Is it necessary to respond to an oral statement?

by Virginia
(Refugio, Texas, USA)

My spouse of 17 years and I have an ongoing argument when he makes general statements and I don't respond to them. I do respond when questions or my opinion are asked. I was taught that it was not necessary to respond to statements. What is the correct answer - respond or not?


Thank you.

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Conversation v. Lecturing
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Virginia~

This question involves the definition of conversing which is: the spoken interchange of thoughts and feelings. If one is conversing, rather than lecturing, an acknowledgement from the listener is the preferred. The reply can be a smile, a nod, or spoken words directly relating to the topic. These are the ingredients of a civilized conversation. If the speaker is not directing his statement to you, there is no obligation to acknowledge or reply.

However, good manners always require we acknowledge others in our presence whether they are speaking or not.

I hope this helps settle your long running argument, during which you both speak I hope!

Good luck,

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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