Matters That Hardly Matter
Nobody cares what sports your kids play, except those who ask a question similar to this one: do your kids play any sports? This applies across the board to things like your child's scholastic achievements and his or her hobbies. Your children also operate on an Inverse Attractiveness Scale (IAS), meaning the more you rave about how cute they are, the less cute the rest of us perceive them to be. No guarantees here, but you might try the following tactic.
Parent: This is a picture of my daughter. Isn't she ugly?
Disinterested Co-Worker: Certainly not, she's a gorgeous child.
Nobody cares where you're having a house built, or if you're having a house built, or if you have an in ground pool, or if you just got a new car.
Nobody cares if you're no-nonsense or old school. Maybe we prefer lots of nonsense and new schools (see Rhymes, Busta). We might care (a little) how hard you had it growing up, but there's a definite law of diminishing returns. The more you yammer, the less we're moved.
Don't brag about having been to prison. Don't brag about going to a better school than someone else. If you are a fan of a particular high school or university sports team, that's fine, but don't bore us with old stories or try to make rival schools look bad; you only make yourself look more ridiculous.
Not everyone who claims to be tougher than everybody else is tougher than everybody else, based on simple mathematics. Tough, by the way, is not necessarily synonymous with mean.
Tattoos are not a particularly compelling way to express individuality. Asking someone to permanently draw an image you like on your body is an acceptable pastime, one that harms nobody except possibly--though rarely--the recipient of the artwork, but it is no more or less noble or daring than collecting stamps or crocheting. A true individual doesn't have to explain--either verbally or visually--why he or she is unique because fascinating traits will undoubtedly manifest themselves over time. It is utterly wrong to stigmatize the inked as degenerate just as it is fatuous to laud them for body art alone.
The election is over. For the most part, the people who prevailed in the last election took a pounding this time around. That means there's fluidity in the system, not an altogether bad trait even if your preferred side doesn't win all the time. Are things perfect? No, and they never will be. Politics is worthy of our interest but hardly our tears.
And that's today's truth. But, of course, nobody cares.