By HELEN VNUK
It used to be said that sex, politics and religion were the three topics that should never be discussed in polite company. Nowadays, it’s a little more complicated – there are now a LOT of topics that can lead to shouting matches or awkward silences. To help you keep the colourful conversation flowing at your next dinner party, here’s our handy etiquette guide to topics to avoid to keep the conversation flowing:
1. What a great job the prime minister is doing.
Nowadays, most Australians share the same view on politics: they hate every party, almost equally. So if you’re a huge fan of whoever is currently in the top job, you’d want to make sure you know the political views of everyone sitting around the table – including your friend’s new boyfriend – before you say anything. Otherwise, the evening could turn into a shouting match as vicious as question time in parliament.
2. The brilliance of your child.
I know what it’s like as a parent to want to share stories of what a genius young Atticus is, but boasting is never a good thing. Best to stick to the cute anecdote about how he wrote “I luv u, mum” with permanent marker on your white leather couch. When he wins the Nobel Prize for literature in a few years’ time, you can modestly accept all the compliments then.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Brown Brothers. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
3. The dream you had last night.
No matter how interesting it is, no one wants to hear about your dream… unless it involves them. Then they want to know every detail, so they can work out how you really feel about them. “So you were stabbing me with a pitchfork and yelling, ‘Be gone, be gone!’ Is that right?”
4. Intimate details about your sex life.
Sure, sex is mainstream. It gets discussed on the radio before you’ve even had a chance to eat your breakfast. But although it’s great to talk about in general terms, be careful about what you give away when it comes to your own sex life. For example, if your hostess serves you up cocktail frankfurts, under no circumstances should you compare them to any part of your current partner’s body.
5. The weather.
This used to be the safest conversation topic on the planet. “How about this weather we’ve been having?” was the classic opener. But nowadays, as soon as you mention the recent cold snap, someone will start scoffing about “global warming”, and it will turn into an argument between climate change believers and climate change deniers. Then the atmosphere will get really icy.