Heated debate ensued yesterday because I answered a question with the phrase, "Hmm... interesting." Now in my mind, when I say this it's because I 1) find what was just said interesting 2) need more time to marinate on what was said or 3) have nothing else to add at that time. Apparently however, when I use this phrase it is perceived as me saying, "I don't agree but I don't want to argue, keep it moving." Hmm... interesting.
I definitely have some conversational tells in my lexicon.
As I'm becoming irritated: "You know what..."
When I'm flummoxed: "Uh... alrighty then"
Starting off a long-winded story: "So the other day..."
Wrapping up a phone conversation: "Well okay girl..."
In the middle of an argument that I'm losing: "This is not working for me"
But when I asked others how they perceived those phrases, they had a multitude of varying interpretations. One of my exes would ask me how I was doing and I would answer, "Just peachy." This drove him crazy - he thought I was being flippant. But um... I really was just peachy.
Another hated when I said, "Whatever!" He found that dismissive (it was). Another has a tell where every time he was about to spout some shiggity he started with, "Let me be honest with you.." I knew whatever came next was Pulitzer-worthy fiction. (Also "Can I be honest with you for a second?" Pauseworthy. Are you saying you haven't been honest all along? :-/)
One would ask, "How's your calendar looking?" That was code for "I feel neglected and you need to make time for me." Another would make sure I was understanding him with, "You feel me, right?" And I would co-sign, "Totally!" Had. No. Clue.
I had a boss who started a sentence, "Here's the situation..." we knew it wasn't going to be good. Phrases like "Do you have a minute?" (when the person plans on taking a half hour) "Now that you mention it.." (means they've been dying to say something and are so glad you brought it up)
Yesterday's conversation got me to thinking - what are the little throwaway phrases we use everyday and how are they perceived? Do you have a segue phrase to move a conversation along, wrap it up or express displeasure? Do share...