Bad Segue Topics for Uncomfortable Situations
It doesn't get much worse than the uncomfortable silence between two parties after a shocking revelation. That is unless one breaks the speechless lull with a bad segue.
|"Here’s a funny factoid Becky: Mother's Day ranks second only to Christmas for gift-giving. Are you still mad?" |
This article aspires to be a guide to those that may find themselves in this sometimes unavoidable situation.
From breakups to a slip of the tongue, conversational setbacks occur. Typically when an off-color joke is made around the wrong people an unsettling silence occurs. The seconds that tick by before it is broken can be excruciating for all parties within earshot. A daring fellow may try to remedy this situation with a funny joke, or bit of relevant news in order to move the conversational flow along. While many of these remedies are merely the equivalent of a Band-Aid, they can at least serve as a guide to send the broken interaction in a new direction.
It is always of the utmost importance that any attempt to recapture animated discussion should be accomplished without making the situation worse.
For example, when breaking a woman's heart by telling her that he no longer intends to marry her and that he would like his ring back, a man should under no circumstances shatter her understandable silence with the latest news of the day such as this headline from July the 20th: "Army cites drop in suicide among soldiers."
An extended version of this conversation would go as such:
Him: Gosh Amy, you know this just isn't working out. One must remember that during this "quiet period" the offended party is trying to rearrange his or her world. They may not want to discuss the fact that "James Doohan, you might know him as ‘Scotty' from Star Trek, died today" while picking up the tiny pieces of their life.
Her: What do you mean Jim, don't you love me anymore?
Him: No, I've never loved you and I'm now just figuring that out.
Him: Would you mind if I got my ring back? It was kind of expensive.
Him: So, hey, guess what? I read today that the Army says that suicides among active reservist are down 15%. You worked with a guy who went off to Iraq, right? So that's good news for somebody.
Be aware of our surroundings.
Harold from Plainfield, NJ writes about a particular experience in which his segue did nothing to win over the parents of a girl he had just started dating.
"So the girl's parents are from China, right? And I break out a joke about Chinese food, 'What's Michael Jackson's favorite dish? Som young bo'." I thought it was a killer, but it turns out that the U.S. isn't the only place where Thriller was big. I scrambled for something to get me through and all I could come up with was this story I heard on CNN during my lunch break that day. 'Did you hear about that wild panda in China? Injured like 18 people. I thought pandas were supposed to be friendly'."
Harold goes on to talk about the disaster of the unfortunate segue, "What dumb luck. How was I supposed to know that her kid brother was eaten by a panda? You'd think they'd tell you this kind of thing at the zoo, but no. It's all 'shoot and leafs' this and 'berries and nuts' that."
Don't you learn your lesson the hard way like Plainfield Harold. When in doubt, stay silent; let someone else make a fool of themselves. I know I do.
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