Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Scripts & Templates for Life’s Uncomfortable Conversations.

Contact & find out more.

Legal Information

NTRW is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. This means if you click a link or buy a product, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Partnerships help fund this site. For more info, please see our Earnings Disclosure.
This site does not constitute as legal, mental, or medical health advice, please consult a competent licensed professional.

Most of the time, we can all generally enjoy a good chat with friends and family, without ever getting Into an argument, or becoming upset or offended by what the other person has said. There are two topics of conversation, however, where that isn’t always the case: politics and religion.

When it comes to discussing our political and religious beliefs, many people think it’s best to keep our opinions to ourselves, in order to avoid confrontations and difficult situations. Unfortunately, there is always one person who doesn’t agree with this approach, and who insists on discussing these complex things at the most inappropriate times. Here are some helpful templates to help you spell out to such a person that you really don’t want to talk about these topics.

Template 1 | “Let’s Talk About…”

 

Hey [Insert Name],
I can see how much this topic means to you, and it’s great that you feel so passionately about things. I respect your opinion, of course, but this is a complex topic, and I don’t feel the office canteen is an appropriate place to discuss it. It might be better if we kept our lunchtime conversations to safer topics like what we’ve been up to at the weekend or our hobbies. Speaking of which, have I told you about the latest gardening craze I’ve come across?

In this template, you deftly suggest that it’s the location that is the problem, and you avoid having to say that you don’t want to discuss politics or religion because you don’t agree with your friend’s views. Transfer that energy to something else by introducing another topic. Assuming that the other party is a person you know well, present a subject that interests them, and one you share an interest in.

If you do find yourself having to discuss sensitive topics in the workplace (perhaps it's part of your role), we think you’ll appreciate the "Communicating about Culturally Sensitive Issues" video course from LinkedIn Learning. Check out the preview below:

Click here for full access to "Communicating about Culturally Sensitive Issues" On LinkedIn Learning
In this 4- part video course, business communication professor Daisy Lovelace shares principles, techniques and strategies that can help you have more productive, meaningful conversations on topics related to diversity.

Template 2 | “I Don’t Discuss Subjective Issues”

 

Hey, [Insert Name],
I know how much your political views mean to you, but a long time ago, I made the decision not to get into any conversations about subjective matters. I respect my friends and their opinions too much to risk a friendship over personal opinions. I’m not saying that I disagree with you – just that I never get into political or religious conversations as a matter of principle. I hope you can respect my decision on that.

By using words like respect and principle, you are suggesting to the other person that this is something you’ve given a lot of thought to and that your decision is every bit as important to you as their political beliefs are to them. You are leading them to the conclusion that they have no choice but to respect your decision on the issue.

Template 3 | “Can We Discuss This Another Time?

 

Hey, [Insert Name],
That politics show on TV really made an impact last night, didn’t it? I know that you really want to air your views on it today, but I don’t feel like I understand the issues involved in enough detail at the moment, to be able to form a reasoned opinion on it. would it be OK with you if we put this conversation on hold for a while, so that I can really look into it in more detail?

This template is best for situations where you are willing to discuss the topic, but just not at that particular time. The template demonstrates that you feel it is an important topic, so the other person should hopefully respect your wishes to be properly prepared for it.

Template 4 | “I Will Not Discuss That Matter and…”

 

Hey [Insert Name],
Your faith is clearly very important in your life, and I can understand why you would want to share your beliefs and the comfort you get from them with others. However, I have made a conscious decision never to discuss religion or politics with anyone, under any circumstances. Please respect my decision on this.

By directly expressing your views about engaging in this kind of discussion, you avoid beating around the bush. While this method may be viewed as hostile, the key is to let the other person down gently and to remain calm. They might be defensive, but you should keep repeating the same thing, clearly and calmly, until they accept it.

Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on https://nevertherightword.com. If this article appears on any other site other than https://nevertherightword.com without clear referencing it is a violation of the copyright owned by https://nevertherightword.com.

This article may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy a product, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Never the Right Word is a participant in the Awin Affiliates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to participating merchants. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy and disclosure page.

Template 5 | “Neither of Us Is Entirely Right or Wrong. Discussing Politics and Religion Will Not Get Us Anywhere.”

 

Hey [Insert Name],
We’ve had a few heated conversations recently about both politics and religion, and I think it’s fair to say that we have to agree to disagree on a lot of what we’ve discussed. In both politics and religion, there is so much that is open to interpretation, that no-one can really claim that they are right and the other person is wrong. I don’t want these conversations to affect our friendship, so how about we agree to keep to topics that are less complex when we meet for a chat in the future?

Again, by appealing to your friend and suggesting that these conversations could eventually jeopardize your friendship, you are leading them to the conclusion that there is no real alternative but to avoid those difficult topics. When it’s spelled out like this, very few friends would choose to pursue the conversation and risk the friendship!

When tackling this issue, it’s important to keep calm, no matter how provocative the other person is. State your position firmly, and watch out for any potential ambush situations, where your friend traps you into a conversation that you are trying to avoid.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

If you’re interested in further reading, we’ve also included links to our trusted resources and related posts below. To find out more about NTRW and our recommended tools, you can do that here.  

Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!

Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

Popular Articles...

Relevant Books We Recommend...

Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority (Paperback)

In Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence, and Authority leading voice coach, speaker, and author Caroline Goyder reveals that by being grounded in your values and capabilities, you will gain the authority and reputation needed to keep your listeners engaged. This book is perfect for anyone looking to polish their public speaking or general communication skills. Each chapter guides you step-by-step through practical techniques and exercises to give you the tools for great presentations, productive meetings, and persuasive pitches. Gravitas helps you to overcome anxiety, learn how to deal with difficult people properly, and feel calm and in control when public speaking. You can get your copy of Gravitas by CLICKING HERE.

The Fine Art of Small Talk

Nationally recognized communication expert Debra Fine reveals the techniques and strategies anyone can use to make small talk in any situation. The Fine Art of Small Talk: How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression! will help you learn to feel more comfortable in any type of social situation, from lunch with the boss to an association event to a cocktail party where you don't know anyone. We likeThe Fine Art of Small Talk because it has very detailed advice regarding speaking to people from starting a conversation, continuing a conversation, transitions, topics of conversation, etc. Overall the book is extremely helpful, especially for those who experience anxiety with social situations. CLICK HERE to get your copy from Book Depository.

Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact (Paperback)

In Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact, best-selling author and multiple award-winner Phil M. Jones presents what he calls his “Magic Words” and provides precise examples of how to put them to work. Expect to read the book quickly and feel instantly motivated to create your own examples to help you win more business, have more influence in your workplace, and grow your persuasiveness in social situations. This book took us approximately an hour to read and can be repeatedly referred back to with ease. We recommend this book to anyone who wants to build and integrate conducive habits into their communication skills. A thumbs up from us! CLICK HERE to buy Exactly What to Say from Book Depository.

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age (Paperback)

Celebrating the 75 anniversary of the renowned self-improvement bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, comes a refreshed adaptation of Carnegie’s timeless prescriptions for the digital age. We love this classic because it teaches the reader how to shift their mindset to make life more engaging and rewarding which increasing being more and relevant in today's society. How to win friends and influence people in the digital age is one of the best books to help you learn how to be influential. Anyone who is willing to read in-between the lines can see that there is power in Carnegie's insights. You can get your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie & Associates by CLICKING HERE.  

Pin Never the Right Word on Pinterest!

Like Our Site? These Are the Resources We Recommend.

To build this site we used these highly recommended tried-and-tested tools:

We Trust Elegant Themes

The Elegant Themes membership gives you complete access to 87 amazing themes and 3 awesome plugins, including Divi, the ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page builder. Elegant Themes have been building the world's most popular WordPress themes for the past 10 years, and rest assured their products will always be improved and maintained. 

Divi WordPress Theme

We Build With Divi Theme

One of the most popular WordPress themes in the world. Building layouts is easy and fast, making it ideal to create mockups and wireframes, prototyping a design, and creating the website itself. Build from the frontend or backend. The builder is intuitive. It's easy to learn and can be used by non-developers to create amazing websites. Check out the official Divi Theme here.

Divi Cake is a community driven marketplace for Divi Child Themes, Builder Layouts, and Plugins - Shop Now!

We Customize With Divi Cake Plugins

Divi Cake’s main goal is to help the members of the Divi community find the perfect premium Divi themes, layouts, and plugins created by leading Divi developers and designers. Shop hundreds of premium Divi products like Divi child themes, Divi layouts, and Divi plugins on Divi Cake, the community driven Divi Marketplace. Find out more about Divi Cake here.

We ❤️Shutterstock Media

We get our images from the OG leader in stock assets. Boost your business with the right images. They're royalty-free and ready to use. Footage & Music Libraries. 4k Images Added per Hour. No Daily Download Limit. Speedy Search & Discovery. With flexible plans and countless amounts of premium content uploaded weekly, we couldn't leave Shutterstock off our list.

Skill-Up With LinkedIn Learning

When you want to enhance your professional skills with expert-led, online video tutorials, the only place to go is LinkedIn Learning (Lynda). With a subscription you get 24/7, unlimited access to over 13,000 business, design & tech online courses and with a free month. We like them because we get expert-led courses that we can access anytime, anywhere. What's not to love?

Web Hosting

We're Hosted With SiteGround

SiteGround boasts a whole list of fantastic features at amazingly affordable prices. Along with multiple growth options, free site transfers and domains, built in Content Delivery Network integrations, WordPress support AND human support we wouldn't go to anyone else. They're basically faster, safer and more supportive- you can check them out here.

We Trust Grammarly Premium

Even seasoned writers need a helping hand at times, that’s why we trust Grammarly Premium. As the World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker, Grammarly Premium goes beyond grammar to help you ensure that everything you write is clear, engaging, and professional. Learn more about Grammarly Premium’s AI-powered assistant here.

Find Graphics With Creative Market

Creative Market is the world’s marketplace for design. Bring your creative projects to life with ready-to-use design assets from independent creators around the world. We love the unique finds, social media templates, vectors you name it they have it. I also doesn't hurt that our founder has a little store on there...

Powered by Creative Market

Powered by Creative Market

Contact Us

Email Us

Never the Right Word
Building 19475
PO Box 6945
London
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Follow NTRW

Support NTRW

Become a Patron!
Donate to Never the Right Word and keep us accessible to all. Thank you!

Stay in the Loop

error: Content is protected !!

Pin It on Pinterest