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Changing the Subject


larkheye
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How do you change the subject when you get stuck in a conversation you don’t like? This has been happening to me more and more often! At family dinners, the cafeteria at work, even last weekend’s neighborhood block party, people just won’t stop talking about one annoying topic. Those of you in the US probably know what I’m talking about – this interminable nightmare of an election!

I have tried asking them about their children and their vacation plans, asking advice on insurance agents and paint contractors, and outright saying I’d like to talk about something else, but the conversations always veer right back toward politics.

How do you change the subject?

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When people are talking about a topic I don't feel comfortable with, I simply ask them politely to talk about something else. They normally are willing to change the subject. However, sometimes it just seems impossible. 

In a case like that, I would just move to a different group of people or move to another table.

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There are two things I don't talk about in public, or even with friends, and they are politics and finance.  I can sympathize with you larkheye.   Seems to me people who don't really understand these two topics think they know a lot about them.  When it's about either of those topics I will try to change the subject.  If that doesn't work then  I politely excuse myself and leave.

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  • 5 weeks later...

When I find myself in a conversation I'd rather not have, I usually insert a positive comment, framed as a question, about the other person's appearance. This method mostly works like a charm. There are times, however, when an abrupt change of topic or excusing myself are the only options left.

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