Awkward, inappropriate and ill-mannered conversations are meant to rock the boat. Encounters like these will make you ready to abandon ship and often leave you feeling drunk as a sailor.
What’s even worse is when you are held prisoner to this inappropriate dialogue which is heading for shipwreck because it is unfolding over a meal.
An interesting discussion usually makes the meal even more enjoyable, however even the best food can smell fishy when paired with unwanted dinner conversation.
Below are a few tactics that will keep you from being dead in the water when you feel like the titanic heading straight toward an iceberg of unfortunate conversation.
Know which way the wind blows
If someone asks you an inappropriate question, know the ropes and don’t take the bait.
Simply respond by saying “What an interesting question. I am going to need some time to think about that.”
Hook, line and sinker
Then, as quickly as you can, take the wind out of the sails and change the subject to something lighter- - - like how delicious the oyster appetizer looks.
Loose lips sink ships
If you can feel that the tone of the conversation will veer you off the straight and narrow guess what? You are the captain of this ship.
Quickly hold the topic at bay by linking to something said in a previous conversation.
Keep your head above water
It is always good etiquette to keep the response positive. Find something complimentary to say about the guest or topic.
Then, stay on course and begin moving full speed ahead.
Barge right in
You can also be more honest and answer with, “I really don’t want to dive right into the deep end … I just want to hear about you and what’s going on in your life.”
Rats abandon a sinking ship
Be ready to turn the tables and look for opportunities to engage in a conversation with someone else.
Sink or swim
If you sink you will end up with knots in your stomach.
If you swim, use humor as your lifeboat to steer the conversation into calmer seas.
Be ready to walk the plank
If the focus doesn’t change remember the restroom is a safe harbor. Kindly excuse yourself and take a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
Don’t let any conversation leave you high and dry. Throw caution to the winds and remember, a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.