Here are seven simple tips to nip a new friendship in the bud or to sabotage an existing one:

1) Lay back

Abrogate all responsibility for the friendship to your friend. Let your friend do all the planning-including where, when and what. When you do get together, don’t initiate any conversation, or show interest or enthusiasm. Respond minimally, using as few words as possible, and only in response to direct questions.

2) Be humorless

Treat everything seriously. Contain any outward appearances of laughter or smiles when your friend says something funny.

3) Act entirely predictably

Never try anything new. Demand that you always do exactly the same things, in exactly the same ways, in exactly the same places. Never mix it up or expand your twosome. Why? You always did it that way.

4) Play the same tapes over and over

Repeat stories you’ve told before in exquisite detail. Avoid eye contact to be sure you aren’t reminded or interrupted. If yawning sets in, ignore it. If your friend tries to speak or ask a question, interrupt.

5) Stay focused—on you

Talk only about yourself, what you have, and what you’ve done. Ask no questions and show no interest in your friend or in the larger world around you. Avoid real interaction by telling long-winded stories.

6) Skim the surface

Be sure all conversation is impersonal and unimportant. Don’t talk about feelings or anything remotely meaningful. Focus only on the past; never the present.

7) Overstay your welcome

Ignore any signs of boredom. If you’re at your friend’s home, stay as late as you can. If you’re in a public place, stay until the owner or manager looks at you funny or seems headed to the door with a big ring of keys.