How to answer "What did you get up to at the weekend?"?

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WeirdMetronome
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25 Oct 2021, 2:50 am

I feel like I've kinda gotten used to the whole small talk of "how are you" etc. at work where I understand it's more of a greeting and not an actual question to be answered. It still makes me feel awkward but I can get it over with without much fuss. But this question trips me up as I don't know what the appropriate way to answer it is (note this is between work colleagues, not friends or people I know very well).

I get that I'm probably not supposed to rattle off a list of everything I did over the weekend, but there are a lot of mundane things I do at the weekend that aren't really worth mentioning since it's the only time I have to get a lot of chores out the way. Do I talk about my hobbies? But then some of them are a bit unusual (not bad, just no one else around me shares the same interests) so I feel kinda awkward bringing them up. I'm worried if I start talking about the things I'm really interested in then I won't be able to stop and will just dump a load of information on someone that they don't want haha.

The other people seem to talk mostly about their children/family but I don't have a family so I can't really add to the conversation in that way. Any tips for how to answer this question in a less awkward way?



magz
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25 Oct 2021, 3:54 am

What are your hobbies? Maybe they're not popular but I think mentioning them wouldn't be bad. Think of it as a gentle signalling "I have a life, too" but then not pushing if people aren't interested.


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babybird
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25 Oct 2021, 4:05 am

Yeah I used to hate it when people asked me what I did at the weekend. The truth is that I did absolutely nothing worth talking about.

I just used to say that I relaxed, watched a bit of telly and had some nice food. People seem satisfied with that. It's probably what most people would do themselves anyway.



WeirdMetronome
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25 Oct 2021, 4:14 am

magz wrote:
What are your hobbies? Maybe they're not popular but I think mentioning them wouldn't be bad. Think of it as a gentle signalling "I have a life, too" but then not pushing if people aren't interested.


My main hobbies at the moment are learning Chinese, playing zither and currently working on a crochet project. Sometimes I go bird watching. I like learning what all the different bird calls sound like so I can recognise them just by listening. Other than that I watch Chinese dramas and play a few video games.

babybird wrote:
I just used to say that I relaxed, watched a bit of telly and had some nice food. People seem satisfied with that. It's probably what most people would do themselves anyway.


Yeah this is probably a good idea. That way I don't have to go into too much detail about anything. :)



magz
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25 Oct 2021, 4:22 am

I think saying something like e.g. "I did some chores, played some video games and worked on my crochet project" could be a satisfying answer - you give something about you without monopolyzing the conversation.


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WeirdMetronome
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25 Oct 2021, 9:00 am

magz wrote:
I think saying something like e.g. "I did some chores, played some video games and worked on my crochet project" could be a satisfying answer - you give something about you without monopolyzing the conversation.


Yeah that's exactly what I want to avoid doing, I don't want to get carried away on a topic that other people either won't know much about or wouldn't be interested in anyway. :P

This type of casual answer is perfect I think ^^



Velorum
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25 Oct 2021, 2:46 pm

I was thinking about this very thing this morning during our work microsoft 'teams' meeting at 9am.

After all these years I still find myself caught out by this one - wondering what to say.

I managed to access my default response though - a simple "it was a very nice weekend thankyou" which seems acceptable. Even though it doesnt really mean anything.

What a waste of time.


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WeirdMetronome
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26 Oct 2021, 2:11 am

Velorum wrote:
I was thinking about this very thing this morning during our work microsoft 'teams' meeting at 9am.

After all these years I still find myself caught out by this one - wondering what to say.

I managed to access my default response though - a simple "it was a very nice weekend thankyou" which seems acceptable. Even though it doesnt really mean anything.

What a waste of time.


Yeah this is exactly the scenario I have been struggling with! We have a Teams meeting every Monday morning and it's always the same... but they're not just happy with me saying that I had a good weekend, they actually ask me what I did as well which is where I get stuck trying to figure out what I should talk about.

Fortunately it has been happening less often recently because they've been trying to cut down the length of these meetings. All the small talk and banter at the start was taking up a huge amount of time so hopefully I won't get asked this so often, but I just want to be a bit more better prepared for when it happens again in future.



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29 Oct 2021, 11:07 pm

Yes I just tell them the usual things, Housework, going for a walk.



Dial1194
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29 Oct 2021, 11:48 pm

They're not asking what you did; they're asking if you would like to enter into a social-framework conversation using the flimsy excuse of anything you care to mention (which may be something you did on the weekend or could be as transparent as "Well I did think about {completely unrelated topic}, blah blah blah...".



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07 Nov 2021, 5:41 am

Errands, chores. Relaxing.



Ade C
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09 Nov 2021, 2:43 pm

When people ask this they're not really interested in the answer. It's just an excuse for them to bore you to tears with what they've done. Just say anything…they won't be listening!



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09 Nov 2021, 3:16 pm

If your sense of humor is up to it, you can inject some humor into the conversation.

-=-=-What did you get up to this weekend?
-=-=-I went hunting! I bagged my limit of dust bunnies!


Many years ago I was able to give my favorite personal response to the question.

-=-=-What did you do this weekend?
-=-=-I changed the lock on our neighbor's front door.
-=-=-Uh, where were they?
-=-=-In Europe.

By then they were interested and I got to explain why I really did change the lock on the neighbor's front door while they were in Europe.


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AprilR
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09 Nov 2021, 3:32 pm

People already gave very good advice like not giving much detail, very general answers but i Just want to add i am so impressed that you are learning chinese and playing the guqin! I also have an interest in chinese culture and cdramas.



WeirdMetronome
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11 Nov 2021, 6:59 am

AprilR wrote:
People already gave very good advice like not giving much detail, very general answers but i Just want to add i am so impressed that you are learning chinese and playing the guqin! I also have an interest in chinese culture and cdramas.


Awesome! :D Sometimes I feel like I am the only one haha. Makes it even harder to share interests with the people around me.



AprilR
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11 Nov 2021, 1:29 pm

WeirdMetronome wrote:
AprilR wrote:
People already gave very good advice like not giving much detail, very general answers but i Just want to add i am so impressed that you are learning chinese and playing the guqin! I also have an interest in chinese culture and cdramas.


Awesome! :D Sometimes I feel like I am the only one haha. Makes it even harder to share interests with the people around me.


Same, i don't know anyone who is interested in the same stuff as i am. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about cdramas and cnovels :)