Ha! So many mistakes for me!!
My biggest problem is fear of rejection, so I often don’t say ANYTHING, but just nod my head in agreement with what was said! I’m afraid to ask the contrary question followed by the awkward silence.
In the past, I’ve also been yelled at by an atheist friend when I’ve made a quiet comment about the Lord, and his loud, mean response silenced me. I was afraid he’d make a real scene and ruin our evening out with our spouses, so I let it go and didn’t follow up.
I also heavily edit myself afterwards, and am prone to shaming myself for what I didn’t say right. This can be a weapon of discouragement the Enemy can use against me, to demotivate me in sharing the gospel. That’s when I remind myself that the cross is an offense to a lot of people, but is a beautiful fragrance to those being saved. God is responsible for causing the seed to sprout. He only wants me to be faithful in responding to His prompting.
RZIM podcasts have helped me understand that it is more important to focus on the other person and their beliefs and experiences, at least at first. No change can happen outside of relationship, so I need to establish that first (a lot of listening!) and then gain enough respect so I have a platform from which to ask the harder questions. Having that person share where they are coming from is very enlightening. I don’t find myself sharing things they don’t care about and more of what they do care about. I find most people have not really thought things through but adopt ideas that sound good to them.