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How to Get Your Seatmate to Shut the Hell Up

Never be held captive by a talkative seatmate again.


  • Step 1: Pretend not to speak any discernable language Pretend not to speak any discernible language. If you simply say, 'No speak English,' a truly determined seatmate is apt to start showing off his knowledge of other native tongues, hoping to find one you have in common.
  • Step 2: Be curt If your seatmate has already heard you speaking English, limit your responses to 'yes' and 'no.' And make those two words sound as hostile as humanly possible.
  • TIP: Never make eye contact with your seatmate; this will only encourage him.
  • Step 3: Have a book Have a book in your hand and look riveted by it, as if it’s the most absorbing material you have ever laid your eyes on.
  • Step 4: Gross him out If the book doesn’t deter, gross your seatmate out by taking care of some personal hygiene at your seat, like clipping your toenails or flossing your teeth. Your goal is to turn yourself into someone he’ll want to avoid.
  • Step 5: Respond in kind Become an unbearable chatterbox yourself. Answer one of his questions with a steady monologue that allows him no chance to respond. Whenever he tries to interject, just raise your voice and keep on talking.
  • TIP: Ask him something that will make him want to get away from you.
  • Step 6: Pretend to sleep If flying toenails, teeth gunk, long-winded speeches, and talk of STDs haven’t put off your seatmate, don a sleep mask and commence a gentle snore. Only the world’s biggest dullard would continue talking to an unconscious person.
  • FACT: Twenty-four percent of people polled named Oprah Winfrey as their first choice for airplane seatmate, followed by Bill Gates (23%) and Angelina Jolie (22%).

You Will Need

  • A willingness to be rude
  • Reading material
  • Toenail clippers or floss that youu2019re not afraid to use
  • A sleep mask

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