An awkward pause can open like a sinkhole in the middle of party patter, sending you and your conversation partner scrambling for safety. Here are some suggestions next time you need help reaching for the right words.
-Say something nice: "What a beautiful necklace you're wearing!"
-Compliment the host: "Jane always makes the best crab cakes."
-Discuss something everyone can agree on (the weather, the traffic).
-Say something nosy: "How much did you pay for that necklace?"
-Cut down the host: "It's so like Jane to use fake crab in the 'crab' cakes."
-Dispute something no one ever agrees on (God, Al Gore).