Do I need to pretend to pay attention to people I'm eating dinner with who have not asked me a single question in the past hour?

(131 Posts)
PrincessNutella Fri 24-Sep-21 03:28:29

Out to eat with acquaintances. The wife is more interesting, but the man, of course, is the big talker. On and on he drones. His commute. His bout with Covid. His hobbies. His kids. His job.
Every once in a while I get in a question to the wife about her far-more-interesting accomplishments, until he manages to wrestle the conversation to its dull and steady path. His opinions. People he and my husband know. My Husband gets in some stories, too, about politics, hobbies, whatever. Once, husband said, "Princess Nutella is actually quite accomplished at..." which immediately reminded the other husband of a long story about flooding in his basement and insurance. Or something.
I am not usually a scorekeeper. I don't demand to be the center of attention at all times. But this other couple, I don't even think they know my name, never mind what I do, if I have kids, where I live, never mind what I think. Why am I here?
Sometimes I think that it is valuable to listen to other people's stories and just hear about their lives. But right now I feel as if I could listen for 20 years to this talk and no communication would have taken place. That listening to someone who doesn't listen to me is like letting someone shit their words into my ears. There is no meaning to them.
Am I unreasonable to feel this way?

OP’s posts: |
Selttan Fri 24-Sep-21 03:36:01

Ugh I hate people like this. They are completely oblivious that others are not that interested in everything about them.

Hope your night improves or is over soon.

MyOtherProfile Fri 24-Sep-21 04:37:04

Leave your DH to talk to home and start a conversation with his poor wife. When he is mid flow just ask her a question. If he comments on that just say we have all listened to you for a long time now.

myheartskippedabeat Fri 24-Sep-21 04:54:16

I wouldn't socialise with them at all it sounds dreadful!

Singinginshower Fri 24-Sep-21 05:10:42

Oh God this sounds awful. It's a long time since I have been on the receiving end of such behaviour. I think I have become better at looking after myself.
Can you excuse yourself and leave?

Guineapigbridge Fri 24-Sep-21 05:12:40

Letting them shit in your ear. What a lovely picture.

SirYawnsAlot Fri 24-Sep-21 05:42:02

Did you have dinner with my in-laws?

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bluelemming Fri 24-Sep-21 05:58:20

My son-in-law and his girlfriend are like this. If we have a meal with them, or they come and stay, they don't ask a single question about our lives. Ever.

I find it astonishing. Is it a case of massive self-absorption or are they simply lacking social skills? I have no idea!

NOTANUM Fri 24-Sep-21 05:59:59

How did you manage to have dinner with acquaintances? Are they friends-of-friends?

notHarris Fri 24-Sep-21 06:00:00

But this other couple, I don't even think they know my name, never mind what I do, if I have kids, where I live, never mind what I think

Why are you including both of the couple in this though?
He sounds insufferable but your dh is clearly contributing it. The wife is interesting but also barely gets a word in and yet you are referring to her as one entity with her awful husband. Poor thing, she's probably thinking exactly the same as you. Is there a Way you can get her away from her dh next time and actually have a decent conversation?

chatw0o0 Fri 24-Sep-21 06:00:07

I would make a note to avoid them in future, or ask the wife out for a coffee or whatever, if you'd be happy to chat just the two of you.

AuntieStella Fri 24-Sep-21 06:02:25

You're not unreasonable to feel that way.

But because you have standards, you remain polite (of course) to the end of the evening.

But perhaps you don't meet them again. Or rather you don't meet him again.

SpeakingFranglais Fri 24-Sep-21 06:06:47

Are these business associates?

Personally I would say in a lighthearted tone “enough about you Robert, let’s talk about someone else now”

Clacketyclick Fri 24-Sep-21 06:12:28

@SpeakingFranglais I agree with you but not sure how saying that could ever be lighthearted smile

Pollythecat15 Fri 24-Sep-21 06:12:29

Years ago I had an ex boyfriend like this.
I was young and we'd just started dating. He was 10 years older than me and had that way of talking down to me.
He also spoke at full volume.

I always remember being in a pub with him. He was literally the only person talking (really loudly) but he either didn't realise this or just didn't care.
He just went on and on and on - talking about the most monotonous things. Everything was always about him.

Everyone was staring at him and rolling their eyes at each other.
I just sat there blushing scarlet, not saying a word and wanting the floor to open up and swallow me.

Needless to say that relationship didn't last long!!

4BlueTowers Fri 24-Sep-21 06:18:28

There is a woman in my choir like that. I went for an hour long walk with her and she just talked and talked about how wealthy her husband is and how many properties they own and how many racehorses they 'own' (are in a syndicate with). It gve me a headache.

ChaToilLeam Fri 24-Sep-21 06:19:35

Don’t see them again. It doesn’t give you your evening back, but at least you won’t be subjected to this tedious man again.

Chrispackhamspoodle Fri 24-Sep-21 06:22:58

Reading this and I immediately thought of my MIL and SIL.Been with my husband 25 years and I don't think either of them know anything about me as they never ask.SIL was really surprised last month when I offered her some advice and I had to point out I knew as it was my professional job that I've been doing for 15 years.She had no idea what I did.

ScarlettDarling Fri 24-Sep-21 06:27:57

bluelemming

My son-in-law and his girlfriend are like this. If we have a meal with them, or they come and stay, they don't ask a single question about our lives. Ever.

I find it astonishing. Is it a case of massive self-absorption or are they simply lacking social skills? I have no idea!

Is your son in law’s girlfriend not your daughter? Sorry. I know that’s not the point of the post just it’s got me confused!

Damnyoureyes Fri 24-Sep-21 06:28:18

YADDDNBU.
Horrendous waste of your time and effort if you ask me.
Avoid avoid avoid forever if it were me.

Can’t abide self centred selfish, full of their own self importance type folk.
And yes, shitting in your ear is a perfect description.

Silver linings, I hope that the food was good!

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Fri 24-Sep-21 06:34:18

* like letting someone shit their words into my ears. There is no meaning to them*

I love this description

YANBU obviously. This seems to be getting worse and worse recently I don't know whats happened to people.

Iggly Fri 24-Sep-21 06:37:22

Did you get your phone out mid dinner, type this thread and they didn’t even notice?

EccentricaGalumbits Fri 24-Sep-21 06:38:37

Have you travelled back in time to have dinner with me and my XH?

CookieDoughKid Fri 24-Sep-21 06:43:03

God my sister in law is like this and I avoid talking to her as much as possible. Actually I avoid most of DH's family. Covid and living a 3 hour drive away has been great for me.

NutellaEllaElla Fri 24-Sep-21 06:43:34

@ScarlettDarling that phrase really confused me too!

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