We knew a lady who was very dramatic. She would go to the doctors or the hospital and scream and carry on until they saw her. We thought this was terrible, but she did get seen very very quickly. It wasn't until I was much much older that I realised the wisdom of her actions. A few years ago, I was in a hospital emergency waiting room waiting to be seen with a raging eye infection... I won't describe it but it was becoming very serious very fast. I was constantly pushed back in the queue until my awesome mother kicked up a stink. It's sad that this is what it came to but it was the best and only way to handle the situation. I know of people who have applied for the NDIS only to be offered little to no help despite being very disabled and in need of help not only to enjoy life but to survive. In each case it has taken stern action by themselves or their advocates to be taken seriously. We want to think that people are out to help us and that they have our best intentions at heart but it is often not true. Be kind, be respectful and be patient but if you can't get the help or service you need then be a squeaky wheel... squeak loud and squeak hard... be very very squeaky. Squeak loudly and be heard.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease is an American proverb used to convey the idea that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems are the ones most likely to get attention. It is alternately expressed as "The squeaky wheel gets the oil" - Wikipedia
DREAMS: Do you have a bucket list? What is on your bucket list? When will you start ticking things off? Ask them if they could do anything, what would it be? What did they dream of when they were a child that they still haven't done. You never know, by having this discussion they might actually start planning their own dream fulfilment. Also, you might find that you have some dreams in common.
For each of these points, the key is to listen. If you listen to their answer then you will know what to talk about next. Too often people talk and don't listen. You've got two ears and one mouth so try to use them accordingly... it makes for better conversation.
So, the next time you're stuck in a going nowhere conversation, remember FORD and see for yourself how these simple talking points can bring us all a bit closer to understanding each other.