Much has been written about the first day of the work week, and most of it isn't very flattering. Consider, The Bangles: "It's just another manic Monday / I wish it were Sunday." Or The Mamas and The Papas: "Every other day of the week is fine (fine), yeah / But whenever Monday comes / You can find me crying all of the time."
Monday mornings, in particular, are painful — especially for those of us who head back to school, work, or really any daily routine that involves making small talk before your coffee buzz has even kicked in (and when you'd rather be in bed scrolling through your Instagram feed).
In an effort to stave off any further discomfort, here are seven conversations you should never engage in as you begin your week.
1. "You look tired."
There's never a great time to talk about how tired someone looks, and this is especially true on Monday mornings. There's no graceful way to respond to this statement, so just keep mum about anyone's looks circa 9:12 a.m. Monday morning.
2. "Did you hear?"
Gossiping isn't a great way to start the week. Not only is it mean-spirited, but it can also be distracting. Save your mental energy for the important tasks at hand, not dishing on the latest gossip.
3. "I'm so exhausted."
Talking about how exhausted you are is barely a conversation. It's more of a rant dressed up to look like a conversation. Think about how uninteresting it is when your co-worker rattles off the errands and chores that zapped them of energy, and you'll realize it's not an interesting conversation to partake in on either side.
4. "You won't believe how sick I was over the weekend."
Most people — who aren't your spouse, significant other, or parent — are uninterested in hearing the details of one's bout of food poisoning, allergy attack, or any other kind of brush with ill health. Err on the side of caution and keep the gnarly details to yourself.
5. "I'm so broke."
Discussing personal finances is not only bad manners, but it's also uncomfortable. One person's idea of "being broke" is another person's "Wow, you're way more financially secure than me!" Griping about money troubles isn't interesting as a conversation topic, and it also has the potential to alienate anyone listening to the conversation.
6. "Ugh, I ate so much food this weekend."
Much like finances, diet and weight are deeply personal issues. It's unproductive to berate one's eating choices as a conversation topic; it can often turn negative and risks offending or upsetting listeners. Try to keep a lid on this kind of talk.
7. "Can you believe what Hillary said?"
No one's interested in having their core beliefs challenged in an office break room, on a subway ride, or in a parking lot — especially when they're just beginning your day. Life isn't one big internet chatroom, and it's not nice to put people on the spot like that.
A Few Alternatives
P.S.: If you're curious what are the best things to discuss Monday morning, you're best bets are weather — you can't go wrong with a well-placed, "Well, it's a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun," and see if the other person picks up on your "Smooth" by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana reference — traffic, and free food.
Or, when in doubt, just nod. Silence, after all, is golden. High fives, fist bumps, and hugs (depending on your pre-existing relationship) are also encouraged.