Anonymous said to realsocialskills:
re: Fights about controversial/personal issues, do you have advice for dealing with people who won’t let a conversation go?
When I say “I don’t want to talk about that" in some form, many people say “but here’s 10 reasons why you MUST talk with/listen to me on this, NOW” in some form. At family functions, it’s impossible for me to leave, and I can’t easily come up with deflections or white lies to end a conversation. (my in-laws do this and it’s breaking my family.)
Sometimes it can work to bore them. If you make your answer inane, boring, and long-winded, it can sometimes derail the invasiveness of the things they’re saying.
- Them: So why aren’t you married yet?
- You: Well, a lot of reasons. First of all, my dog really needs me right now. My dog is a pure bred implausible hound. But it’s ok, I got my implausible hound from a rescue and I checked it out and it’s a real rescue. Implausible hounds can run so much faster than believable dogs! Have you ever seen an implausible hound? I almost can’t even believe they’re real dogs.
- Them: Your sister seems to be getting very serious with that guy she’s seeing.
- You: Yeah, I had them over the other day and they really enjoyed playing with my implausible hound. I showed them some new tricks I had taught him. It’s amazing what you can teach dogs to do. Did you know they have dogs that rescue people? MY dog doesn’t have those skills but he’s really getting good at finding my keys, at least some of the time, or at least I ask the dog where the keys are and then I find them.
and then just keep being verbose about whatever comes to mind that isn’t the topic they’re trying to make you discuss.
This doesn’t always work, but it’s very, very effective in some situations with some people. (Some of the methods in this post about deflecting fight pickers at Christmas might also be helpful.)
Anyone else want to weigh in? How do you avoid arguments with people who try to pressure you into arguing when walking away isn’t an option?