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There’s nothing more excruciating than trying to talk to someone who isn’t interested. And I should know … | Adrian Chiles

    I just wanted to tell the famous historian how much I loved his book. But he wasn’t having any of it

    There are few things worse than trying to engage in conversation someone who plainly does not want to talk to you. As a teenage boy, I went through the pain barrier several times while trying in vain to get a girl interested in me or anything I had to say. But awful as it was, I knew it came with the territory, so I had no choice but to grin and bear it. If anything, the older I get, the harder I find it. And I’m not talking about the dating game here, just normal conversation with civilised people in polite society.

    I was at an event, a book launch, hosted by a famous historian. He was not the author of the book in question, but he was the writer of a biography that I happened to be reading. I thought this particular work to be luminously brilliant, so I was keen to have a chat with him. I circled him for a while, waiting for my chance to strike. My dad told me at a very young age that the best thing to talk to people about was their favourite subject, which invariably was themselves. This advice has served me well over the years, and I would be sure to abide by it here. Anxious as ever to avoid talking to someone who plainly wasn’t interested in talking to me, I put some thought into my approach. Phase one: tell him how brilliant I think his book to be. Phase two: share with him my favourite quote from the book. What could possibly go wrong?

    Adrian Chiles is a broadcaster, writer and Guardian columnist

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    ​I just wanted to tell the famous historian how much I loved his book. But he wasn’t having any of itThere are few things worse than trying to engage in conversation someone who plainly does not want to talk to you. As a teenage boy, I went through the pain barrier several times while trying in vain to get a girl interested in me or anything I had to say. But awful as it was, I knew it came with the territory, so I had no choice but to grin and bear it. If anything, the older I get, the harder I find it. And I’m not talking about the dating game here, just normal conversation with civilised people in polite society.I was at an event, a book launch, hosted by a famous historian. He was not the author of the book in question, but he was the writer of a biography that I happened to be reading. I thought this particular work to be luminously brilliant, so I was keen to have a chat with him. I circled him for a while, waiting for my chance to strike. My dad told me at a very young age that the best thing to talk to people about was their favourite subject, which invariably was themselves. This advice has served me well over the years, and I would be sure to abide by it here. Anxious as ever to avoid talking to someone who plainly wasn’t interested in talking to me, I put some thought into my approach. Phase one: tell him how brilliant I think his book to be. Phase two: share with him my favourite quote from the book. What could possibly go wrong?Adrian Chiles is a broadcaster, writer and Guardian columnist Continue reading… US news | The Guardian

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