When you are dealing with people who are overly polite* and won’t tell you what they really want to do (dinner location, what movie to watch, etc.) just try saying, “If I strapped a polygraph on you and asked you to give me your top three choices, what would they be?”
I have tried this a few times and it works perfectly. Seriously. The polite people will pause, as if to say, “Touche’. You got me.” Then they will tell you what they really wanted, because they don’t want to lie. But it seems that deep down they are happy, because they get what they wanted without having to appear selfish.
The system works.
I’m pretty sure that Miss Manners would love this idea.
* Full disclosure: I tend to be one of those overly polite people. Although I usually really don’t care. I usually use the “veto power” answer, and say, “I’ll eat anything except Thai or Indian food” then let the other people choose.
5 thoughts on “The perfect solution to those awkward “I don’t know, wherever you want to go is fine” conversations”
… what’s wrong with Thai or Indian food? 🙂
Ha! I was on a flight from Singapore to Thailand and they served Thai food. I hated it all — even the dessert! I ate a Snickers instead.
And I went to an Indian restaurant once because an Indian friend wanted me to. He literally filled up two huge plates with a little bit of everything. I hated everything except 2-3 things.
I use the “veto power” line, too! (I love Thai and Indian food, however.)
My other line is “I’m a vegetarian. There are so many times when decisions are made around my diet; it’s definitely your turn.”
Full disclosure: The Indian friend is a Hindu who had been a good sport the last two times and went to a barbeque place with me (he ate a salad). So I sort of owed him a try at the Indian place even though I wasn’t too optimistic about it.