Congratulations! (as applicable!)
September 5, 2013 8:13 AM Subscribe
What phrases are reflexively on the tip of your tongue?
posted by Chorus to human relations (33 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Hi, I'm awkward. Over the years, I've learnt a few stock phrases to automatically say that make me appear like a normal, socially-competent person.
For example, if someone announces anything positive like a marriage, job, baby, car - I've forced my mouth to only respond with one word: "Congratulations!" From there, conversation usually flows normally, with the other person thanking and waxing about their new thing and everybody continues to perceive me in a positive light. Automatic congratulations stop me from saying stupid things like "Why are you marrying *him*?!"
Again, if someone's talking and I find myself wanting to chime in with *my* (potentially better) experience and/or to stop conversations being all about me, me, me - I've forced my mouth to only respond with: "How have you..." and adjust the rest of the sentence according to the subject.
Them: "And then I found a genuine Fabergé egg in a thrift store!"
Me: (Instead of "OMG I found the holy grail in a thrift store, too!") "How have you... got all the luck??" Or "How have you... managed to contain your excitement?!" "How have you... found dealing with Sothebys?
It also makes me appear interested re: stuff I couldn't care less about:
Them: "And then our safari was cut short, so we spent the rest of our trip in outer space!"
Me: (Instead of "You know, my hotel room was overbooked once.") "How have you... managed to keep the kids occupied in somewhere like space?" "How have you... felt about taking a safari again in the future?" "How have you... found dealing with the airlines over this?"
You get the picture. I can't be the only one who does this. Do you have any kind of automatic social lubricant phrases that you can share?