How to talk to anyone: the experts' guide - Deepstash

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How to talk to children

  • Children often cannot formulate their words to express what they're feeling. If you ask, "How was your day?" they may shrug because they don't know what part of their day you're interested in. Making your questions more specific can help: "What was the best thing about your day?"
  • Try to meet your child's emotions, rather than telling them how to feel. If your child says, "I hate everyone in my class", you may want to tell them that it is not a nice thing to say. Instead, help them find other words to draw out their emotions. "It sounds like you had a really bad day."

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How to talk to younger children and teenagers

  • With younger children, visual cues and games are helpful to piece things together. Let them draw pictures. If you're talking about difficult topics, break them down into smaller pieces.
  • Teenagers will respond better if you're doing something alongside a conversation, even if it is washing up. Humour can help diffuse a situation.

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How to talk to strangers

  • If you're together in the same place, you have something in common. If we can be aware that others also feel uncomfortable, we can think about what we can do to make them feel comfortable with us.
  • Ask people how they know the host or how they got there.
  • Borrow stories if you can't relate. If you're not a dog person and someone else wants to talk about dogs, talk about your friends' dog.
  • Suppose you feel ready to move on, interrupt yourself, not them. "It's been so nice talking to you about..."

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How to talk to your doctor

For doctors, half their game is trying to find out why the person is there. Do they want medication, tests, want to be signed off work, worried they have a more severe illness?

At an appointment, try to mention the most important thing at the beginning. Try to be descriptive. If you have pain, is it dull or sharp, burn or throb? Have you been getting pains for a few days, weeks, or at certain times of the day?

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How to talk to your date

With dating, there is an assumption that you are on the back foot, and the other person holds all the power.

  • Pay attention to what people talk about. If your date is sharing negative information, it could be a sign they're not ready for a relationship.
  • Try to focus on if you like them, instead of if they like you.
  • Don't fear silent moments. Instead, see how the other person reacts. Does your date help you out and respond positively, or not?
  • When you're on a date, you're both gathering information to work out whether you'll fit well together.

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How to talk to your parents

When you're a grownup, you will probably need to initiate conversations as your parents won't want to interfere with your independence. The best way to re-establish a relationship is to give them a regular update on everyday details of your life.

Parents who are getting older need to feel as if they have lived for a reason. It can be very therapeutic to make time for those stories and to share them with each other.

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How to talk to your boss

Most people want more contact. Employees often feel out of the loop.

  • Try to put yourself in your boss's shoes. How does what you need to say affect them?
  • Question if you should send an email or say it in person.
  • Remember that your boss may not be the one making the final decision. You may need to convince them to convince others.

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micee

I like jazz music and bacon. Learning new things is one of my obsessions.

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