Have you ever left a party wishing you would’ve had a better comeback for someone’s social faux pas? You replay the conversation in your head and think of all the witty (or snarky) things you could have said, but it’s too late.
Here are a few situations and responses that will show your more gracious side.
1. When someone has the guts to say, “Aren’t you brave to wear that!” Respond: “I know! Isn’t it great? Makes me feel like a million bucks!” or “I thought I’d have a little fun and see if anyone noticed.”
2. When someone texts while you’re talking. Respond: “Let’s continue this when you’re done with that conversation.” Or “When you’re done with that, I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately.”
3. When you’re listening to a long-winded person who hasn’t noticed you’ve lost interest. Response: Gently interrupt and say, “I’m so sorry, I’m thankful we had the chance to catch up a little, but I need to use the restroom.” Move on to someone else after. Or, ask them a question you’re interested in hearing the answer to.
4. When you’re the host of the party and someone starts giving you tips on how to run your household more efficiently. Respond: “Thank you. I have other priorities during this season, but I’ll consider it later.” Or, “Thank you, I may be weird, but I like doing it this way. Suits me better.”
5. When a co-worker starts to tell you how to do your job better at the office Christmas party. Respond: “We talk about work all day, I’d love to talk about other things.” Have a question ready to ask about their personal life.
6. When someone wants to gossip and that’s not your jam. Respond: “I’m uncomfortable talking about that person when they’re not here.” Ask them how their week has been instead.
7. When controversial subjects get brought up and the discussion is no longer magnanimous. Response: You could tweak Denis Diderot’s quote and say, “A sensitive person such as myself, overwhelmed with the argument leveled against me, becomes confused and can only think clearly again if I were to leave this conversation.” Or, say something as simple as, “I’m sorry, this is a subject I’m not willing to volley back and forth on.”
8. Someone leans in and hugs too long. Response: Break off quickly while shrugging your shoulders, “I’m not good with all the hugging stuff.” Or, break away and side-arm your mate, “Shall we go, honey?”
9. You’re being pestered by a nosy relative. Respond: “I’d rather hear about you, Uncle Ralph.” Or, “I’m going to head into the kitchen to help mom. Good talking with you.”
10. You’ve committed your own faux pas and everyone is staring at you. Response: “Ugh, I’m being a total toad again. So sorry!” Or if you’ve tripped or done something silly, smile and say, “Ta da!”
I know of people who have avoided parties or relatives because of these very scenarios, but with a little forethought, the time together can be made more enjoyable. No one has to go home a victim of a faux pas.
How do you handle sticky situations? Comment below or on Facebook.
Next week, I’ll be heading back to the spiritual side of things. Until then, have a great week, full of better thoughts.