Five Ways to Disengage Debbie Downer at a Party
We all have bad days, months and even years. Having someone to talk to is important in navigating life’s turbulent times. But like everything else in life, there is a time and a place for everything. A party, wedding or a festive gathering is not the place to monopolize someone’s time with your life’s drama.
I recently found myself in a peculiar predicament when I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in nearly ten years at a party. This person cornered me and began to replay the last ten years’ divorce, hardships and how he’d been wronged by everyone in their life and the pet that ran away. Anyone who knows me know that I love people and am always ready to encourage and advise, but even I draw the line when you try to stand between me, a shrimp quesadilla and the dance floor.
To save you from my suffering, the following are five ways to disengage a Drama Dawn and/or Debbie Downer at a party of happy occasion.
Phone a Friend
Never go to a party alone if you can help it. Before going into the party, tell your friend that if he or she sees you being cornered, to call you on your cell. Excuse yourself from the conversation to take the call and don’t return.
Bust a Move
It’s hard to remember your troubles on the dance floor. When Sad Sally comes with her hurricane of heartaches, take her or him to the dance floor and bust a move. Between the music and your moves, there will be nothing to say.
Invite a Crowd
People with the objective to tell their business often don’t want a crowd. So when Tired Terry starts with the story of her most recent tumultous breakup, call others over. “Hey, you guys gotta hear this. Terry got some stuff to say.” With a crowd, the conversation will be short and sweet or nonexistent.
Hear no Evil
Pretend you can’t hear her. Ask her to repeat everything. Even annoying people get annoyed by themselves. After having to repeat herself numerous time, she will find another victim. But if she knows sign language, you’re in trouble.
Tell the Dang Truth
You’ve tried avoiding, hinting and nothing works. This person won’t leave you alone and wants to take you down the terrible brick road of her life. There’s nothing now left to do than tell the truth. In a compassionate way, let this person know: “Listen, I have my own issues and don’t want to add yours to mine. I’d love to hear and help, but I came to party, not listen to your endless sh*t. Text me.”