Tips from my new self-help book, How To Win Every Conversation

What is dead may never die
My diagnosis


First off, remember that all conversations are a competition. Do not fall into the trap of exchanging viewpoints in a pleasant manner with someone you respect. If you’re going to converse, converse to win.

If someone has a sad story, riposte with an even sadder story. Is your conversational opponent sad about a sick pet? Well, you have ten sick pets, and they are all teetering on the brink of death, but you managed to tear yourself away from poor flatlining Fido to attend this party. Dead relative? That’s amateur hour, all your relatives died in a tragic murder accident and you have devoted your life to revenge. Is your conversation nemesis currently bleeding? Then you’re leaking brain fluid.

Conversely, if anything good has happened to your foe, the universe must have bestowed even greater wealth upon you. Did their sister just have a baby? Then your sister had five babies, and three of them have already been accepted early admission to Stanford.

Do not make small talk. Inform anyone who alludes to the concept of weather that you do not make small talk, because you are focused on the Real Issues.

Watch for your opponent’s weak points, and pounce when they are at their most vulnerable. Are they currently unemployed? Wait until they have a few drinks in them to begin an interrogation about the exact specifics of their job search, followed by a lecture on everything they are doing wrong.

You need to know every person at this party’s opinion on Israel, and you need it right now.

Is your adversary backing away from the conversation under the pretense that they need a drink, or the bathroom, or some other human weakness? Give them no quarter. Do not let them run from the fight. Pursue them if necessary.

Do not, under any circumstances, allow your competitor to chime in with an observation from their own personal experience or, worse, an anecdote. You’re in charge of this conversation. Defend your territory with vigor.

If you aren’t being invited to parties anymore, it means that you have won. No one dares to take you on in conversation. Celebrate your victory by posting something inflammatory on Facebook.

What is dead may never die
My diagnosis