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Question: Sometimes I engage in useless speech for social reasons. For example, when colleagues or friends get together, someone starts a so-called useless topic and I might agree or disagree along for the sake of joining in.  An alternative would be to stay quiet, or excuse myself.  It’s often not easy to be excused. I might simply sit there, listen and smile along.

Answer: If you can’t inject a more meaningful topic into the whole crowd, perhaps you can chat with someone near you on something more so, and let the conversation grow to attract the crowd.

Question: When someone speaks useless things to me, my reaction varies depending on the situation.  There are times I ignore, or ‘in one ear and out the other’, or act blur (i.e. with no input, others might find it not interesting to talk to you), or I would tell the person off (nicely or sternly, depending on the topic).

Answer: These are methods that can work, but it is better if you can reshape the conversation into something more constructive – such as discussing about how to help a friend! Since many useless topics arise quite randomly, it might be possible to conscientiously shape it less randomly.

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