It happens to everyone. Probably. Someone will tell you something that you just don’t care about. What do you do?
Excited Co-Worker: Oh! I had a piece of salmon last night that was to die for.
You, for the sake of this example, do NOT like fish. And this person isn’t even your friend. You have two options:
You: Mmm! That sounds yummy.
You: Gross! I hate fish more than I hate Hitler.
Either response is acceptable, however, if you responded with Option 2, there will be follow up questions.
Follow-up Question Possibilities:
Excited Co-Worker: Why don’t you like fish?
Excited Co-Worker: Is it just fish or do you just dislike all seafood?
Excited Co-Worker: I used to dislike fish also, but the I went on a tropical vacation… etc.
Excited Co-Worker: What do you have against Hitler?
None of those questions are questions that I feel are worth answering to a person I don’t care about and who won’t remember what I said in a month. In my opinion, it’s best just to be agreeable in this case.
In this same vein, I have noticed what I say to people when simply agreeing is not enough. I always show equal excitement and interest so as not to offend the Excited. This can be risky, but I know what it’s like to hear crickets when I’m excited about something. My no-fail key phrase is, “Oh! I never thought of that!” I generally follow it up with why it was a good idea that the Excited had this thought (whatever it is) and why I’m glad they shared it with me.
Example (it’s just easier if they continue to take place with co-workers):
Excited Co-Worker: Next time you should try adding rice to the soup.
Me: Oh! I never thought of that! That’s a mighty good idea with a soup of little substance! Huh!
That, in turn, makes me wonder who’s out there doing the same thing to me. How often to I get brushed off?
Your response to all of this: Oh! I never thought of that!