Saturday, 8th May 2021

Your guide to nodding along when you don't understand something

DO you frequently need to pretend to understand things at work or at home? Here’s how to nod along convincingly even though you haven’t got a clue, as usual.

Nod at different speeds

Change the frequency of your nods to show you are clearly listening and highly engaged. Start slowly and as the speaker is coming to their point start nodding faster. However try not to end up feverishly head-banging as if you’re at an AC/DC gig in the 80s.

Put your hand on your chin

The speaker should not think you are just going to nod along regardless of what they say. Make them work for it at certain moments by putting your hand on your chin as if deep in thought, when actually you’re thinking about tits or sandwiches.

Add in the odd ‘absolutely’ or similar

Throw in the odd ‘absolutely’ and ‘without a doubt’ when you feel sufficiently confident that the speaker is making a good point. Just be careful not to put your foot in it, eg. ‘I feel you’re not really pulling your weight, Emma.’ ‘Absolutely.’

Listen to every third word

To avoid being caught out by suddenly being asked to offer a detailed response to what you have been silently agreeing with, try to at least take in every third word. Repeat these words in your answer and you’ll probably get away with it, particularly if it’s some business bollocks about ‘going forward’ or ‘actioning’ things.

Always remember how little you actually ‘need’ to understand

If you start to feel guilty about rarely listening to what anyone says, remember that most of it is unimportant anyway. Was the information you nodded along to about a meteorite being about to hit your house? Probably not. Although you will never know.