Hi. Ronnie. Video. Conversation skills. How to avoid them? So maybe you don't want to
talk to someone. This lesson is called "Conversation Skills: How to avoid a conversation." "Avoid"
means you want to stop having or not have something.
So all of your life, probably, when you have been learning English, you've learned many
lessons about how to have a conversation, how to talk to strangers, how to talk to people
on the subway, how to talk to people in a store. Sometimes, I don't want to talk to
anyone. Sometimes, people talk to me.
As an example, every morning, when I wake up, I have to walk my dog. It's cold outside.
I've not had my coffee yet. I don't want to walk my dog. I do not want to be outside.
And I'm generally not wanting to do anything except go back to bed. It seems that people
that have dogs love to have conversations with other people who have dogs. I don't want
to talk to you. I don't care. They ask me strange questions like, "Is your dog a boy
or a girl?" Why? Why do you care if my dog is a boy dog or a girl dog? Do you want to
have sex with my dog? Are you concerned if my dog has a penis? No. Stop it. Who cares?
"How old is your dog?" Why? Do you want to know his birthday? Are you going to have a
party? Is your dog and my dog going to come to my house, and are we going to have a party?
No. Shut up. I'm walking my dog. Don't talk to me.
So tips on how to avoid a conversation. Rule No. 1, very easy, don't ever make eye contact
with anyone you do not want to talk to. Number one rule when you want to have a conversation
is you must look at the people's eyes. Don't look down. Don't look up. Look at their eyes. ok?
So to not have a conversation, don't look anyone in the eye. I'm not talking to you.
The second one is: Don't ask the speaker any questions. So as an example, "Oh, hi. What
kind of dog do you have?", "It's a Cairn terrier". "How old is it?", "Seven". "Is it a boy or
a girl?", "Boy". If you've noticed, I did not ask the person about their dog because
I don't care. If you wanted to have a conversation with someone, you could ask the person the
same question. As an example, "Hi", "Hi", "Good, yeah". "What kind of dog do you have?",
"It's a Cairn terrier. How about you? What kind of dog do you have?", "It's a Jack Russell".
"Oh, cool. Don't care. Good". "How old is your dog?" "Seven. How about you? How old
is your dog?", "four". "Great", "Is your dog a boy or a girl?" "My dog's a boy. How about
you? How about your dog? Does your dog have a penis or a vagina?", "Girl". "Oh, do you
know what? Maybe my dog and your dog should have a party. Maybe they could have puppies.
That would be cool. Yeah. Okay. Good to see you. Bye".
Next one: Look at something or someone else. Now, maybe you have the magic of a cell phone.
This is a great conversation avoider. You may go as far as to pretend -- "Hi, Mom. Yeah,
good. No" -- that you're talking to someone on the phone. "Mom. Yeah. Busy. No. No, I
got -- Mom, hi. Yeah. Good". This is a great tool. You can pretend that your phone rang,
and you're talking to your mother. You can pretend you got a text message. Or you can
just look at your phone. This will indicate to the speaker that you do not want to talk
to them. In reverse, if you want to talk to a person and have a real conversation, put
your phone down. Do not text or talk on the phone when you are trying to have a conversation
with a real live human being. If I'm at a bar and I'm talking to you, if you take out
your phone and start texting someone, bye-bye. Ronnie's gone. She's getting another beer.
So please, if humans want to talk to you, put your phones away. You can text them later.
If you talk really, really, really fast and you don't say your words properly -- no one
has any idea what you're talking about -- they will not have a conversation with you. So
if you speak or talk really, really quickly, or if you mumble -- "Mumble?" "Mumble" means
you do not say words clearly. Some people will talk like this. They have their hand
-- they put their hand in front of their mouth, and you can't really hear anything that they're
So rule No.1, put your hand down, okay? Don't talk down. When I talk like this, you can't
even hear -- okay? "Mumbling" means you don't say your words clearly, or they're muffled.
It's like this.
And talking really, really, really quickly. Maybe you are very excited to meet someone.
That's cool. But try and speak a little slowly so that the person can understand you.
Okay. So this one: strange facial expressions. If I'm having a conversation with you and
you're smiling and you're nodding and you're doing this, I think, "Okay, this person is
happy. They like what I'm saying to them". But if your face is very strange or you kind
of make weird facial expressions or you have -- you do strange things. If you pick your
nose or pick your ear or something, the person thinks that you don't care about what they're
saying to you. So this is a good thing. If someone's talking to you, you just go...
I guarantee you they will stop talking to you, especially if you pick your nose. Number 1.
[picks nose] -- person's gone.
The other one is body language. Now, this may seem strange to you, but if you're talking
to someone, and you use hand expressions, it's easier for them to understand you. But
if you are talking to someone and your hands are folded and you don't even look at them
and you're like this, they think that you don't want to talk to them. So eye contact,
your facial expressions, and your body language are really important to avoid or to have a
conversation with someone. If you do not want to talk to someone, you can fold your hands
and look at the ground. They will stop talking to you hopefully.
One thing that could be very useful if you are in a bar and maybe someone -- a man or
a woman -- is talking to you that you don't want to talk to, a really good technique is
to use slang. Maybe the person's older than you, and you know some crazy whooped up slang
words. Instead of speaking to them like you would your mother, you would speak to them
like you would your best friend. You'd be like, "Yo! Hey! What's going on? What's happening
in the crib? Yo!" And the person who's trying to talk to you will be like, [hesitates].
They're gone. I guarantee it.
On the other hand, if you are talking to someone and you know very -- we say "big words" or
people who are educated say "educated words". Rather than use simple language, if you are
going to use very big words, it can be intimidating to people. So if you are trying to speak English
to someone who has a very, very large vocabulary and your vocabulary is very small, there's
going to be a communication breakdown because you're going to use words the other person
doesn't know. So the other person is not going to understand you and is not going to want
to talk to you. So it's really important that when you try to have a conversation, you realize
what vocabulary or what words you and the speaker -- or you and the listener -- both know.
The last one is how you project your voice, okay? The tone of your voice -- right here.
Angry tone. -- makes the person nervous, thinks that you're angry. I have a lot of people
in my class from different countries. Sometimes, a person will ask a student a question. For
example, "What's your name?" "My name is Ronnie". "[Shouts] What?" "Oh, my God. Why is this
person yelling at me? [Softly] My name is Ronnie". If you don't hear someone, it's okay
to say, "What?" Maybe you're going to want to smile, but be careful of your tone. You
do not want to use an angry voice if you're not angry. If you're angry, you let that person
know that you're angry. You can say, "Why do you care what kind of dog I have? Is it
important to you that I have a dog? Do you really care what kind it is? Where did I get
it? Who cares? Okay. I am pissed off. I have not had my coffee yet. So don't talk to me,
So if you want to avoid a conversation -- maybe the person is creepy, scary. Maybe they smell
bad. Maybe they're drunk. Maybe you're drunk. Do all of these things. But if you want to
have a conversation, don't do these things. To have a conversation with someone, make
eye contact. Ask them questions. You can ask them the same questions. It doesn't have to
be about a dog. Look at the people directly in the eye. Look at who you're talking to.
Don't look at someone else, okay? Don't talk really quickly. Don't mumble. Don't make strange
faces. Don't use strange body language. Don't use slang or words the person doesn't know.
And don't use an angry tone. Make sure that all of these things are positive. Do and don't.
Please tell me about a situation that you've had where you did not want to have a conversation
with someone. And tell me a situation where you wish you could've had a conversation with
someone. I'll let you know some tips later on in life. Goodbye.