We realized that the kiddo was either bursting into song or making up zany stories because they didn’t know how to respond to “What did you do yesterday/this weekend/this morning/etc.?”
So here are some options:
- I don’t remember.
- I can’t recall at the moment.
- I forget.
- Nothing interesting/too interesting/special/worth talking about.
- Not much.
- The usual.
- I’m not sure, let me ask <person>/check my journal.
Follow up these types of responses with:
- What did you <repeat their question>?
- How about you?
- Enough about me, what about you?
Or for people you are closer too or will interact with more often, you can use something like this instead:
- I’d rather hear what you did.
- Why do you ask?
- Is it ok to skip the small talk/formalities?
- I wonder if you’re asking to connect, and if so, can we just hug/sing a hello song/<other ritual of connection>?
- Nothing I want to discuss, can we talk about <topic> instead?
- Do you actually want to know or are you being polite, and if you’re being polite, can we pretend I gave a polite reply?
- I acknowledge and accept your bid for social engagement, let’s go play!
- Socially acceptable response of your choice.
- The above one is best used with someone familiar as it is more flippant than polite.
Notes for NT folks, if you get an unexpected response, you have two choices: get offended or get curious. Please choose curiosity and kindness. Some options that might help:
- Wait, I’m confused, did you hear my question?
- Do you want help with answering it?
- Hmm, I wonder if you are having trouble answering my question?
- Does this mean you’re ready to get going/started/skip the small talk?
- I feel sad/hurt/disconnected when I don’t get the expected response to my bid for connection. Is there some way you feel comfortable acknowledging that I’m trying to connect?