small family, 3 close friends and that's enough for me.

Broen Sat 05-Apr-14 23:19:55

I wonder what your own self-esteem is like OP. And don't file me under hater.

I used to worry that my x reflected badly on me, (although I'd never have been honest enough to acknowledge that at the time). I was embarrassed by his lack of small talk. He certainly didn't think he was boring although in his case, he reaally was but I don't think you should bring it up with your wife. There is definitely room for a person who can listen in any group of 2 or more!

MsAspreyDiamonds Sun 06-Apr-14 01:05:20

Your description of your wife is similar to that of my dh however he is autistic. Over the years he has learnt to mimic socially appropriate behaviour & read people better but its been an uphill struggle. I am not suggesting that your wife is autistic as that would
require a diagnosis from a medical professional. But it could be another avenue to explore & consider if you think appropriate & it might explain her behaviour.

Dirtybadger Sun 06-Apr-14 01:31:47

I sound like your wife, OP. I would be mortified if someone tried to tell me I need to improve my talking skills. I have no interest in talking to people about things neither of us care about. I typically get drawn into topics where I do care (politics, etc). I'm not shy, I just find "small talk" boring and a waste of time. I don't have low self esteem.
I find people who do it "boring" much like people who are good at it probably find me boring. And maybe rude because it makes me uncomfortable so I try my best to cut it off. In extreme cases I have been known to walk off mid conversation but I recognise this is very rude so I really do my best not to.

Why does your dw need to be better at it? Does she know she's not brilliant at it? This to me is important. I know I am not "good at it" and will verbally acknowledge this to people if I am likely to be imminently "rude" or "odd" to by accident. On the plus side, like your dw, I am "straight forward". Which is a good attribute to have and one which isn't always available to small talkers IMO. Swings and roundabouts.

Does it regularly create problems for her? I think it's a bit mean for someone to avoid her just because she wasn't very chatty; assuming she wasn't unpleasant.

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 12:11:34

Autism/Aspergers/Avoidant personality etc.No, perfectly capable, successful business person. Just not good at the social side with strangers.

@TheTwistedYarn I'm going to try and think of some things we could do together and meet people

@EverythingCounts nice phrase and would be appropriate from a work POV, i'll look at this

@DonkeysDontRideBicycles i don't know, she does understand how conversation works

@Eliza22 she isn't happy with her lot, she wants a small circle of friends to do things with

@Broen Fair question, i am quite good at this sort of stuff, which probably makes it harder for DW, i have wondered if i was overly sensitive (and therefore being selfish) when we have been out with a group of friends and i have cringed when she has tried to be funny and it's failed miserably and consequently decided it might be me. It isn't me, she isn't very good at this so when she said that she feels she is not good company (and is unhappy with that though) i came on here.

@Dirtybadger its not that she doesnt' want to do small talk, she just doens't know how do to it. If you are trying to build rapport it can be a useful tool to get to know people, find common ground to build on. She is VERY aware she is not good at it. She is never unpleasant or rude, she has always found this difficult and situations where others make friends DW wont'. It's like other women, just dont' get her.

Matildathecat Sun 06-Apr-14 12:43:22

Get a dog! Honestly the most social thing in the world. Dog owners are almost always friendly and chatty. It's also so easy to chat and stroll with friends. I have slightly difficult circumstances ( quite recently disabled but can walk a bit) and getting to the park with doggy friends is so therapeutic.

If dog not possible a walking group might have a similar effect. Totally agree with others who've said it's better to be doing something.

Small talk with strangers in social settings is boring. Especially if you have to keep repeating information about yourself to people you'll never meet again. And some people are bloody rude, I often get 'dismissed' by people because I don't work any more. In fact I'm perfectly interesting and very sociable but it makes you feel crap and if you feel uninteresting it's hard to break out of that IYSWIM?

HecatePropylaea Sun 06-Apr-14 12:44:58

I am in no way attempting to diagnose your wife but as a general response i must clarify that a person can be a very high functioning, intelligent, articulate, loving, successful business person and still be on the autistic spectrum. This is because one of the main issues is inability to function socially or lack of intinctive undersyanding of social interactions and the unwritten social rules that nt people grasp without even realising.

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 12:55:23

@HecatePropylaea understood. but she is is very good in other areas that an autistic woudn't be. For example i would say her emotional intelligence is very high.

Lovingfreedom Sun 06-Apr-14 12:59:53

You cringe at her jokes and call her boring on a public website and highlight her sound charming OP... Give your wife a break. I'd be interested in her point of view.

Falconi Sun 06-Apr-14 13:06:20

This thread is really helpful. I was thinking about starting one with similar questions as I am a bit like the OP's wife.

save4it Sun 06-Apr-14 14:22:11

Sands, your wife hasn't got any problems it is the rest of the world. For many years most people I ve met never want to have any thing to do with me or stay away from me. I just gave up trying too hard and just relaxed about it.

Dirtybadger Sun 06-Apr-14 14:56:44

I don't understand why if she is aware there is a problem and she would like to improve, she isn't looking for courses/solutions herself. Leave it to her. That way if she decides she's happy as she is, she won't feel like she still needs to pursue her "improvements" for you.

oldgrandmama Sun 06-Apr-14 16:41:52

What saraquilt said upthread:
The key to conversation is asking other people questions about themselves as everyone loves droning on about their own lives. Once she gets that she's set

Absolutely true. I was cripplingly shy (thanks to godawful parents who made it their life's work to knock every shred of self-confidence out of me). Then someone told me the secret of asking questions of the other person ... it works! But please, never tell her she's boring - she isn't, she's shy.

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 19:37:16

thanks smile

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 19:44:20

@Lovingfreedom you sound single and bitter. I'm really not interested in your POV if you can't be arsed to read the thread.

Pippilangstrompe Sun 06-Apr-14 19:48:56

Asking people about themselves is definitely the key to successful interactions at business events. People love talking about themselves.

I sometimes play a little game with myself that I am going to find the most interesting person in a gathering. So I go round meeting lots of people, finding out who they are. One time I met a woman who turned out to be Scandinavia's foremost expert in German Shepherd ears!

Lovingfreedom Sun 06-Apr-14 20:31:47

I've read the whole thread. If you want to help your wife how about laughing at her jokes, being supportive, encouraging her that she's not abnormal and listening to how she might improve her life instead if taking it upon yourself to criticise, undermine and fix her?

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 20:43:31

@lovingfreedom OK, fair question but as you can't see the effect this is having on her you can't understand how I feel seeing it.

I am not criticizing her, certainly not undermining her but yes I would like to fix things - to make things better for her.

I don't know how to help her. This is a forum for advice. That is what i was asking for. Several people on here have said they have similar issues.

EmmaBemma Sun 06-Apr-14 20:47:23

I disagree that everyone loves talking about themselves, as a few people here have claimed! A lot of people dislike direct questioning; I know I do - I feel very scrutinised and put-on-the-spot. I especially clam up over anything that seems like polite rather than genuine interest. Makes me squirm.

DaffyDuck35 Sun 06-Apr-14 21:01:25

OP IT is perfectly possible your wife could be on the autistic spectrum and be emotionally intelligent - I am and I'm (nearly!) a nurse smile agree with all the pp, dogs and dramatics are great for socialising, also the more you do it, the easier it gets to fake it and the less anxious you feel x

HogiBear27 Sun 06-Apr-14 21:07:26

Hypnotherapy may be worth a go. Just to see if there is anything she worries about subconsciously and it stops her making small talk. I hope you find a solution - you sound like a caring husband.

hellymelly Sun 06-Apr-14 21:22:04

I'm just like anunearthlychild. I feel I waffle on about rubbish. When people are cool and quiet I worry they don't like me and waffle more. So being chatty isn't always how it looks. I agree that learning to ask questions can be helpful, but the most helpful thing, and the simplest way to make friends, is to genuinely find the person one is chatting to very interesting. The moment that happens then it all falls into place. So I also think that maybe she is moving in social circles which aren't sparking her interest, or that she has become a little bit too inward looking and is losing sight of just how interesting people can be. Whenever I watch "Who do you think you are?" I am amazed by how fascinating other people's lives and family histories are. Perhaps finding something that she is interested in finding out about other people would help, maybe she could imagine she is researching for a book or something, and ask questions on a similar theme of people she meets. Or could she join something like a book group? At mine we all talk about the book, how we felt about it etc, and having a set common theme makes for good conversation. We are a fairly diverse bunch of women, but I really enjoy the evening, hearing all the different view points.

Pollaidh Sun 06-Apr-14 21:29:38

1. Could, as others have said, be purely down to the people she's mixing with. I am pretty confident but if I'm in the wrong group (say footballer's wives types) I completely clam up and don't really know how to talk to them. I also struggle with women generally, being used to all-male environments, and the women I do really click with tend to be similar to me (sciency/engineery, outdoorsy types).

2. Does she realise that in female social interaction in particular one has to open up and give information about one's self, the other participant then offers info about themselves and the conversation continues. If she doesn't offer something about herself she won't get anything back and the conversation will feel unbalanced and will stall.

3. The book 'Watching the English' has some interesting sections on women's gossip, grooming talk etc. Eye-opening for me. It's a book you might both enjoy and it's not aimed at fixing a problem - it's an anthropologist who has decided to treat the English as a tribe to be studied properly. Fascinating.

sands67 Sun 06-Apr-14 22:15:22

Again thanks. I know she could do it and she is worth getting to know.

have just bought "watching the english" going to have a look at the local drama group on Friday.

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