How to reply to common questions [adv]

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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:55 pm

I asked her yesterday if she was so hungry for pancakes she wanted to set a date right away, and she said Yes! except she was busy with moving right now and would get back to me when things were settled.

So there is a certain chance for cheers

Keeping it fun and short is a very good idea, and something I should probably practice. Especially the fun part, that could probably compensate for a lot of my imperfect calibration. Ehm... any idea on how I can practice at being fun?
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Izmuth on Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:20 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:I asked her yesterday if she was so hungry for pancakes she wanted to set a date right away, and she said Yes! except she was busy with moving right now and would get back to me when things were settled.

So there is a certain chance for cheers

Keeping it fun and short is a very good idea, and something I should probably practice. Especially the fun part, that could probably compensate for a lot of my imperfect calibration. Ehm... any idea on how I can practice at being fun?

I personally use a lot of exclamations marks and smileys to convey enthusiasm and funness in text, because it's hard for people to read the tone of written text correctly, so I try to make it as easy as possible for them.

I'm personally also a fan of being a bit hesitant to share information: Take for example the fact you were in a reality show. If you can somehow work into a conversation that sadly, you already had your minutes of fame so it's really unlikely you'll get another few, I guarantee you the other party will be intrigued and ask you about those few minutes of fame. You can then tell a few details and mention that any more would be a tad embarrassing, giving the other person the opportunity to prod some more.

This accomplishes one main thing: Because you give the other person the initiative to ask a question before you continue your story, you prevent polite boredom. If she doesn't enjoy your stories, she'll stop asking questions and you can switch the conversation.

My personal favourite two words are by the way "And you?", those are perfect to pass the ball to your conversation partner smoothly.
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:29 pm

In the conversation I mentioned above, the reality thing actually came up... she said I looked so familiar, so I mentioned where she might have seen me before. It was how she learned I was a nerd.

More generally, I'll look into using textual cues and building tension and release around personal information... I can see how fun isn't just what I say, but also how I say it. (I think the fun I sometimes lack can have something to do with spontaneity.)

"And you"' feels... I don't know, artificial? strained? in my mouth, though I'm not exactly sure why. Are there any conventions around saying "and you" that I don't know as well as I should?
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by sky on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:07 am

"And you?" doesn't have to be the exact words. The idea is just to ask the same question back after answering it yourself so that the other person can have a chance to tell you something about them too. People also sometimes purposely ask a question that they want to be asked, hoping that you'll ask it back, as that can be seen as more polite than just launching into into their story with no prompting.

Other options:
"How about you?"
"What about you?"
"Ok, your turn!"
"That's enough about me. How/why/what do you think about topic X?"
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Izmuth on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:01 pm

Possibly a weird option, but I would suggest that you could start watching "would I lie to you".

It's a show with British celebrities (mainly comedians) telling anecdotes (which may or may not be false, but that's not the point) and would after careful analysis give you some pointers how to liven up anecdotes.
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:11 am

Hmm, I like that show, and picking it apart a little could be fun. And useful...

About "and you", I think my problems may have a bit to do with turn-taking... keeping the balance between sharing and asking, knowing how long to stay with a topic... I suppose it will calibrate better with some practice.

My halfway back in the head notion of organizing some combination of conversational training with some variety of comedy/improv/LARP techniques begin to sound good to me...
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:03 pm

Reviving this thread because it's become more about "how to handle social situations where subtext is involved" than about common quesions in particular, and this is such a situation:

There's someone on Twitter who I've been following for a very long time and they've followed me back, who've I've had a number of nice interactions with, who I've met once in meatspace and who I have a number of Mutianyu aquaintances with in both meatspace and on Twitter. Now recently, I found out they've locked their account, and that I no longer seem to follow them. And I find myself wondering if it's intentional or not.

Normally I'd think it was, and leave it alone, but the thing is they are still following me... and my head starts spinning and thinks that what if it is accidental that I'm locked out, and then they find out and believe that I'm the one who has unfollowed them and go through much the same questions I'm sitting here with now? Or is that just me grasping for ways discount rejection, to ask for an explanation, to push myself into someone else's space?

So two questions:
1) Are there any ways at all that I can find out if it was intentional or not, without also disrespecting that other person's boundaries?
2) More generally, what can I do to help myself process it when people suddenly cut contact and I don't know why? Why do I feel the need to know why, and to know for certain that they've actually cut contact... and how can I reduce that need without involving the person in question?

On a brighter note, the thing I mentioned in the previous post, months ago now

Hirundo Bos wrote:My halfway back in the head notion of organizing some combination of conversational training with some variety of comedy/improv/LARP techniques begin to sound good to me...

was turned into a proposal to a mental health organization that got me the internship I'm involved in today. Smile
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by reboot on Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:08 pm

Does it really matter why they did it? This is something where the "why" is not important. They asserted a boundary and you cannot know why unless you violate it. Think of these things like solid objects without meaning
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Re: How to reply to common questions [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:13 pm

You're right in that the why of a boundary doesn't matter... and that asking for a why would be disrespecting the boundary even if we did have a channel of communication. What I wish is that I had a way to stop myself from speculating, making theories, imagining myself in the eyes of others... searching for social meaning. It's unhelpful as well as disrespectful but it keeps intruding on my mind. Maybe your suggestion will help, thinking of the wall as just a wall. That there's no further subtext that I'm missing, a wall is a wall and nothing else.
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