Discover What to Say in 15 Normally Awkward Common Situations - Part Three.

Published: 15th September 2006
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Copyright 2006 Deborah Torres Patel

This three part article series tells you how to say the right thing in awkward situations. In part 3 you will discover how to warn someone about nasty body odor, ask your neighbor to lower the volume on their blasting stereo, disagree with your mother-in-law but still respect her, make small talk with your ex-lover, and call a school bully's mother to report a scrape with your child.

Part 3

SITUATION 11
You want to warn a friend about her garlic breath or nasty body odor

WHAT TO SAY
"I have something to tell you that might be embarrassing but as your friend, I feel I should inform you that you have noticeable bad breath/body odor. What I use for it is _____. I'm sorry to have to share this but I would hope that you do the same for me."

SITUATION 12
Your neighbor habitually blasts his stereo every night and you're about to knock on his door to tell him off

WHAT TO SAY
If you knock on his door say, "I'm sorry to disturb you however; I need you to be aware that your stereo is so loud that we/your neighbors/my family/my young children, are unable to sleep/rest. Obviously, we can't tell you what do but as your neighbors we would greatly appreciate your lowering the stereo volume after (9pm)."

If the noise continues repeatedly, especially during the weekdays, I would formally report the continuing disturbance to the appropriate authorities.

SITUATION 13
You disagree with your mother-in-law but do not want to upset her

WHAT TO SAY
"I respect your point of view but must say that I don't fully agree. Can we agree to disagree? I am committed to having a good relationship with you and don't feel it is 100% necessary that we think exactly the same about everything. Do you agree?"

SITUATION 14
You're trapped in an awkward situation where you're expected to make small talk with an ex-boyfriend with whom you've had a bad breakup

WHAT TO SAY
"Haven't seen you in awhile - How have you been?"

You can ask questions or make comments about his interests, family or close friends. "How's your mother?" or "I noticed your team won the FA cup."

If you'd rather not speak, let him strike up conversation first. Then keep the focus on him by asking general questions about his life.

If you do want to discuss anything take advantage of the opportunity to gain further completion/closure of the relationship.

SITUATION 15
Your child was hurt in a scuffle in school and you're calling the perpetrator's mother to discuss it

WHAT TO SAY
Write a script on paper with a general idea of what you want to say in advance. This will keep you and the conversation on track if the perpetrator's mother gets defensive or upset.

"I'm calling to find out if your child told you about an incident he was involved in at school today. I know all types of things can happen between children and neither one of us were there. However, my child is quite hurt and I thought you might be able to fill me in on your child's side of the story."

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Deborah Torres Patel is an internationally acclaimed expert on self expression and the fine arts of voice & communication. To receive ongoing tips & subscribe for complimentary online training sign up at http://www.expressingyou.com .


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