“Conversation stoppers” suck. “Conversation continuers” don’t.
Live life together and you will eventually hear something from someone that you completely disagree with.
It’s not whether or not it will happen, it’s when it happens, how will you respond? In those critical moments you have two choices: Fight or flight. Debate or disappear. Argue or appease.
There IS a third option.
But, it might mean a reset in our old patterns of interaction. It certainly will take some practice.
In order to practice, pick one of these “conversation continuers” to put in your dialogue tool chest. Or, come up with one of your own.
“Hmmm. Tell me more.“
“You sound really sure about that, what’s led you to that conclusion.”
“Seems like you’re really passionate about this. Help me understand.”
“That’s interesting. I’ve never heard that perspective before. Where did you learn about that?”
“I’m curious. How long have you felt this way?”
“It seems like you’ve really thought this through.”
So, the next time someone starts sharing their support for your least favorite political candidate, takes a bold stand on abortion which “touches” a nerve, or makes a theological statement that makes your spine tingle, practice using your favorite phrase from the list above.
Which phrase did you pick? What’s your own go-to “conversation continuer?”