How to escape boring conversations at your work Christmas party

It's all in the blink of your eyes!

We all know the feel­ing of be­ing cor­nered near the tree by some bore blath­er­ing on about their recent travels but there's a way of getting out of those dull con­ver­sa­tions.
Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered that blink­ing - at length - helps sig­nal, ever so sub­tly, to your con­ver­sa­tional coun­ter­part, that it's time for them to back off. Research pub­lished in on­line jour­nal Plos One found that blink­ing can find a sub­con­scious pur­pose.
Paul Hömke, from the Max Planck In­sti­tute for Psy­cholinguis­tics, said: "I noted that the longer blinks seem to have a spe­cial role in sig­nal­ing 'mes­sage received', be­ing of­ten timed with nods and the like."
In his re­search, he had 35 vol­un­teers have con­ver­sa­tions with vir­tual avatars. The avatars asked them a bunch of open-ended ques­tions, such as "How was your week­end? What did you do?"
While the vol­un­teers an­swered, the avatars would blink. Some avatars would blink for a fifth of a sec­ond, oth­es would blink for two-thirds of a sec­ond.
The re­sult was that those vol­un­teers whose answers were met by a long blink would stop talk­ing about what­ever they were talk­ing about a few sec­onds be­fore the vol­un­teers who's avatars blinked for a shorter amount of time.
"Our find­ings show that one of the sub­tlest of hu­man move­ments — eye blink­ing — ap­pears to have a sur­pris­ing ef­fect on the coor­di­na­tion of every­day human in­ter­ac­tion," Hömke told The Times.
The con­clu­sion is that, if you blink for longer, the bor­ing wine-breathy middle manager who's fol­lowed you to the cor­ner of the room, to tell you about their holiday in Fiji, will stop gassing on ear­lier. The best thing about this news is that de­lib­er­ate blinks al­ways last longer than the in­vol­un­tary blinks that we do as part of a re­flex ac­tion to help lu­bri­cate our eyes. So you won't accidentally put someone off talking!
In the meantime, here's some tips on how to make small talk at a party, until you get into your groove.
Via Grazia