2. 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!
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.
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.
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.
9. Do you have any good, ambivalent phrases to throw out in such a conversation? Let me know!
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