Questions tagged [conversations]

Questions about having conversations with other people, and how to achieve certain things when having them. This can be covering (or avoiding) certain topics, starting them, keeping them going or bringing them to a close.

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17
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I deal with snarky comments about self-help/motivational books?

Self-help books have helped me a lot. Now, I've run into a lot of stinkers, but when one works, it works. But I realize I keep them all pretty close to the vest. People do like to make fun of self-...
17
votes
3answers
23k views

How to politely tell someone that I'm not interested to talk with them at the moment?

I have this middle aged roommate who is a bit on the talkative side. He keeps talking about his life events and stuff and doesn't bother to ask anything about me. I was OK in the beginning and sort of ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I become less self-centered? [closed]

I have noticed that I am quite a self centered person, and this bothers me. Being social, caring about others and investing in a friendship are things I really value in other people, yet I fail to be ...
15
votes
2answers
704 views

How to talk to a dean about depression

So I have a meeting with the dean of my school later today. He's a really nice guy, and thinks pretty highly of me (so he's told me, on multiple occasions). We need to talk about the past semester, ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I come up with good conversation-starters? [closed]

When talking to people, I often find myself in an "awkward silence". This is usually with acquaintances or friends-of-friends. Let's say I'm at a family gathering on Thanksgiving (United States). I ...
6
votes
2answers
644 views

Inquiring about a colleague's retirement plans without seeming to be rude?

A colleague is nearing retirement age, and you are curious as to when they will take the step and what they plan to get up to. Your intentions are not self-serving beyond the fact that you will miss ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

When you feel like a conversation has gone on too long, how do you make it end? [closed]

In this question, one of the answers talks about ending conversations before they get awkward. Once you think a conversation is going to get awkward, how do you end it?
10
votes
1answer
702 views

How to tell when a friend wants advice regarding their complaint?

Occasionally, friends will complain to me about various things. When they do, I feel bad about it, and attempt to offer various pieces of advice to try to fix the problem. My mindset is, in this ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Talking over my family and interrupting them

I have a tendency of talking over my family and interrupting during conversations. It's a bad habit and then I break the other person's concentration and often miss out on what they're going to say. ...
34
votes
8answers
94k views

How to respond to “What's up?” [closed]

Often when I start talking to people they say "What's up?". How do I respond to this? Should I say "What's up?" back? I typically can't think of any good response and usually settle with "hi" or "...
25
votes
3answers
6k views

How to respond when a friend mentions their financial issues?

I'm usually uncomfortable when a friend mentions her lack of money during a casual conversation. The topic of money itself doesn't make me uncomfortable, but the fact that I really don't know what to ...
11
votes
2answers
806 views

Dealing with criticism of my mispronunciation of words [closed]

I learned a lot of higher level vocabulary words from reading books, as opposed to hearing people say them. This however leads to situations where I will pronounce a word based on the way I understand ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I appropriately react to a death announcement?

My grandfather had become ill last month and it became clear he probably wouldn't recover. One day, my mother came to me and told me that he had died in peace and that there would be a funeral next ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Appropriate response to someone mimicking my accent in a mocking way?

While it has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it seems at times to go too far with accents. I have read several articles which suggest that it is natural for people to ...
13
votes
5answers
827 views

Is it impolite to not use a religious honorific when speaking to a religious leader?

There are occasions when I have discussions with religious leaders (clergy and otherwise) of various faith groups. Titles such as reverend and rabbi, are generally applied to such individuals. My ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Does prefacing an insult with a “softener” make it any less rude?

Over the years I have experienced many people who believe that prefacing an insult or criticism with a "softener" makes the insult less rude or acceptable. Examples of this would be in American usage,...
21
votes
1answer
869 views

What can I do to moderate my talking volume better when interacting with a group of people?

When I was in school I was active in Choir and Theater and learned to project my voice well. Topped off by a several years in the Army reinforcing the commanding tone, combined with a lack of ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the politest way to tell someone their breath smells?

Sometimes people have morning breath or garlic-breath of some sort. If I'm talking to a friend in a public place and I notice this, what should I do? Should I tell them to brush their teeth in the ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation?

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation? The individual is a native speaker, yet regularly misuses words like "antidote," when meaning "anecdote," as just one example. If ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Ways to deal with someone who uses expletives? [closed]

Expletives (swearing, cursing, cussing) are in far more common use today, than they were in the past. "Official" media censorship and other imposed controls have been softened, or removed all ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Dealing with TMI (Too Much Information)

Some people are natural "sharers". They have no qualms about giving the most intimate details of their lives, diseases, relationships, etc., to even casual acquaintances. One example was a ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

How to express the statement “Let's agree to disagree” in a polite and more effective way?

In real life or even on the Internet, there are many occurrences when you can't agree with the person standing next to you and want to move on from the conversation without agreeing or surrendering. I ...
16
votes
3answers
14k views

How to politely say, “I know, right?”

When chatting in Social Media or Stack Exchange chat rooms, I often see other users give some information which I already know. How should I reply? Some people use "I know, right?" or "ikr" in ...
13
votes
5answers
766 views

How do I avoid saying anything that comes to mind? [closed]

Just as the title suggests, I tend to say the first thing that comes to my mind. It's not really that I talk too much, more that some things I say appear to be 'random' or a bit offensive/awkward, ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I respond to a false statement when the other person doesn't give me a chance to talk?

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How to get involved in a conversation happening on the seats across from you on a coach

Often on a trip, there will be an odd number of people from my school getting involved. As a result, one person will be left isolated on their own pair of chairs (chairs on coaches are pairs of 2 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How to converse about a topic you don't like or know about?

I have friends who will engage conversations with me about topics that either I know nothing about or that I just don't care for. For example: My closest group of friends (which include around 6 ...
23
votes
6answers
6k views

What to talk about with a person you meet through a mutual friend on the bus? [closed]

It often happens to me, that I met some friend in the bus/tram/subway etc., but my friend is not alone, but with his/her friend (whom I don't know at all). We are talking about something, my friend ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Managing a bad temper in close relationships

I've always had a short fuse. I've been quick to rise and lose my temper, but on the flip side I'm quick to get over it when others lose their cool. The problem is that others usually are not, ...
15
votes
4answers
15k views

When is it more suitable to say “no problem” versus “you're welcome”? [closed]

Most times, when I am thanked - I respond using no problem rather than saying you're welcome. I find it more habitual for me to say the former than the latter. In terms of a societal standpoint, are ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

What methods help to avoid “that awkward silence”? [closed]

Introverted people tend to become embarrassed either when approaching someone or when a certain topic in a conversation runs out. It is often followed by apparently "losing the ability to find a new ...

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