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.

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Five TV shows that will be problematic in 10 years' time

IT’S only a matter of time until your viewing habits are cancelled by your kids and you’re declared a wrong ’un. Here are five shows that will age badly over the next decade.

Peep Show

A programme told literally from the male gaze won’t stand a chance, no matter how ironic. First they’ll ban the episodes where Mark and Jez burn a dog and stalk a woman, and before you know it the whole series will be taken off All 4. 

Life on Mars

Surprisingly not because of Gene Hunt’s backward attitudes, which will be considered a totally realistic documentary-like portrayal of the police in the 70s and 80s . Instead, the show will be binned because it glamourises being in a coma, which is kind of a big twist so maybe don’t read this if you haven’t seen it yet.

The Great British Bake Off

From our point of view it’s twee and harmless, but future generations will write it off because the judges are always really wasteful when it comes to tasting food. Anyone who ever watched and enjoyed the show will be forced to undergo corrective aversion therapy like at the end of A Clockwork Orange.

Mastermind

This nerve-racking quiz show is the opposite of a safe space. First the music puts the willies up the contestants – it’s even called ‘Approaching Menace’ – then they’re put under extreme pressure by scary John Humphrys. It’s basically an anxiety attack disguised as entertainment. 

Countryfile

Easily the most problematic show ever made, sugar coating the systematic oppression of livestock in our nation’s farms. Plus it’s boring as f**k and you and your girlfriend only watched it to objectify Matt Baker or Kate Humble.