Here are seven simple tips to nip a new friendship in the bud or to sabotage an existing one:
1) Do it her way
Abrogate all responsibility for the friendship to your friend. Let your friend do all the planning--including where, when and what. When you do get together, don't initiate any conversation, or show interest or enthusiasm. Respond minimally, using as few words as possible, and only in response to direct questions.
2) Be humorless
Treat everything seriously. Contain any outward appearances of laughter or smiles when your friend says something funny.
3) Act entirely predictably
Never try anything new. Demand that you always do exactly the same things, in exactly the same ways, in exactly the same places. Never mix it up or expand your twosome. Why? You always did it that way.
4) Play the same tapes over and over
Repeat stories you've told before in exquisite detail. Avoid eye contact to be sure you aren't reminded or interrupted. If yawning sets in, ignore it. If your friend tries to speak or ask a question, interrupt.
5) Stay focused---on you
Talk only about yourself, what you have, and what you've done. Ask no questions and show no interest in your friend or in the larger world around you. Avoid real interaction by telling long-winded stories.
6) Skim the surface
Be sure all conversation is impersonal and unimportant. Don't talk about feelings or anything remotely meaningful. Focus only on the past; never the present.
7) Overstay your welcome
Ignore any signs of boredom. If you're at your friend's house, stay as late as you can. If you're in a public place, stay until the owner or manager looks at you funny or seems headed to the door with a big ring of keys.
Any other ways you can positively ID a boring friend?
If you're frustrated because your friend is the one who is boring, take a look at two related posts on The Friendship Blog:
5 Tips for Handling a Friend Who Talks Incessantly
Have a question about female friendships? Send it to The Friendship Doctor.
Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author. She holds an appointment as a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. Her recent book about female friendships, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, was published by Overlook Press. She also blogs about female friendships at The Friendship Blog and at PsychologyToday.com.