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6 Phrases I Use When I've Lost Track Of A Conversation

How to make it seem like you were listening!

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Here are six phrases I use when I've completely lost track of what someone was saying. In most cases, they'll make it seem like you were listening the whole time!

#1

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When to use this: A conversation about some kind of problem. People are always talking about problems, so this question likely fits in anywhere.

What this phrase accomplishes: This moves the conversation forward! Unless the conversation was about how you never listen. In that case, this question will come off as poorly timed.

#2

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When to use this: Most work-related conversations. Jobs tend to give you deadlines and stuff, and it's kind of unfortunate but true.

What this phrase accomplishes: This shows you have a vague sense of the content of the conversation and are concerned, even if you don't know what's going on at this particular moment.

#3

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When to use this: In almost any conversation. Ninety-nine percent of growing up is managing your expectations — like we all thought we'd at least be close to getting hoverboards by now, but turns out we aren't.

What this phrase accomplishes: This makes your friend think about his/her expectations, and that buys you some time to figure out what this conversation is about.

#4

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When to use this: When you're listening to someone vent.

What this phrase accomplishes: This is a good way to find out if your friend has fallen into a bizarre world of solipsistic self-pity. It happens!

#5

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When to use this phrase: When your friend is facing a dilemma.

What this phrase accomplishes: This phrase shows empathy. Also it gives your friend fair warning that you are not going to offer any solutions, because you sure don't have any.

Do you have any good, ambivalent phrases to throw out in such a conversation? Let me know!

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