Sometimes it happens to me that I am having a conversation with some acquaintance that gets a bit out of hand or unpleasant due to a random comment.
Say I am meeting a friend of a friend. I may say something and he may disdain it in a way that is not plainly rude, but at least out of tone:
- Me: Nice to meet you.
- New friend: Nice to meet you, blah blah.
- Me: So I like programming.
- New friend: Oh, that's a loss of time. What I like doing is...
There is a minor lapse of time in which you get the feeling that that sentence was not appropriate and I want to express my displeasure about it, but if I don't do it fast enough, it will sound out of topic.
What I usually do is to ironically smile and say What?, but I feel that it somehow lacks information for the other to notice that it was not a polite way to approach a new friend.
Is there any "key sentence" or physical movement to approach these situations, making the point clear that such comments are not appropriate, while keeping the conversation in a friendly tone?