Introverts often ask me how to keep the person next to them from engaging them in conversation. I personally avoid these people. But 50% of you want to know, so here you go:

  1. Create your own closed space. Read, preferably on an ereader so they can’t tell what you’re reading. Wear headphones, preferably the ones that drown out any outside noise. If you’re willing to carry those big headphones, you’re seriously wanting to be left alone. If you’re really desperate to be left alone, put your jacket over your head.
  2. Keep your head down. Do not look up. Never make eye contact. Do not smile. If someone misreads the signs and tries to engage you, ignore them. Do not respond verbally. Remember, no eye contact. If that fails, create distance by standing up in the aisle.
  3. Be the moose, and stay as far away from others as possible. Sit by the window, and face it. Pick the worst seat that no one else wants, like the last row by the restroom.

In spite of your best efforts you may still find yourself engaged in great conversation. That’s how you’ll know it’s me sitting next to you.