Lately I'm trying really hard to admit when I can't follow a conversation. I do this by saying 'I don't understand,' and most people are really helpful and respond by explaining what they mean in a way that makes sense to me. It means I don't have to pretend I know what's going on when I have absolutely no idea.
This doesn't always work though, some people react by repeating the same instruction a bit louder and by the third or fourth time they're shouting and I still have no idea what's going on. I am not an idiot, I just need things reworded sometimes. If I say this to the other person it often makes things worse (but at least it makes me feel better).
I have no solution but I thought there might be a few people on here who relate! Are there any things you wish other people would do differently?
Since English isn't my first language I get this all the time, think British people are known for it (repeating the same louder, I mean), so why should it be different when you don't understand something for another reason... Language is a good excuse though :) Think my biggest problem with understanding (well, before moving to Norway) is that if I don't understand some little and often unimportant detail I keep thinking and wondering about that and then miss the things that did actually matter. Then people find it impolite and offensive because they think I got bored and stopped listening... In a way I would prefer if people thought I had a thick moment, at least they wouldn't get angry. Anyway, I also keep asking if I didn't get something, I can't have that, to not know what exactly someone meant, even if it's not something that's crucial for me to know.