Just because every year we make the same terrible mistake, you don't have to. Behold, the worst offenders behind extremely annoying cocktail conversations, or who to avoid at your next holiday party.
1. The Anecdostage-Taker
When someone holds you hostage with an extremely long and boring anecdote. Examples: That crazy Saturday night when they took "molly" with a bunch of NYU kids at a Bushwick loft party; any Burning Man story.
2. The Geographer
"Where are you from?" "What's that close to?" "Do you know so-and-so?" Look, we have all come to live in our current locations by way of someplace else. Let's just avoid mapping out family trees within the first five minutes of getting to know each other.
3. The Person Who Asks A Question Only So They Can Answer The Question
These people slyly feign interest in someone else before using it as a gateway to start talking about themselves again. How to spot it: "Oh, you just got back from India?" "Yes!" "No, I know, that's amazing. I was just in Nepal last year and [proceeds to talk about unrelated Himalayas hike]..."
4. The Close Talker
This person doesn't know how to give personal space. Nor do they realize that the chips and salsa they keep stuffing their face with smell foul up close. Most shudderingly, for every step back you take, they take one step forward. Leave immediately.
5. The Deep Thinker
The person who ropes you in by asking needlessly philosophical questions. Unless you're at a church summit or 13 years-old, do not begin conversations with "do you believe in life after death" or "is there such a thing as true happiness," no matter how much you may want to.
6. The Shade-Thrower
Traditionally known for their few words but bold stares, this breed usually appears in the form of ex-boyfriend's girlfriends.
7. Touchy-Feely Talker
A cousin of the Close Talker, the Touchy-Feely Talker slaps you on your arm, shoulder, back or even butt. No.
8. Shifty Eyes
This person grazes the room with their eyes as they're talking to you, as if there is someone better to talk to. News alert: There is. Cut the conversation short and move on.
9. The Echo
The person who makes the same point you made five seconds ago, but then acts like they independently came up with the idea themselves.
The person in the room who doesn't do much other than scowl at everyone that walks past him/her. To quote Karl Lagerfeld, they are dangerous and probably want to hurt you.
11. The Know-It-All
There's always an insufferable know-it-all at a party, leading you to secretly Google-verify their claims in the bathroom. But do you confront them in public when they're wrong? Or do you let others continue living in oblivion? Which makes you a bigger asshole?
12. The Lawn Sprinkler
When someone has had too much champagne and starts dancing around with glass in hand, the liquid they spray into the air is similar to that of the Home Depot staple. And if they're drinking red wine, these are the worst offenders.
13. The Mirror Princess
Oh, is that a mirror on the wall behind you? Then forget about having a normal conversation with the Mirror Princess, who will spend the duration of your conversation admiring their reflection and over-pronouncing their words in this weird, theatrical kind of way, like you're at a party with dramaturges.
14. The Contrarian
The person who interrupts your story to contradict everything you say. Leave them by the eggnog with Shifty Eyes.
15. The Barney
This person repeatedly says "I love you!" and "omg you're so funny!" upon first meeting them. When you bump into them on the street a week later, they will completely ignore you.