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I have a friend who has an absolute tin ear... could not carry a tune to save her life. But she is a genius with lyrics. Because of this, she loves to sing along to things. It is almost as if she is showing off that she knows all the lyrics, but I don't think it is quite that vain. She just gets immense pleasure singing along to songs because she knows all the words.

And it is awful.

Much of the time I cannot enjoy the music with her singing along.

Sometimes she'll burst into song at completely inappropriate moments. For example, there might be a very emotional portion of a movie that is set to sad music. If she knows the lyrics, she will sing along right then and there, even though people on screen are crying because somebody left them or died. I'm trying to get into the moment and internalize the drama unfolding on screen, while she is smiling and belting out the lyrics like she's in a karaoke bar.

Here's the thing. I love my friend. I love that she has a way to enjoy music and I don't want to take that away from her. So I don't want to tell her to shut up or anything. But I also don't to be miserable.

How do I manage this? What I can I say to her that won't ruin the joy she gets from music while saving my ears from the horror?

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  • Hey John! Have you done anything yet to let this friend know what she's doing is bothering you, even if it's just as much as a grimace, eye-roll or off-hand remark about how off-key she's singing (does your friend know your opinion on her 'talent')? Or have you been lying about enjoying it and encouraging her? You say you don't want to tell her to 'shut up', do you mean you don't want to say the words 'shut up' or are you opposed to telling her/asking her to stop/don't start singing at all? – Tinkeringbell Jun 12 at 16:53
  • I’m also going to vote to close this question because our help center says that questions shouldn't ask us for what to say, but focus on how to convey the message in general. What would your message to her be? Would you ask her not to sing along with movies, or not to sing when she's around you, or something else entirely? Do you want her to know she's singing off-tune, or would you rather try to avoid mentioning any reasons for why you want her to do this, or something else? – Tinkeringbell Jun 12 at 16:55