Agree as a means of quick wit: fun with language games

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Text comes from: Einfach schlagfertig: Zehn Methoden, die jeder anwenden kann (2015) from Peter Kensok, Petra Schächtele-Philipp, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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An inspiration for the elegant repartee is the ambiguity in our language. Who is a statement pictorial imagine can, is clearly in the advantage.

Here writes for you:


Peter Kensok peter_kensokPeter Kensok is Peter Kensok is communication trainer, coach and psychotherapist. 


Here writes for you:


Petra Schächtele-Philipp schaechtlePetra Schächtele-Philipp is a trainer and rhetorician.


From the author:



Hikes and similar ambiguities

The term "hiking construction site" in the traffic news seduces to images with hiking boots and backpacks. From there, further associations are possible. The term "Flugananas" is also the starting point for most readers.

Ambiguities are also called ambiguities. They throw us out of our minds, make fun, usually distract in a humorous way from the gravity of the situation and help us after a smile back to the factual level. Thus the saying is handed down by the comedian Heinz Erhardt (1909 - 1979): "Don't stand like cognac, uh, rum, no rum."

What we hear, we decide ourselves

Note: We basically decide ourselves what we hear in an attack. We can feel attacked or we can get something funny out of an inner distance for every situation.

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Maybe our counterpart is just bad at complimenting and therefore misses the right tone. Then a good answer can still be: “Thanks for the compliment. Then I'm a real expert. ” So follow an old rhetorical rule and only understand what you want to understand and what it helps to alleviate the situation: the recipient always determines what and how he or she should accept a message.

Fun at the ambiguity

Take a closer look at the ambiguities of our language - and have fun with it.

  1. “How did you like the schnitzel?” - "Randomly - under the salad."
  2. "If you find a mistake, you can keep it."
  3. "You are a wrong snake!" "Better a false snake than a real one."

Advertising, for example, lives on, and sometimes you can find examples in the headlines of the newspaper: Shooting club motto: “Learn to shoot, meet friends!”

Niedertracht is not a dirndl

Even with compound nouns, we often change the reference. Just think of dog cake and strawberry. Or: Hellseher and Schwarzseher. Some words are ambiguous from the outset: note, banknote, sound, censorship, personal character.

They will soon enjoy the fact that Niedertracht is not a Dirndl from Lower Bavaria, not even the Unterrock. Neandertals are not a currency, Pizzablitze rarely hit, with cleft tablets sow no discord. And there are no old women, but only those who are young a little longer.

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When the shot goes backwards

Make sure that your word punches are neither outdated nor too stupid, otherwise the shot will backfire:

  1. "Do you know where to go to the train station?" - "Yes."
  2. “When does the bus leave?” - "About after he got there."

Ambiguities are original and still funny. To constantly change the word in the mouth to each person is annoying.


Dissect word for word attacks or objections like a surgeon with which you get to do it. Listen carefully, and search for an ambiguous aspect that is modestly concealed behind the obvious. This usually happens because every property is useful in any environment.

Sometimes the appropriate environment has not yet been discovered and you could be the first to succeed. Each thing has at least two sides: a scientific and a rational one. The third would be the comic after Karl Valentin. But hopefully you have already noticed this from above.

Make unpleasant pleasant

Formulate unpleasant questions in a way that makes them enjoyable! If someone becomes offensive, pick up the offensive word and find something positive about it. Your conversation partner will be very surprised when he realizes that he has just made a compliment to you unintentionally:

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  1. "Now don't get whiny, Mrs. Schubert."
  2. "If you confirm my empathy and high level of social competence, then I appreciate your appreciation."

What can the meaning still mean?

Ms. Schubert could add: “At first glance, empathy may be superfluous. On the second you can see better that it strengthens your relationship with other people. ” - But this addition from Ms. Schubert would no longer be necessary.

So always ask yourself: What does that mean besides what is obviously meant? Look for other ways of interpreting the statements. Because pressure creates counter pressure, even in the event of attacks. Usual reflexes are: "Not true at all!" or "I will not put up with it!". Instead, just agree, because it will take the wind out of your attacker's sail.

Easy to take with humor!

Your attacker was expecting your objection or justification. However, justifications are the No. 1 humor killer! Think playfully and creatively and keep all options open. Or as the French writer Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) said: "Cluelessness is a good weapon."

You're right and I mean peace

You will search in vain with someone who does not want this, who does not pick up the ball, so to speak. Even worse is when someone agrees and says: "You are right and I am calm." This means that any offer of dispute comes to nothing.

Take in this Sense Distance from automatic Weil reasons! Look deliberately for the part of your counterpart's statement that you can agree with. If you are already starting to make a statement, then it should give the impression that you initially fully agree to the provision. So we take the statement seriously. And our counterpart also feels taken seriously.

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To create common ground

With this technique you can create common ground. For example, if someone says: "Driving is the greatest pollution ever!", You can elegantly bring him on board. "That's right, and if you still enjoy your diesel, don't let your own opinion spoil it!"

Also a multiple "Yes, that's right!" will irritate your counterpart. You are also using it to deny attack surfaces and let it run into the void. Or respond with an implicit consent by asking the other party to continue speaking. True to the English motto: “Wilhelm, tell me more!”

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