Handy Conversation Fillers and How to Deliver Them for Maximum Drama

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a one-way conversation, here are some interjections you can use to contribute.

“Holy moly!”: Start with this one. Wade into the shallow end of the interaction with this popular religious saying.

“That’s so hard”: Cradle something physically hard—like nails, cement, or tooth enamel. This will show that you really understand what’s being said. Neuropsychologists call this “empathy.”

“Basically . . . ”: Draw this one out slowly, as if you really agree with whatever your interlocutor is saying. Slip into some chunky heels, sip boxed wine, and wear turquoise jewelry. You do you!

“That’s nice”: Exude niceness by rocking in a hammock while wearing sweatpants that read “Some shall be pardoned, and some punished” across the booty. It’s Shakespeare, so you’ll seem really smart even if you nap for a bit before they see the quote.

“Uh-huh, uh-huh”: Check if your conversational partner even notices whether you’re still there by creeping off to hide for a little bit.

“What!”: This should be more of a loud statement than a question. When the speaker tries to clarify, stare to the left of their face. Say it again a minute later even if they are now talking about something else. Say it a third time and pop in a monocle. Use your best “My Fair Lady” post-transformation voice. Even though you are waving around a gorgeous riding crop, let the “H” in “what” be the real star of the moment.

“You do you”: Green-eggs-and-ham it up to drive home the point that you being you is an unavoidable part of the human condition. You will do you on a boat and with a goat and in a box and with a fox. You will do you here and there. In fact, you will do you everywhere.

“That’s everything!”: This is the finale, so shout it through a mouthful of your favorite snack, while staring into your friend’s eyes and pouring the rest of the food on the ground in front of you. Retreat to your hiding place from earlier, and then wait until dusk before returning to collect your leftovers.

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