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How not to sound weird when talking to authority?

146 Answers
Last Updated: 11/26/2021 at 4:59pm
How not to sound weird when talking to authority?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Licensed Professional Counselor

A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.

Top Rated Answers
May 24th, 2018 2:34pm
Sometimes people feel awkward talking to authority figures in fear that you'll say something stupid. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and take a step into their shoes, imagine how you would feel if you were that authority figure while talking to you. That's what I do whenever I get too scared to talk to someone, and it actually really helps me.
June 7th, 2018 5:16am
I have struggled with talking to authority figures and learned to practice deep breathing before a meeting. If I encounter an interaction on the spot, I remind myself to take my deep breaths quietly while putting on my neutral, slightly smiling face. By doing this I calm my nervous system and I tend to talk with more clarity.
June 9th, 2018 8:29pm
When talking to authority remember to always be kind and respectful to your elders. It says a lot about your character
June 9th, 2018 11:12pm
Be confident. Authority isn’t there to hurt you or make you feel bad, authority is there to help you in learning a lesson or important information.
June 17th, 2018 11:08pm
Just try to relax and do your best to communicate clearly and directly. Remember to speak in your usual level of volume, and try to remember not to speak too fast.
June 22nd, 2018 6:06pm
Always say Ma’am/Sir and do not use slang or curse words. Be respectful and kind and most of all be yourself.
June 24th, 2018 10:39pm
Be a leader, not a boss or a dictator. Help the people that are following your lead to succeed, use other people’s skills to your groups advantage, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
June 27th, 2018 3:51pm
Before we speak it is good to be aware of who we are speaking to. Know your audience. If you have noticed that they have certain preferences in the way they would like to be addressed, try to keep them in mind. Adopt a non-argumentative and respectful stance, even though you might not always agree. Stay confident, maintain eye contact and try to communicate efficiently with clear, concise language. But remember, people with authority are human too. So there is no reason to be afraid of them.
July 8th, 2018 9:36am
I think that comes with confidence, don't over think it. You know what you want to say, don't wonder if people think it's weird. It's not.
July 13th, 2018 3:21am
Being as professional and to the point as possible is the best way to not only sound intelligent to authority but also give point that you are in control of yourself and thoughts and you are firm in what you say and do and thus shows maturity to the authority figure and allots them to treat you with more respect and understanding.
July 25th, 2018 10:27am
Just stay calm. Im assuming by authority or mean law enforcement. I would think they're used to people sounding weird with them considering who they are,
July 27th, 2018 2:58pm
Be yourself and be polite, such as adding mam or sir, mr and mrs/ms to maintain that formal boundary.
August 2nd, 2018 3:53pm
Respect. Always. Be polite on even the smallest things. Don’t use any type of slang like you wild with your friends.
August 2nd, 2018 9:15pm
Just be kind - as long as you can convey a positive tone, or emotion whilst you're talking to them then you'll be a-ok. Introverted and feel like your rambling or not talking enough - as long as you're projecting positivity or being receptive to what they say - then they'll be more welcoming and accepting.
August 6th, 2018 6:41am
When talking to authority remember to be respectful but don't think they're better than you in any way. Talk normally, but be proper.
August 8th, 2018 9:04am
Try and relax a little but remain in a formal matter. Don't let anxiety manifest into physical form and prevent you tackling the task and hand and speak as if they were a friend and you were at a formal convention.
October 11th, 2018 7:27pm
We all think we sound weird when talking to others! In a public speaking course, I learned that fear of public speaking rates higher for people than the fear of death. Speaking to an authority figure is much the same, because you feel like you have a spotlight on you and that every word is being scrutinized as if under a microscope. So much of that fear is our own perception of ourselves and the short answer to your problem is that the more you practice something, the easier it becomes. Role play with friends and family who can give you constructive feedback on the way you sound and point out when they think you "sound weird" or are making common speaking mistakes, such as stammering, using words like "um" or using the word "like" too frequently. You can overcome this obstacle, but it requires practice and confidence! Best of luck to you!
December 2nd, 2018 12:39pm
Just be yourself. That is the most simple thing to do. Do not even change yourself to authority or whoever you wish to talk to. Be yourself, calm down, relax. They are likely to be humans just like you are, so there is no need to actually feel embarrassed to do things wrong - we all do things wrong sometimes and it is not bad at all to have an embarrassing situation. They can help us to improve and work on ourselves and with each step you are doing, you will grow. You see, it is not even bad or something like that - you just need to look at it from a different perspective.
December 20th, 2018 11:52pm
You can sound less awkward and weird by just talking in a calm and collective voice, and addressing them by “sir” or “ma’am”. It could also help if you don’t look like you’ve seen a ghost, and look at them with a calm look, not looking intimidated. Looking intimidated can make that person feel uncomfortable and weird as well. It also depends on how well you know them, or their personality. If you know them well, you can maybe say hello by addressing them by their name. If it is someone who is new to you, you can start by saying hello, and eventually ask them questions to get to know them better.
January 26th, 2019 6:58am
When we speak to authority we should be respectful, compliant and understanding. If we become anxious or nervous our speech becomes impaired and anxiety can take charge of the rest of our actions. To prevent this, remain calm and think that if nothing wrong has been done, nothing is to be feared as authority is usually in that authority position because they are either qualified or trained. Be honest with your actions and with your words, seek to not be hostile and to comply with reasonable requests, authority figures are to be respected at all times as they can impact our livelihood if we don't comply with their requests.
February 17th, 2019 5:29pm
Know your priorities, and respectfully communicate with them, assuming they are supportive and kind over judgemental and critical. How they respond is outside of your control, as long as you are acting as a responsible, caring, and polite individual, it will sound like you have enough self-respect for them to begin to treat you respectfully. I find that the more I am willing to look out for others in a way that cares for myself too, the more that others automatically look up to me, and don't just dismiss me as a nobody. Many in authority do so to serve others. Respect and recognize this.
July 5th, 2019 3:18am
Do it politely. Then say clearly what you want them to do, how is the situation, and your requests (if you have any). Look at them in their eyes. You don't have to smile or use gestures. Just act confident. They're also human. But they have more life experience. And that's it. Respect them for that. If they rejected your request, then smile politely and say, "I'm thankful that you listened to my concerns." Or if it's really urgent, tell them what will happen if they keep on rejecting. And how it will affect others including you. Well then, good luck.
August 2nd, 2019 9:09am
This is a subjective question. If you feel weird talking to a person in authority, it is a personal reflection of your performance in a social arena. Everyone will sound weird if they think they are awkward and sound weird - it's a self fulfilling psychological prophecy. Just know what message you want to get across and why. Your passion and conviction will carry a lot of weight. If you are asking questions just to get attention, that can come across as quite contrite. But if you ask a question because you have genuine curiousity and want to learn, it shows.
August 15th, 2019 2:18am
I think it's always difficult not to overthink your responses and behavior/body language when speaking to someone of/in authority. I've always found that remaining calm, respectful and listening carefully to what is being said tends to work best for me. When you overthink the situation, you tend to act unnaturally and then potentially portray yourself as difficult or hiding something! Further, if you tend to become more anxious in this type of situation, perhaps try to keep your sentences short and more to the point as opposed to rambling. This paired with the previous point helps put me at ease, and by default, helps me in not sounding too weird!
August 22nd, 2019 4:00am
Talking with any figure of authority can be intimidating. You know that you're supposed to treat them differently than your peers... but different how? What I've found to be helpful is talking to authoritative figures more or less the same way you talk to anyone else. The key difference being that you should show much more respect to figures of authority. Easy ways to do this include: - Saying ma'am or sir - Saying please and thank you - Looking them in the eye - Being as polite as possible It's a really safe bet that none of those things will make you seem weird to the person you're talking to. Remember that figures of authority are just people. They don't want to make you uncomfortable or make you feel stupid. Talk to them the same way you would talk to anyone else, but show more respect. They definitely won't think you're weird :)
September 4th, 2019 1:55am
It can definitely be awkward sometimes talking to authority. I think a way to approach this is to speak formally and with some caution to word choice. It's a good idea to be aware of who you're speaking with and the situation! For example, this can be seen in emails or texts with certain people– how you would email a higher-up or coworker would usually be a little different from emailing a friend or family. It's nice to be polite and conscious of your surroundings when talking to someone of greater status. Lots of manners do no harm, and can go a long way!
September 15th, 2019 12:05pm
I think it would be best to understand that someone in a position of authority is a human being, just as you are. They have a life, a heart, a soul, dreams and wishes. Sometimes it's best just to be you. Honesty is always the best policy. If you are being truthful, expressing your concerns in a calm and patient manner, I could only imagine that it would be warmly received. Just being real, just connecting, understanding that there is some sort of relationship that has brought the two of you together. Sometimes even, if you have the chance, to write down how you feel ahead of time can help. And refer to your notes while speaking with them, could prove to be most helpful.
December 25th, 2019 11:47am
Well the best thing is to realize they are only people as ourselves and treat them as such first, and being a bit nervous also says one is knowing of the importance and responsibility authorities hold, then again being to nervous might make one look weary of authority and so make the authority in question weary of oneself, one can also be honest and just say what's on their mind, for example when pulled over by an officer one could simply say, I'm sorry officer I haven't interacted a lot with authority and I'm a little bit nervous, be assured the officer in question will ease the tension and relax the situation 👮
February 14th, 2020 11:54am
Understand that they have their power of authority because you agree that they have it. They are just as much of a person as you are, but they have authority because you respect the responsibility that they have. I would try to be friendly, empathetic, and encouraging. Listen attentively and check in to make sure you understand what they want. Don't lie or be dishonest. Then thank them for their hard work, for the info that they shared, and you hope that things go well for them. Even if the person in authority is a bit of a jerk, you still need to try to act with good intention. The more resistant or even unpredictable or nervous you seem, the more difficult the other person may act. Just relax, and be warm and friendly. Respect their role, but understand they are just a person getting through the day.
February 22nd, 2020 10:10pm
My biggest tip would be to stop doubting yourself and what you have to say. Definitely, be prepared for what you have to say but also remember that they could catch you off guard. Another important thing would be confident, yes these people would be considered authority but you need to be confident in what you're going to say. Believe in yourself and everyone will start too. Lastly, when you're going in to talk with them remove the precedent you have about them. Don't treat them like they're some idol, treat them with respect but also don't over-emphasize the importance they hold.
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