Today were going to practice beginning and ending conversations. I’m going to give some examples about situations you might find yourself in and I want you to think about the best way to respond. Some of these are beginning conversations with somebody and ways to do it. Others are examples where you may be trapped in a conversation that you want out of. How do you escape?
So first we’ll try something obvious:
Hello my name is Joe
Hello, may I help you?
This is pretty easy and straightforward but how would you end this conversation?
I would really like to hear more later when I have more time.
Can we talk again sometime?
Think about situations like these and ways that you could respond both to begin the conversation and to get out of it. The more tricks you have up your sleeve the more flexible your choices are and the less stress you experience. Let’s try some more. This time let’s try to force a conversation or avoid a conversation.
Excuse me, I need to talk to you for a minute.
Hey you in the red shirt.
I don’t have time right now.
I’m busy right now, perhaps we can talk about this later.
You’re probably getting the idea by now. Let’s try changing the subject or returning to the subject.
Don’t you have a car like that one?
But what about the thing that happened yesterday?
I don’t see what this has to do with what we are talking about.
Weren’t we talking about yesterday?
Again come up with some of your own examples and solutions so that you have them ready when you need them. Now we can practice interrupting the conversation and what happens when we are interrupted.
Excuse me, I have a 2 o’clock appointment.
I’ve got to go to the bathroom.
Let me finish what I’m trying to say first.
This will only take a minute.
I’m hoping that you recognize some of the situations and also recognize how you’ve been trapped within situations like these. What we’re doing now is deliberately creating assertive ways to make a conversation go the way that we want it to go. This one is actually more difficult than it seems. Let’s try expressing joy or how to deal with someone else that is expressing joy.
I’m so happy I could scream!
We could have so much fun!
Let’s do it!
You look really great today!
Emotions are always tough, especially when someone else is expressing emotions to you and you don’t know the appropriate response. Let’s try expressing sadness and ways to deal with sadness.
My car just broke down and I don’t know how to get home.
I just can’t seem to stop crying.
Here’s a Kleenex.
Do you have anyone to talk to?
This last one is maybe the most difficult of all and that is expressing anger and dealing with someone else’s anger. So let’s give these a shot.
I’m warning you!
I’ve about had it with the people around here.
What are you so mad about?
Did I do something to offend you?
These are all examples of situations that might be uncomfortable and suggestions on ways to creatively deal with the situations. Come up with other situations on your own and solutions on your own. The time spent will be well worth it and what you will learn will help you to be more assertive!