What do you say when you learn more than you are entitled to know through someone’s incaution? How do you steer out of a shoaling bay when they are standing off the entrance looking for the first sign of movement?
How do you indicate sympathy when you don’t want to precipitate further disclosures? Here are some delicate suggestions. Some of them are made of tool steel…
a. ‘” I hear what you say. “
This is a conversational ploy used to keep the other person talking while you search around for the door or a rock. It doesn’t mean that you agree with what they say, or want to hear them say more, but at least you hope not get a repeat of the same statement. Some hope…if they are in mid-rant they will continue on to the end and start again.
Door or rock?
b. ” You have a valid point…”.
I hate to write this, but Hitler occasionally had a valid point in the midst of his murderous insanity. He would then use it to horrible effect. If you validate someone’s point verbally expect the next few statements to yaw wider and wider away from the flight line of sanity. As the conversation loses airspeed you can expect to be in the middle of a flat spin. Eject early.
c. “Get away from me, you freak! “
Ah, not exactly caring and sharing now. If accompanied by frantic fisticuffs, screaming, and a bolt for the door, you have at least done the other person the honour of being perfectly honest with them. Try to practise your look of horror in the mirror beforehand. Shuddering is always a good gesture.