The Top 7 Topics that Scare People Away

The Top 7 Topics that Scare People Away

7 Topics to Avoid

Last night, my wife, Lisa, and I celebrated a friend’s birthday with a group dinner.  As we were finishing our dinner, one person brought up Middle East politics and shared an opinion about it.  Then another person shared an opinion on the topic.  And a third person shared an opinion.  As can happen with politics, the conversation went from friendly to intense, and from intense to angry.

Unfortunately, dinner ended with everybody arguing.

Arguing with a potential partner is a quick way to scare him or her away.  But it isn’t just arguments that repel people…

PROCEED WITH CAUTION WITH CONTENTIOUS TOPICS

Your opinions are important.  They make you who you are.  So, naturally, you want to share your beliefs with your potential partner.  Sometimes, though, that tendency to share has to be suppressed for a while.

I made a list of 7 topics that scare people away.  They aren’t conversations you need to avoid forever; just during the beginning of a relationship.  Here they are:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Marriage and children
  • Gossip
  • Family problems
  • Bad habits
  • Money

What topics would you add to the “for later” list?  Post your list in the Comments, below, for others to see.

KEEP CONTENTIOUS CONVERSATIONS SHORT AND FACTUAL

There is no definitive rule for how and when to bring up contentious topics, like the 7 on the list. Sometimes you can’t avoid bringing up one of the topics early on because it is so important to you or your potential partner.  There’s nothing wrong with that!  Just try to keep the conversation short and factual so that it doesn’t become contentious.

Even though you’ll be smart about when and how to bring up contentious topics, your potential partner might now.  It’s just a fact of life is that people are going to share their opinions whether you like it or not.  Try to turn a potential negative experience into a positive:

  • By respecting his or her opinion.  When in doubt, say, “That’s fascinating.  I’m going to give that some thought.”  It’ll make you look open minded and it’ll buy you time to find a less contentious thing to talk about.
  • By understanding an opposing viewpoint.  Believe it or not, there really are two sides to every debate.
  • By learning about your potential partner.  Whether you agree with his or her opinion or not, learning about your potential partner’s sincerely held belief will help your relationship in the future.

DON’T MISTAKE DEBATE FOR CONVERSATION

I was a huge nerd in high school.  Most of my high school career was consumed by the Bronx Science Debate Team.  (I really mean consumed — I traveled with the team every weekend, spent summers at debate camp, the whole shebang.)

I loved a great debate.  I enjoyed making strong arguments and intelligently responding to my opponents.  Even more than that, I loved winning a great debate!

Guess what…my debate skills were useless in the dating world.  Debate and conversation are not the same thing.  For one thing, great conversations don’t have winners and losers.  

When you have a great conversation with your potential partner, you should be learning interesting and important things about him or her.  You should feel stimulated without feeling embattled.  You should feel like you are building a connection rather than scoring points.  If you feel like you’re winning the discussion, you’re automatically losing.

In our next article, I’ll give you my secret question to spark great conversation.  (You can get it delivered to your inbox by simply signing up for the *FREE* STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO DATING SMARTER AND FINDING LOVE FASTER in the right sidebar!)

CREATE YOUR OWN LIST OF CONVERSATION KILLING TOPICS

It’s easy!  Simply share this article on your favorite social network  and ask your friends for their conversation killing topics.

Your list starts with these: Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon

QUICK REVIEW

  • Avoid contentious topics when you first meet new people
  • If you have to discuss a contentious topic, keep it short and factual, respect your potential partner’s opinion and use it as an opportunity to learn something new
  • Add your conversation killing topics to the list in the Comments, below
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh

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Comments

  1. Jeremy Hamburgh says:

    My wife, Lisa, added, “talking about your ex.” Many people with neurodiverse diagnoses don’t have an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, but for those who do, beware the destructive power of discussing your past relationship too soon.

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