The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Don't Dominate Party Conversation. . .

One of Miss Holly Golightly's cocktail parties in the Truman Capote novel (and later a Blake Edwards film) Breakfast at Tiffany's.

When you find yourself in a social situation, say for example a cocktail or dinner party, or even a less formal backyard picnic in the summertime, don't be the guy who dominates any conversation of which he is a part.  Usually these guys are louder than everyone else too.  It's far better to get a grip on those jitters -- nervousness is usually the root cause -- calm down, and listen.  Wait until you can contribute something pertinent to the general chat around you, or until a question or remark is directed to you.  And, of course, if you can be wryly witty and amusing when your turn to speak arrives, so much the better.  

While you certainly do not want to sit there like a mossy bump on a log next to your spouse or significant other all evening, neither do you want to be that obnoxious blowhard, who takes over the room with vacuous talk that grows louder with each drink consumed.  You do not want to be the source of loud, raucous laughter either, or (figuratively speaking) end up dancing in a corner with a lampshade on your head by evening's end.  

It's not a pretty picture to observe and leads to hushed reactions like, "My God, who is that?" among the other guests.  Such behavior will almost certainly ensure that you are not invited back by your hosts the next time they organize any kind of gathering.  Instead, it is much better to control of yourself and avoid dominating party conversation.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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