Break Your Own Silence


Join the growing network of support by sharing your story today. Should you choose to remain anonymous, the brave act of submitting your own experience will be posted to show others that they are not alone.


  1. Only wanna remark on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content is rattling great : D.

    • Thanks for making time to take a look and make a comment, Thomas! Please help us spread the word!

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    • Thanks a million, lista de email! Please spread the word and help others realize that Conversation Hostage Survival is NOT THEIR FAULT!

  3. post has been excellent and i have referred it to many of my friends. my honour for the work that you have done. thank you once again. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

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    • Thanks so very much for sharing! Everyone needs to know that they’re not alone in Conversation Hostage Survival. Join the growing network of those coming forward today!

  4. I’m not sure if this has been documented before, so I wanted to bring it to your attention. I think it falls under the category, “the perp may be someone you know.”
    Sitting at my gate at the Cleveland airport, I’m witnessing an older gentleman possibly holding himself hostage. Not sitting near anyone and with no visible phone earpiece, he appears to be talking pretty intently to himself. He’s also talking into his carry on. He’s pretty animated, using lots of facial expressions. I’m trying not to make eye contact lest I become a hostage.
    He hasn’t cried out for help or given any desperate looks. I’m assuming he’s sitting with himself on the plane, so If things get ugly, I’ll alert the proper authorities.

    Steaming in Cleveland
  5. I work next to a girl that I made the mistake of offering advice about life. Although she is very sweet and very talented, I avoid eye contact for fear of being trapped. I wouldn’t call it a conversation, more like a monologue… A seemingly endless outpouring of life troubles including her depressed useless mother, father she has no contact with, dead beat boyfriend, ex husband in prison, 3 kids from 3 daddys, welfare and child protective services…you get the picture. And to top it off she shares all the same things with customers and traps them as well!! I feel sorry for her really and I will listen as long as I can stand to but good greif!! And by the way, she never takes any of the avdice she asks for, she seems content with the status quo..I do not understand!!

    Shut up please...
    • Dear Shut up please….

      Thank you for so bravely sharing your terrible tale of conversation hostage survival. We know how horrific it is to have to avoid eye contact for fear of being sucked into a black hole of misery and woe. It must create double the anxiety to work right next to the danger zone! Your compassion is heartening and your story will certainly encourage others to come forward and break their silence! Together, we can end the madness of savage conversation hostage survival. Until that day, stay strong and know you’re NOT ALONE and it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!

  6. A little background information is necessary sometimes in sales. I was not expecting to know ” she is sensitive. she likes soft things, really really soft things. she is single, you know so I’m trying to steer her away from things that are too soft, you know she might become too soft. But she is a strong single woman, just a soft woman.” I will not torture you dear reader with the country of origin, the working life, vacation status, occupation and salary range, and recent medical history….. please. I just want to sell a painting.

    art hostage
  7. Shortly after I gave birth to the first male grandchild, my Jewish mother-in-law called to congratulate us. 45 minutes later, the only sounds that had escaped my mouth were: …..Uh, huh….yes….no…really?…..(and) I will have to remember that.
    It is 10 years later and I have yet to fully recover.

    • Oh, Rebecca! Sadly, you’ve proven the fact that the aggressor is usually someone you know. Please know you’re not alone. Thanks for so bravely sharing!

  8. The ones that you expect the least prove to be the worst. When you ask someone what they do for a living and they lead with “Its really boring.” you don’t expect them to go into graphic detail of why its boring. You already said it! You know its boring and now you’re going to make everyone in the group pay for that? Do you think sharing it is going to make it less boring? Maybe we’re going to “crowdsource” a solution to your shitty life for you? All we need are some more minute details about your day-to-day client interactions and we got this locked, asshole. Long story short: Restaurant Provisions Sales.


  9. “Do you mind if I watch TV in the living room?” 4 minutes and 22 seconds later she replied, “Sure. I’ll watch Dancing with the Stars in my room.” I was held hostage in my own home by a 5 foot tall, 62 year old woman from Wisconsin with huge boobs and two cats. That 60 minute DVR’d episode took me 76 minutes and 32 seconds to watch. 452 precious seconds of life I will never get back, as my captor (roommate) came out of her room a total of 19 times. 8 times to talk to the cats. 1 time to yell at the cats. 4 times to shuffle to the kitchen for food. 3 times she had to “scoot to the restroom”. 2 times to stare out the window and comment on the neighbor Larry’s new girlfriend. And 1 time to ask me if I was ok. Be stronger than I was! If anyone learns anything from my story it’s this, love yourself enough to buy your own television, have the strength to fight back, and BE STRONGER THAN I WAS!

    Yours in survival, Cynthia

  10. I have a confession….. I have held conversation hostages. After reading stories of survival, I have re-evaluated my choices. I will now strive to have open ears and a closed mouth. Thank you, conversation hostage survivors, for being brave enough to share, and for opening my eyes to the heinous condition I have imposed on so many.

    • Erin – thank you so much for being bold enough to admit your own responsibility within this ongoing epidemic. That’s the first step, we know it wasn’t easy, and we applaud you for it. Best of luck in your struggle – we’re with you all the way.

  11. The people with the smallest worlds always seem to have the biggest mouths. Even the best amongst us gets cornered from time to time by some hapless young lady who decides that an hour-long cocktail mixer is the ideal location to share an entire olympiad of trials and tribulations in a life whose hidden drama beggars belief. Have you had the hors d’oeuvres? A Victoria’s Secret shift supervisor en croute? Awful Boyfriend du jour, poached in olive oil? Sorority Sister Frienemy, roasted and served cold with truffle-balsamic reduction? Don’t mind if I do! Ladies, ladies…isn’t this why we have the internet?

    Drew Farmer
  12. After surviving many conversation hostage crises, I have to say that it’s such a relief to have a place where I can vent my feelings and share this deeply disturbing and draining human experience with other survivors. I like to think that I’m a nice person, but I’ve come to learn one lesson about conversation monsters: you gotta fight fire with fire. Are you suffocating…literally, suffocating…after Mary corners you at a party to vent about her dentist and hairdresser retiring at the same time? Is your mother-in-law slowly draining out your final breath after cornering you at Thanksgiving so she can tirelessly anthropomorphize her cat? Fight fire with fire. Prior to these social situations, arm yourself with a story so elaborate, so boring, and so impossibly long…and then projectile-vomit that s*#t out the second you’re taken hostage. Channel it. DO NOT STOP until your captor can do nothing else but back away.

    Padma Shah
  13. Satan has a name and her name is Maxine. Maxine has been terrorizing me for years. It all started one day at work when I innocently replied to her email with a simple “thank you” for letting me know that someone had called for me. She then replied with another email. Was it a simple “you’re welcome?” Oh no. It was three paragraphs long. I could tell by the words she used that she now considered us friends. Her most recent accost was at the Christmas luncheon. It should be noted that Maxine and I work in completely different cities. However, for purposes of the party, we are finally together in one place, or at least I am sure that is how she sees things. She caught me in the hallway. A simple hello tuned into her plans for me to spend the weekend at her home one day and meet her “gay” husband. I think there was something in there about line dancing; I’m not sure. People kept passing by us in the hallway and turning and looking at me as they passed with that, “ooh, he got caught” look. There was no escape. It doesn’t help to be mean to her because she just thinks I’m kidding despite several times telling her that I am not. I’m just thankful that there is finally a place like this where I can let it out. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for sharing, Chad. We know how astounding it is when others obviously see your pain and pass on by without as much as “there’s a phone call for you in the other room”or a “your car is being towed”. So sad. Your bravery helps others. Keep the faith!

  14. I was at a holiday party and started a conversation with this woman who had seen me in a play. She wouldn’t stop talking about the performance and the lights and the staging and the costumes and on and on and on! And to top it all off, she was drunk and spitting all over. I tried to get away, but every time I would make eye contact with other people at the party, they would move into the other room, knowing full well that if they engaged me, this woman would pull them into the conversation as well. I was trapped. What should have been a quick hello became a 20 minute forced smile and nodding festival.

    • We feel your pain, Jim, and thank you for so bravely sharing your story. It’s not your fault and you’re NOT alone!

  15. I was alone in an elevator at work and this lady from the office down the hall had gotten a really bad haircut. I mean, it was bad. Someone should’ve put her in a haunted house. And she’s trying to ask about it, like to get me to say it looked good or something. Then the elevator got stuck for like, MAYBE two or three minutes, and for a split second I almost wanted it to drop the six floors to the ground. She’s just super awkward and I have no idea why she hasn’t been fired yet, but whatever. I’m glad there’s finally a place online where I can vent my frustrations!!!!


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