When holidays require you communicating with “that” person

Read my blog below or catch this video. Either way, you’ll get tips and strategies to extricate yourself from awkward conversations you’d rather not have during this holiday season.

Whether it’s an office social or a family gathering, this season brings with it many opportunities to connect with others. That can be great news … unless the person beside you is someone you’d rather avoid.

If you find yourself deep in a conversation you’d rather not have at the moment, there are a few things you can do to extricate yourself.

TIP #1: Leave the topic.

The art of changing the topic saves many tempers and relationships. But how to do it with grace? Here are a few strategies and phrases you can keep in your back pocket for when you need them:

  • Strategy: Segue what they’re saying to a new topic.
  • Words to say: “Gee, that reminds me of a time when …”, or, “Speaking of XXX, have you ever …” and then ask a question or relay a story relating to one innocuous part of their monologue.
  • Strategy: Raise it to a higher level.
    Words to say: “Yes, people can sure be difficult sometime”, or “Wow, life can be scary”, or some other common, neutral observation that applies to many situations and most people.
  • Strategy: Introduce them to someone else.
  • Words to say, “Oh there’s (so and so). You both (name something they have in common, anything). Let me introduce you”. Just because that person may irritate you, he or she may be a perfect match for someone else.

TIP #2: Leave the person.

You can leave the conversation by segueing as described above and if that doesn’t work, physically leaving could be another option. Here’s how to do so elegantly.

  • Strategy: Speak to someone else.
    Words to say: “Oh gee, there’s XXX. Excuse me please, I want to wish her a happy season. We’ll catch you later”, and off you go. Sweet freedom and no feelings hurt.
  • Strategy: Answer nature’s call.
    Words to say: “Would you excuse me, please. I’m just going to go to the washroom”.
  • Strategy: Refresh your beverage or food.
    Words to say: “Please excuse me. I’m gong to freshen up my drink. Enjoy the party!”. 

These suggestions may not work all the time but knowing them and having them handy equips you for those awkward situations. Using these strategies will save you frustration, stress, and perhaps most importantly, relationships.

Now go have a great holiday. You deserve it. Best of the season to you and yours!

©2021 Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Sign up for  “Marion’s Communication Tips” at www.MarionSpeaks.com

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Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.

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