All Ears English Podcast - 1909: Own the Connection By Trying Something New

This is an all ears English podcast episode 1909 own the connections by trying something new

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We’ll show you how to become fearless and fluent by focusing on

connection not

perfection with your American hosts Lindsey McMahon the English adventurer and

Michelle Kaplan the New York radio girl coming to you from Colorado and New York City


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Do you have trouble connecting with your co-workers lots of awkward silences in the elevator

Today Lindsey and Michelle show you a tactic that works at home and in the office to feel more connected to people around you

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Hey, Michelle, I got a question for you. All right, Lindsay. Hi. What’s the question?

Well, do you have an easy time kind of making friends and sort of figuring out how to connect with them?

Like with that one person, you know, what is it about them that you could bring out in them and that connection?

Is that easy or what do you think? Well, Lindsay, I think that like I mean, I like to think that it’s easy

I think what makes it easy and we’ve talked about this before it’s like just like finding things that you have in common

yeah, and that’s when like the conversation really gets going but like

sometimes you might

It’s not always that do you have a bunch of stuff in common that will lead to like a lot of exciting?

Conversation you have to kind of find it. You do have to find it. Yeah, and that can be hard, you know

Not everyone takes the time though to try to do it

But I think it does make sense if you can take a little extra time and figure out what your angle is

I bet that applies to your kids too, right to connecting with your children. I know a lot of our listeners are

parents, but today we’re gonna find out about a

Strategy that goes way beyond just parenting right Michelle. Yeah, absolutely

Yeah, a lot of things from real life. Just make me think of you know, how can this apply to you know?

Connecting in any situation

Language learning or whatever it is


yeah, I mean this is really, you know, I’ll tell you more in a minute but just as my about my experience as a mom and

Like how I’ve found to like really get even closer. I mean my my daughter is like a real baby right now

So she doesn’t have interest

Shake a little rattle, but that’s about it

Um, but yeah, so we’ll talk more about that in a second. But guys we want to say thank you so much to those who

Have reviewed us right? Thank you to our reviewers. And if you haven’t reviewed us yet, right Lindsay, what should they do?

I think you guys got to go leave us a review right leave us a review

Let us know what you think about the show special. Thank you to quay real rip from the u.s

TD tubes and from Switzerland

Donine SF from the u.s. Thank you to

A foot teach from Iran and you’re on who from the Czech Republic

I love that these reviews Michelle are from all over the world. Most of them are five-star reviews, by the way

Fantastic. Thank you. And one of them here. They asked a question and I’m about to put this question into our list here

Yeah, great place to put your questions and just let us know what you think about the show guys read and we’ll try to read

Your name on the show. Okay, good stuff. Excellent

Alright, so thank you guys so much. So what I was saying was that

One of the things that so, you know little kids they get really into

Their fates. It’s like so my my son used to love like Thomas the Train. Yeah, and

Now it’s this show Paw Patrol and like there’s always like this phase and the second you bought them every single toy

You can buy then they’re not interested. Oh, no, isn’t that such an analogy for life?

That’s how adults are too, isn’t it? When you get everything and all those get them you don’t want it anymore

Yeah, I’m like today. I had a situation we were

You know, I was thinking about like what to do was that I had my son home from school today

so I had the two children and um, and

I decided cuz he he still loves trains even though he doesn’t necessarily like that show

but um

I decided that we would just ride the train just like one stop and get off and

then like go to like a toy store and I would get him a little something and

So we did that and he only wants one thing and I didn’t think that the store we were going to would have that thing

But I figured okay, I’ll get him something else. So we like take the train like, you know, we do the whole walk

He’s really excited for whatever whatever toy it’s gonna be and then we get there and it had closed ten minutes ago

No, no poor thing. Oh, did he throw a tantrum? Did he freak out?

He got very upset because he wanted that toy, but again, I don’t think that that toy was going to be there

So I you know, I had to it’s interesting to like try and talk him through

Yeah a disappointment like I tried to teach him the word disappointed and then oh

And like, you know, I like said like oh you’re feel and then I was like, so what you’re feeling it’s disappointed

I was like, do you want to say that do you want to try saying I’m disappointed? He’s like now

Disappointed he doesn’t want to hear about it. Yeah. Yeah

Anyway, but the whole but my whole point is um

When he does get into something I want to get into it, too

Like I was telling you we’re gonna be Paw Patrol for Halloween

Yeah, wait like with with Thomas like I learned all the songs I may like, you know, I want to

And I really feel that when I do that it really like makes him feel closer to me

Because it’s like oh like we share the same interest even though like yeah

He’s a kid and I’m the mom so like I don’t know it just so it could be the books like I’ll read him the books

About Paw Patrol like all sorts of things like and do I necessarily care about it myself?

No, not like I know the characters I know about it like so I’m able to like have like this like I’m realizing that there’s

Positive impact like me just like actually like genuinely enjoying what he enjoys or caring about it

Even though like I just said, I don’t not really but like he thinks

So but this got me thinking about relationship and relationships in general

Like not just with kids and I often have students asking me about making friends and we have to think about this philosophy

And again, I don’t want you to think that oh that I’m like making it sound like children. It’s not it’s not bad

It’s just something from my life that I realized like can apply to everyone really. Um

Like so let’s say everyone at your office watches a certain show

Right. Yes. Yes, you can be a bystander you can listen to it

But if you don’t watch that show and like become a fan, you know, then you won’t share that, right? Oh


Man, this makes me think of football in my extended family. Oh, oh, no. Does this mean I have to become a football fan?

I think you have to stay true to yourself

but I do think like

especially in the situation of I think a lot about like the office like being at an office if you know like you’re working on

Your English you want to make friends? I really think that like just to ask questions about the show like

Yeah, don’t force yourself. Don’t force yourself

But I also think like pick up one of the things that they’re talking about right like yeah

Yeah, like and then see because then you will start to have things in common. So like just just try it

You know, yeah, and it’s just more fun

Like sometimes I’ll be you know out in Denver and a game just lets out and I see these people and they’re so into the game

Right, they’re so into the fact that their team won or they’re sad like they’re super invested

And I wonder what would that be like to be that big of a sports fan, you know?

You really get into it and then you’re fully living in the moment

You really care about what happens in that game and then you can connect with the people at work that really cared about that game

Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. So I really I don’t know when I thought about this

I very specifically was thinking like of an office setting because I just think that that’s like a place where you want to you know

Really jump in and and so I guess my point is just like have an open mind. Yeah

And you know, if there’s one show that they talk about all the time like try it out

Try it out, you know, you know, it’s just going to bring about more opportunities for connection

so if you necessarily

you know if you’re like sitting in the lunchroom and like people are always talking about something and then you’re like

Oh, I don’t sure like I’m happy to ask questions about it or just to listen actually watch it like go for it

You know, yeah, it kind of it feels awful to be and it kind of feels a lot

Like what happens when we don’t speak a language that we’re always talking about how to avoid that situation where we feel disconnected

I’m imagining in the office lunchroom. It’s the same thing

Like there’s always a moment with my mother-in-law my father-in-law

Everyone in that side of the family when they go into football

It’s ten minutes and I just literally like I tune out I just look around the room and then they come out of it


Think God it passes

But it is a moment of disconnection of being totally disconnected from these people around us

So we want you guys to feel that connection at the office, right?

So you do yeah, it’s like you kind of just like glaze over

Like wait, you know, maybe look at your phone a little bit, right?

So it is this like again you I mean, yeah, I I have this with sports a lot too, actually, but I mean I

Think that again don’t force yourself and it’s not saying do something that you’re not interested in

You don’t need to become a huge football fan, you know

But if there are little things that you can do it if you are really, you know

Trying to form these connections and you know that that’s a way to do it is to just like actually

It’s kind of like the fake it till you make it idea. Yeah, and you can also enjoy

I’m just thinking going with the football analogy

Maybe you don’t get into the nuances of why this team traded that person which is what I hear all the time all the trades

Although I don’t know, but maybe I can enjoy going to a game eating like a bratwurst

Drinking a beer or just sitting in the living room eating popcorn with my family, right?

I can enjoy that part of it, you know, so there is something to it. So Michelle

What could our listeners do in terms of vocabulary to get into it get into these things that TV show or that game?

Whatever it is. Sure. Well, I mean the first thing is to ask questions, you know, like oh, what channel is it on?

Or what’s it about? Yeah, that’s a huge what’s it about? Um, yeah, but then when you watch right?

What’s what’s something you could say? Yeah, you could say I started watching or reading or listening to blank

All right. So for example, I started watching Breaking Bad

I never watched Breaking Bad, but a lot of people did so I was cut out of a lot of conversations

You never did. What was the one about the the teacher that was like cooking up cocaine? Is that that? Okay, that is

Right exactly like I mean I’ve been you know in those situations where you’re kind of like yeah

Yeah, so take that take that moment and do something about it, you know, like actually say, okay

I’m gonna I’m gonna actually give it a try

Yeah, the one that I did just start watching since I think since we’ve been recording together Michelle is

Handmaid’s Tale. Oh my god, that one is

Louise it’s so intense. We had to take a break from it just because it is so intense

It’s good, but it’s too much too much to handle. Yeah, I just realized today that I’m not watching any specific shows Wow

That’s a first, right?

I mean, it’s a while like I don’t have a series that I’m watching

I’m just like last night like, um, you know the movie My Cousin Vinny. Yeah, of course. That is so good. Actually

It’s so good. It’s so good. I think we watched that once in an ESL class

I was teaching in New York actually because of the New York accent

Right. It’s a New York family. Yeah

Yeah, it’s it like I mean I’ve seen it so many times and it was a great last night

I’m like, I was just watching it and I was laughing out loud. Like it is so good

It is still funny like anyway

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All right. So what else Michelle? What else do our listeners need in terms of vocab to take this to the next level?

All right. So another thing you could say is guess what? I’m on episode blank of blank

So for example, guess what? I’m on episode 4 of Game of Thrones. That’s another one. I did not watch. Did you watch that?

No, I never got into Game of Thrones. No, I just I’m just not gonna be able to catch up now

Or you could say are you caught up on?

On Handmaid’s Tale, for example, are you caught up on? This is us. That’s one that you and I have watched in the past, right?

This is us

And like people will be excited then like yeah, like that’s that’s what I’m saying

It’s like it’s a difference between being like, oh, yeah



like tell me about this show and then if you watch it and then because if somebody really loves it and then you get into it

Then it’s like oh you are like what’s going on?

Like what’s like what’s going on that episode again? Like you haven’t heard the pet, you know, like then it’s like

Oh, yeah

it’s like you delve into a whole new world that wasn’t there before like a whole new set of things you can talk about with

The person and again guys

Relationships are built not necessarily. Well, you’re discussing the business

It’s sort of around the business right during the lunchtime around that small talk and socializing

A lot of you guys have told us you need skills for being social at work. This is it, right? Absolutely

Yeah, so another thing would be just like what did you think of X?

like what did you think of SNL Saturday Night Live like that so it doesn’t have to be always like a

Series that you know, it can be just like a variety special type thing. Sure

Is there anything we should avoid here Michelle when we’re bringing this up? We’re asking people about these things these shows. Mm-hmm, right?

I think avoid being insincere right like don’t just say something to fit in, you know

like try it but it’s also like if you don’t like it like if I like if I

Tried to watch Game of Thrones to fit in with people. I don’t think it would work, right? Like yeah, I feel the same way

or the football thing like you you want to be true to yourself because then people can kind of

Like then it then it’s weird, right? Because then yeah, that would be weird

Then it feels like oh, you’re just like doing it

Like it’s like feels like you’re happy like if you’re doing like avoid doing everything the other people do like you don’t all of a sudden

Have to copy everything or watch everything. Yeah

Yeah, try and choose one thing and have an open mind to it because maybe you will like it

But if you don’t like it, that’s fine, too completely. Yeah, I don’t need to just know everything about football to connect with them

Maybe it’s another topic that they have to themselves that I could get into right maybe football

I leave it for them and sometimes they feel kind of great that I can tune out for a minute to be honest

Exactly so don’t lose yourself right Michelle don’t lose yourself

I would say like, you know, try and make it a goal that you know to get into one new thing you hear

Other people talking about especially if it’s something they’re gonna talk about every week, you know, try it out like but again

Don’t I mean like if it’s not for you like that?

It’s just gonna it’s just not gonna people will be able to tell and like oh really like seems like she’s just watching it

To you know, like that’s weird. That’s weird. Yeah, don’t lose yourself. I love it

Should we do a role play for our listeners?

Let’s do it. All right, so I’m who’s new at work. You’re new at work. Oh, I guess I am. Yes, I guess I meant

So you’re new at work Michelle and I am going to tell you that I love a show called pumpkins

Okay. All right. Here we go. All right. Here we go. All right. Guess what Lindsay? I’m on episode 3 of pumpkins

Oh, wow, you started watching awesome. What do you think? Oh, it’s great. Are you caught up? Yes, I’ve watched so many

Are you caught up? Yes, I’ve watched season 2. I can’t wait for you to get to episode 12. It’s incredible

What did you think of the twist at the end of the first episode? I was shocked

See, yeah, so it becomes more fun that connection now a lot more fun, you know

I mean in some ways in a perfect world, we would just connect naturally with everyone

It didn’t we didn’t wouldn’t have to have a TV show or a piece of media. That’s not reality, right?

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Exactly. Exactly. People like to talk about the shows that they do they do

So, what did we say here? Let’s see

We said first you said I’m on episode 3, right?

Pumpkins, that’s what that’s just the show. I thought to me. I don’t know what it’s about

But uh, oh it makes me think of the show ghost ghosts. Have you seen ghosts? No, it’s cool. It’s fun

It’s just half an hour and it’s a great one. Anyways, go check it out. And then we can talk about it Michelle

And then you said what do you think so but and then this is a good one are you caught up

What does that mean? Hmm? Have you seen it all the way until the end?

Like have you seen the lat most recent episode? Are you caught up?

Exactly. Exactly

And then you got all excited

And then yeah, I mean, it’s not necessarily using okay, like we didn’t use all the expressions here, right?

I wanted to give an example of how it works

Yeah, but you did say at the end you said what did you think of the twist, right?

We taught our listeners that what did you think of X something that happened right now?

You have more to talk about guys

This is how we avoid those kind of awkward moments where it feels like there’s nothing to talk about at work

Okay. Yes, exactly

Those awkward silences. Yeah, so, you know try, you know, I don’t know

I think just try and find the things that you might have in common and if you don’t have something in common

Pick one thing that everyone’s talking about try it out

See if it’s for you if not move on see if there’s another thing but you know that yeah

I think that it’s just a good idea like and it just leads me back to what I was saying about my son is like

I have like you have to you know, if I show genuine interest it brings a lot more to our

Relationship and you have more fun too. So that’s the key guys

So this really is bit even though you know, we we started the episode talking about kids and family and everything

It’s business English for the modern professional, right?

Cuz right we watch TV our co-workers watch TV we connect on different around different media different things happening

This is business English right here guys. So good stuff, Michelle good stuff

All right. All right. Well, this was fun and

Lindsay I guess we’re not gonna be watching football anytime soon. No, I’m not getting into that. Nope not gonna happen

All right, Michelle. Take care

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With my Freddy’s rewards

it’s easy to get lower than low prices for the win earn fuel points on every purchase and save up to a dollar a gallon at

The pump my Freddy’s rewards. All you do is win big big savings sign up now at Fred Meyer calm and start saving

Fred Meyer fresh for everyone savings may vary by state fuel restrictions apply save more on natural and organic items

Just clip your digital coupons on our app and use them up to five times in one transaction with your card Fred Meyer fresh for everyone

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