We’ve all been in those situations. The people around you start talking about something you know nothing about and you just stand there, awkward and quiet, hoping they change the subject. What makes this situation even worse is when everyone expects you to chime in with an intelligent though, but all you can think about is your next glass of wine or dinner options.
Here are a few tips that will help you when talking about something you know nothing about, by conversation topic.
A quick roll of the eyes and a mutter of word “Drumpf” will win you appropriate chuckles and nods from a liberal audience. It will also make it seem like you have an opinion in Election 2016 to everyone in general.
If you know you’re a democrat (or at least think you are), you can also mention that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both had ‘great points’ in the debates so far. No need to mention what those ‘great points’ are — Just giving an opinion will do.
And if you’re a republic (or at least think you are), you can mention the ‘importance’ of John Kasich or Marco Rubio winning their home states in the primaries. Again – no need to elaborate. This opinionated statement will do.
Remember when it comes to being intelligent and confident, less is more. Let those around you do most of the talking and listen. People talking about ‘work stuff’ love when you listen to them. Seriously, they probably don’t even care if you chime in or not. Just nod and you’ll have a new best friend.
If you do feel the need to speak up – especially if there is an awkward silence – just mention ‘how busy work is right now.’ This is a topic everyone can relate to whether you’re speaking with a client, colleague, or a stranger on the street. Work is always busy. For everyone.
When someone starts talking to you about a situation that seems way too personal or a situation you just can’t relate to, nod your head and make appropriate sympathetic sounds. Like the above ‘Work Stuff’ topic, when people are talking about their own problems, they could give two shits if you chime in. Just listen, agree, sound shocked, sound appalled, whatever. People search for validation. Give it to them.
Even if you know nothing sports, it’s pretty easy to guess what sport is currently in season. For example: Football is during the fall and baseball is during the summer. So there you go – now you know something about sports!
The easiest way to tackle the sports subject is to say something about your city. Even if you don’t know the name of your city’s, for example, basketball team, all you need to say is: ‘I hope [city here] can make it to the end.’ Even the worst sports teams in the country have fans that dream of making it to the playoffs, championships, or what have you. You could be one of those fans.
Other than this, you should probably just say nothing at all when it comes to sports if you don’t know sports. People can get really heated about sports and ask you things you know nothing about. Our best advice to avoid this from happening: Run.
Now, here are some things you can do to make you appear confident in ANY conversation without worrying about saying anything.
Open your torso and uncross your arms.
Keep you head and chest up.
Make sure your shoulders are pulled back.
Mirror the body language of the people around you.