Conversation Rules That I Always Stick By
Some things are inappropriate to say or do no matter who you are talking to, be it a close friend or a complete stranger. There are times when we do them anyway or hold divergent views on them. It’s interesting that our editors have divergent opinions on this matter, because it shows how our social norms are tested.
- Never simply text “hey” without providing some sort of background. The best way to break the ice is one of many other options.
- Before using an acronym in a conversation with someone who might not know what it means, you should always explain what it stands for. Even if it’s something you encounter frequently, that doesn’t mean everyone else does.
- Don’t pry into somebody’s hair care routine by asking if their hair is natural. Say “pretty” and drop it at that.
- If you have a close friend or loved one who frequently mentions things they like or want, keep a notes page on your phone labelled “The Gift List,” and add it next to their name whenever they mention something they like or want. It streamlines the gift-giving process and adds a special touch.
- Don’t give a false positive by agreeing to something you’d rather not do.
- Accept the invitation, whether it’s a trip, a date, a treat, or a favour from a friend. The benefits are clear.
- Be more interested in learning about other people and less interested in talking about yourself.
- Don’t invite someone to a baby shower or birthday party if you wouldn’t invite them to the barbecue. They will realise you only invited them because of the present you promised to give them.
- Don’t judge someone else’s food selection. “Wow, are you really going to eat all that?” is one such question.
- When you need to apologise, try saying “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry” (as in, “Thank you for your patience” instead of “I’m sorry I’m running late”).
- Don’t go into detail about your pet’s death the moment someone mentions that they have an elderly animal. It’s the last thing on their mind, believe me.
- Accept the praise. When people would compliment me, I’d always play down the compliment so as not to come off as conceited. A compliment like, “Your handwriting is very nice,” etc. Oh, really? Thank goodness you can decipher it. You are a wonderful person with many talents, one of which is nice handwriting. You better believe it! Being gracious and graciousness are not mutually exclusive.