How to Avoid Talking to People on Airplanes

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There’s one thing 99.9999 percent of the population can agree on: Talking to people on airplanes is the worst. The time spent in an airborne metal tube is time meant for reading, napping, watching movies or drinking overpriced wine — not for chatting with strangers. The other 0.0001 percent of the population, however, does not feel this way, and it can make for an uncomfortable flight. Since telling your seatmate you don’t feel like talking is frowned upon, you’re going to need a different strategy. Actually, you’re going to need several. Read on:

Take the red-eye

First things first: Your best bet for avoiding human interaction on an airplane is taking the red-eye, which will mean: A) fewer passengers and B) fewer conscious passengers. Your risk of needing to stave off a conversation has just substantially lowered.

Wear all-black everything

Next, it’s best to use a visual cue to discourage people from talking to you. To do so, you’ll want to look as unreceptive as humanly possible. Wearing as much black as you can from head to toe will make you look dark, especially if you pair it with a gloomy and desolate facial expression. Up the ante with as many fake piercings as can viably fit on your face and/or a dog collar.

Don’t stop eating

If you never stop eating, you can’t talk. It’s a fact.

Pretend you are a famous singer preserving your vocal cords

This is something famous singers actually do. If you use this technique with confidence, your seatmate will simply think you’re up-and-coming and that he or she has not yet heard of you. Note: You may be asked for your autograph. Enjoy this moment.

Look as ungroomed as possible

Another way to discourage passengers from speaking with you: Don’t shower. Or brush your teeth. Or comb your hair. Or change your clothing. In fact, it’s best to look as unhygienic as possible, as the smells emanating from you will deter people from talking to you immediately.

Tell them you are practicing word rationing

They will have no idea what this is and probably will Google it from the seat next to you, but they will respect it all the same.

Invent an airport sleeping mask

These don’t exist yet, but they should — so why not be the one to invent them? Simply create a mask that functions as an eye mask, ear plugs and a head pillow all at the same time. Not only will you be extremely comfortable, but no one will be able to make contact with you!