- When a conversation goes in a direction you’d rather not deal with, it can be tough to change the subject without creating anawkward moment. But there are ways around it.
- Licensed marriage and family therapist Kiaundra Jackson offers three tactics: Using an external distraction, bringing someone else into the conversation, and making small changes.
- Regardless of the tactic you choose when changing the subject, it’s important to keep in mind the the context of the conversation, your relationship with the other person, and the topic at hand.
You’re in the middle of a great conversation and then, suddenly, things take a turn and you feel trapped — how can you change the subject without making it awkward and alienating the other person?
It’s a scene that plays out all the time. But the holiday season can be a hotbed for awkward conversations. It seems that everyone has that one relative who just doesn’t get why it’s bad to make racist or sexist comments. Or you may know someone who always seems to ask your opinion on any number of controversial subjects. In those instances, the opportunities for faux pas seem limitless.
To get the lowdown on the right way to change the subject — without awkwardness — Business Insider consulted Kiaundra Jackson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of “Staying Sane in an Insane World: A Prescription for Even Better Mental Health.”
Here are three tactics she suggested: