Have you ever been in a conversation that takes an uncomfortable turn? Ganel-Lyn Condie shared five tips for what to do when the conversation gets uneasy.
- If someone brings something up at a party or family gathering that is triggering an argument, try to redirect the conversation.
- For example, “There are so many opinions on that issue. I would love to hear about your trip to Europe.”
- Answer honestly but respectfully
- You can let them know it’s a sensitive subject without sharing too much.
- For example, “So, I heard you just got fired?” “Yeah, it was difficult. But it is giving me a chance to reevaluate some things and consider new adventures.” Or you could simply say, “This subject is uncomfortable for me right now.”
- Acknowledge knowledge
- If someone is overly critical on a Facebook post or is passionate about a subject at Sunday dinner, try saying, “It sounds like you have a lot of experience or thoughts about this subject. What’s your background?” or “I would love to understand more about your perspective.”
- Change the topic
- This is helpful when a group starts gossiping.
- You could bring up TV shows, weather, restaurants or sports for example. Say something like, “Who has been to Hawaii?” Make sure you smile when changing the subject.
- Define words
- Sometimes we say trigger words that we assume everyone knows the meaning of.
- Ask others how they might define words such as empathy, support and honesty.
- You could say something like, “Help me understand what you mean by that.”
For more from Ganel-Lyn visit ganellyn.com.