10 ways you should never open a conversation
Starting off on a bad foot
Being writers, we all know that our opening sentence can make or break a story, or article. As people, we sometimes forget that our opening statement can directly affect how our listener will respond. When starting a conversation with friends, I often try to keep things light-hearted. I generally start with something like "Hey chicky mama!" I know, it's outdated, but so am I. I'm a Grandmother, I also call my Grand daughter "toots."
Point being, when someone speaks to us, what they say first will determine our mood and stress level for the rest of the conversation. Personally, these are some statements that would definitely negatively impact any following banter that would follow.
- You look terrible! *Silently, I am thinking, "Well thank you, if I'd known you were coming I would have slipped into my evening gown and put on my "out on the town" face." I realize that it was probably said out of concern, and not criticism, but I can't help but feel defensive from that moment on.
- I know you aren't going to like this but... *This has got to be one of my favorites of my unfavorites. My teenager uses this one often. I ask you; WHY would someone open a conversation with that statement? She already knows she will probably not get a positive response, so why does she continue?
- I hate to bring this up...*Then DON'T. Period.
- That's not YOUR cat/dog thats laying out in the street, is it? *Oh, my good lord! Talk about getting the adrenaline flowing and the heart racing! This is not starting out well at all. Back up, try something like..."So, where's fluffy?" NEVER push the panic button before it's time.
- I'm hungry! * This one only applies to family members and especially after I've just spent $100 at the grocery store.
- You know what your problem is? *Yes...you. Any other questions?
- Oh...My...God...* This is another one that ups the stress level. I never know if it will be followed by "Did you see what she was wearing?" or "The baby just fell and cracked her head open!"
- May I speak to the lady of the house please? *Let me guess, you are going to insinuate that my carpets are dirty, I have no reading material in my house, you know who I should vote for, or you can help me find Jesus. Whichever, you will NOT like my response.
- Guess what? *it's either terrifying, or trivial, depending on who says it to you; Your doctor or your daughter.
- We need to talk. * This is NEVER followed by anything good. It usually is short-speak for "Brace yourself."
There's a storm a brewin'
A good mood is a terrible thing to waste, and opening a conversation on a wrong note, well, it just ticks me off.
We should all always remember to think about what we are going to say before we say it. Even if you have bad news to deliver, you should never start a conversation in a way resembling those mentioned above. Keep it light, keep it simple. Things will run much more smoothly.