RESPONSES TO TABOO TOPICS
Here’s a Q about responses to taboo topics. Have you ever been seated at a table, perhaps at a business luncheon or a conference, when someone starts talking politics or gun-laws, something TABOO, and you realize people are literally squirming in their seats?
What do you do? That’s exactly what we’re focusing on here. Read on to learn:
- The significance of CONTEXT when it comes to taboos
- 4 RESPONSES – things you can do when someone starts talking taboo
Let’s do this!
RESPONSES TO TABOO TOPICS: CONTEXT IS KEY
What’s considered taboo depends on CONTEXT, as the time in history, the generation, the person, the setting, even the medium.
- Time in history: Consider how racism evolved from being a taboo topic altogether, to being something that is commonly and explicitly discussed. (Other previously taboo topics: living together or having a child outside of marriage, keeping your maiden name, sexuality and particularly LGBTQ+,…)
- Generations & people: Consider what’s sacred to talk to our kids about vs. what’s sacred in conversations with our parents.
- The setting: Consider what’s sacred to talk about at work versus what’s sacred in conversations at the dinner table.
- The medium: We might feel more comfortable reading or listening, and less comfortable talking about taboos (see below: “I WAS RIGHT…”)
images unsplash @ CDC & @action vance
YES! Context is Key!
4 RESPONSES TO TABOO TOPICS
Back to our original context. You’re at a formal luncheon. Someone starts talking TABOO and people start squirming.
You have 4 main choices:
1️⃣SMILE & NOD…
- That’s it.
2️⃣CALL IT OUT
- As my teenage son does so well. He exclaims, “AWWWWk-ward !!!”
- Ask, “is everyone is ok talking about this?” Talk about the fact that it is taboo, as opposed to talking about the taboo topic itself. This is a great way to diffuse things.
3️⃣LISTEN & LEARN
- Play a game with yourself. Listen. Challenge yourself to fully understand others’ perspectives.
- Ask Qs. Learn.
4️⃣CHANGE THE SUBJECT
- Be the catalyst who changes the subject! I recommend this one when someone else in the room is seriously offended by the topic.
- Talk about this podcast! (“Hey, this conversation reminds me, I just listened to this great podcast episode on Taboo topics….”)
I WAS RIGHT…
If you haven’t listened yet, ENJOY THE PODCAST!
🌐 Click HERE to listen directly on the Talk About Talk website
🎧 Click HERE to listen on your favourite podcast player
📄 Click HERE to read the printable shownotes
Please forward this email to anyone who might like to learn about TABOOS and COMMUNICATION SKILLS.
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
Talk About Talk 🎧Podcast Episodes focused on specific taboo topics:
- YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH with Nicole German, founder of the Maddie Project
- TALKING MONEY with Kelly Harper, experience strategist
- TALKING WITH YOUR DOCTOR with North York General Hospital CEO Dr. Joshua Tepper
- DEATH & DYING: SUPPORTING OUR GRIEVING FRIENDS with psychotherapist & grief counsellor Andrea Warnick
- PROFANITY with linguistics professor Darin Flynn
Most Recent 🎧Podcast Episodes:
- #81 – TALKING TABOO TOPICS
- #80 – COMMUNICATION INSIGHTS with podcasting hall-of-famer Dave Jackson
- #79 – How to Use STORYTELLING to Elevate Your Communication
📩 Let’s talk
Email Andrea your ideas & feedback
© 2021 Talk About Talk – All rights reserved