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  • March 29, 2015, 03:57:03 PM

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Author Topic: I do not want to discuss this topic  (Read 2467 times)

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mstigerlily

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2015, 10:27:09 AM »
I think it's fine to leave or say "I don't want to discuss this anymore" as long as you aren't saying it right after you've made your last point. In other words, if the conversation/argument is a tennis match, you should only say it when they hit the ball back to your side of the court. Otherwise you might end up looking -to them- superior or rude.

OP: "the sky is blue"
Them: "no it's orange, it's orange!"
OP: "well I better go check on my chocolate-broccoli-noodle surprise"

Lynn2000

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2015, 10:58:37 AM »
I once shut down a blowhard successfully, but it probably wouldn't be acceptable here (I was honest, but I don't think I was rude).  Someone at an old job kept arguing with me over something and in front of other coworkers.  Finally, I said, "I'm not going to argue this point anymore."  He said, "That's because you know I'm right."  I just looked at him and said, "No, it's because arguing with you is a waste of time so I'm not doing it anymore."  Shut him down and offended him at the same time (wasn't trying to offend him but he asked for it and, at least, he stopped insisting I thought he was right).  Our coworkers just laughed.

Yes, this is the sort of thing my co-worker I mentioned would do--if you try to end the "conversation," she assumes that means you're conceding her point. For me it's not so much a matter of having to get the last word in--it's that I don't want misinformation about myself out there, especially as she likes to have these conversations in front of a group of people. Sometimes I just sigh, not overly dramatic but long and slow (kind of need it to rein in my temper anyway!) and just look at her like, "What is wrong with you?" And she'll be like, "I'm right, aren't I? You're saying I'm right!" but it doesn't take too long before it's clear that she's the crazy, pushy one, and I'm the mature one who's refusing to engage further. Someone else often introduces a subject change at that point, or I leave the room if I can.

So it's not just "complete silence," there's body language and expression that say, "Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall, and I'm tired of it."
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FauxFoodist

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2015, 11:12:03 AM »
the thing is these aren't "naturally" contentious subjects. It could be about something as simple as what color the wall was painted last year.   :-\ 

I feel ya.  ToxicSis is like this.  She'll pick a fight where there is none then berate you to death (I stopped having anything to do with her shortly before my wedding).

If the subjects aren't normally contentious, you could always try "Why are we arguing about this?  This is a very silly thing to be getting angry about."

I tried this with ToxicSis; she would just continue with her argument (I've always felt her lack of something to do all day since she was/is unemployed contributed to this latest bout of crazy.

Also, apply some beandip.  "It doesn't really matter what color it was last year since it's mauve now.  Have you tried Aunt Carol's new beandip?"

One time when ToxicSis wouldn't let up (this was her berating me on my FB page), I successfully beandipped by posting, "La la lalalala la lalala la.  Papa Smurf is my friend."  Cracked up DH, anyway.  Another time when I got really peeved (and, yay, led to her defriending me and finally leaving me alone once and for all), I posted a bunch of nonsense going off of lyrics from a song by the Dead Milkmen called "Punk Rock Girl."

My dad used to bait me all the time, too.  It took a few times before I finally learned to give him as little info as possible.  If just about all of your convos with CW start out with topics you are pretty sure are going to devolve into her obnoxiousness, I'd cut her off at the pass.  Give her a silly answer -- "The moon is made of green cheese!"  Give her a warning -- "I'm sorry, Dave.  I can't help you with that."  Look her in the eye and say, "If you continue to harass me, you will force me to report you to HR" or just hold up three fingers to her face and say "That's *three*" and walk away.

Lynn2000

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2015, 11:32:43 AM »
My dad used to bait me all the time, too.  It took a few times before I finally learned to give him as little info as possible.  If just about all of your convos with CW start out with topics you are pretty sure are going to devolve into her obnoxiousness, I'd cut her off at the pass.  Give her a silly answer -- "The moon is made of green cheese!"  Give her a warning -- "I'm sorry, Dave.  I can't help you with that."  Look her in the eye and say, "If you continue to harass me, you will force me to report you to HR" or just hold up three fingers to her face and say "That's *three*" and walk away.

Oh, I barely speak to this particular co-worker (Grace). I don't chit-chat with her or even ask her work-related questions unless it's absolutely necessary, and in the end it feels like we get along fine... because I avoid putting myself in situations where she can irritate me. In my case it's not too difficult because we sit in different rooms and don't need to collaborate. Mostly, I see her pulling her shenanigans on other people, who feel like they need to engage with her to be polite (but quickly regret it). Or who seem to like pain--I remember one co-worker, Emma, who repeatedly came to me in tears because of things Grace would say to her, when Emma was asking Grace for help with personal stuff. At first I was sympathetic, because Grace had said horrible things. Then I was like, "Why do you keep going back to her? Just stop." And of course Emma wouldn't stop. ::)
~Lynn2000

artk2002

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2015, 12:36:45 PM »
Think about it this way... do you have to win? Do you really care if someone else thinks that they won? As soon as you let go of caring about those things, then walking away becomes much easier. Instead of feeling bad when they do the "You quit! I Win!!!" happy dance, think how ridiculous they are; how utterly juvenile. Only immature people care about winning every time -- mature people understand "agree to disagree" and even "pick your battles."

It took me a long time to realize that I didn't have to have the last word. I came to the realization that as long as I know that I am right, that's all that I need. There's no need for someone else to acknowledge that.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Mustard

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 01:16:42 PM »
I've mentioned this before, but I've used 'Can I just stop you there?' quite successfully on occasions such as you describe.  People think you have something to add to the conversation so generally do stop talking, but no; I. Just. Want. You. To. Stop. Talking.

EllenS

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2015, 01:23:22 PM »
I've mentioned this before, but I've used 'Can I just stop you there?' quite successfully on occasions such as you describe.  People think you have something to add to the conversation so generally do stop talking, but no; I. Just. Want. You. To. Stop. Talking.

For some reason, this sounds like something the Eleventh Doctor would say. I love it.

WolfWay

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2015, 01:08:36 AM »
This is exactly how I have to deal with my family, too. The key is remembering that their "last word" tactic is a matter of control for them. However, it does not have to be one for you. It requires a little rewiring of your thinking: you have to remember that calmly smiling and saying "I don't want to discuss this" is YOUR matter of control, and your way of "winning," if you will. You're never going to get them to understand that last words don't mean they "won" or are "right." You can't change their thinking about the topic OR the way they're discussing it. So don't even try. Remind yourself that you have established your own rules for conversing with them, and be confident in them. Soon, instead of a frustrated huff, you'll respond with a calm smile, knowing you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to.
Off-the-wall suggestion here:

It sounds like maybe the OP needs to break the established patterns of interaction, which go something like "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. meltdown." or the new pattern which is "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. stomp off in huff."

Instead of leaving the room, could you maybe just sit back in your seat, take a deep breath and look calmly at them without saying anything until they change the subject? Not coldly ignoring them or blanking them, not nodding along or shaking your head (that's still interacting). Just lean back in the seat you're sitting in (or the wall your leaning on) and try to stop yourself giving any physical interaction and just watch them calmly like something on TV. Just sort of socially disengage without actually leaving the room? It's a change of tactic (you aren't having an emotional explosion via meltdown or huff) and it might break the old pattern of social interaction by derailing it with something so unexpected they can't follow their old established pattern because you're not doing what they expect you to do. I have no idea if it would work, but I'm curious to see how they react to a complete change of tactic.
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)

EllenS

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2015, 09:57:21 AM »
This is exactly how I have to deal with my family, too. The key is remembering that their "last word" tactic is a matter of control for them. However, it does not have to be one for you. It requires a little rewiring of your thinking: you have to remember that calmly smiling and saying "I don't want to discuss this" is YOUR matter of control, and your way of "winning," if you will. You're never going to get them to understand that last words don't mean they "won" or are "right." You can't change their thinking about the topic OR the way they're discussing it. So don't even try. Remind yourself that you have established your own rules for conversing with them, and be confident in them. Soon, instead of a frustrated huff, you'll respond with a calm smile, knowing you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to.
Off-the-wall suggestion here:

It sounds like maybe the OP needs to break the established patterns of interaction, which go something like "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. meltdown." or the new pattern which is "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. stomp off in huff."

Instead of leaving the room, could you maybe just sit back in your seat, take a deep breath and look calmly at them without saying anything until they change the subject? Not coldly ignoring them or blanking them, not nodding along or shaking your head (that's still interacting). Just lean back in the seat you're sitting in (or the wall your leaning on) and try to stop yourself giving any physical interaction and just watch them calmly like something on TV. Just sort of socially disengage without actually leaving the room? It's a change of tactic (you aren't having an emotional explosion via meltdown or huff) and it might break the old pattern of social interaction by derailing it with something so unexpected they can't follow their old established pattern because you're not doing what they expect you to do. I have no idea if it would work, but I'm curious to see how they react to a complete change of tactic.

I have used something similar on both toddlers and adults who were throwing tantrums. It is powerful. Simply watching, a pleasant or neutral expression on your face, not defending or responding. The thought is, "It's Okay. I hear you. I see you. I am going to hear you out completely." They wind down a lot faster than you'd think.

FauxFoodist

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2015, 10:03:16 AM »
This is exactly how I have to deal with my family, too. The key is remembering that their "last word" tactic is a matter of control for them. However, it does not have to be one for you. It requires a little rewiring of your thinking: you have to remember that calmly smiling and saying "I don't want to discuss this" is YOUR matter of control, and your way of "winning," if you will. You're never going to get them to understand that last words don't mean they "won" or are "right." You can't change their thinking about the topic OR the way they're discussing it. So don't even try. Remind yourself that you have established your own rules for conversing with them, and be confident in them. Soon, instead of a frustrated huff, you'll respond with a calm smile, knowing you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to.
Off-the-wall suggestion here:

It sounds like maybe the OP needs to break the established patterns of interaction, which go something like "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. meltdown." or the new pattern which is "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. stomp off in huff."

Instead of leaving the room, could you maybe just sit back in your seat, take a deep breath and look calmly at them without saying anything until they change the subject? Not coldly ignoring them or blanking them, not nodding along or shaking your head (that's still interacting). Just lean back in the seat you're sitting in (or the wall your leaning on) and try to stop yourself giving any physical interaction and just watch them calmly like something on TV. Just sort of socially disengage without actually leaving the room? It's a change of tactic (you aren't having an emotional explosion via meltdown or huff) and it might break the old pattern of social interaction by derailing it with something so unexpected they can't follow their old established pattern because you're not doing what they expect you to do. I have no idea if it would work, but I'm curious to see how they react to a complete change of tactic.

I have used something similar on both toddlers and adults who were throwing tantrums. It is powerful. Simply watching, a pleasant or neutral expression on your face, not defending or responding. The thought is, "It's Okay. I hear you. I see you. I am going to hear you out completely." They wind down a lot faster than you'd think.

I, somewhat, employed this tactic once.  A woman at my old job wanted to know my astrological sign.  One, I don't believe in that stuff and, two (which I told her), I wasn't about to give it out because I didn't feel like her pigeonholing me.  She kept insisting and then remembered the month I was born so concluded it was one or the other.  I kept telling her I wasn't telling her what it was.  She persisted, gave me a look and said, "Yeah, you're blah-blah sign; I totally see those traits in you."  I just looked at her and calmly said, "Sure, okay; whatever you say" (she was wrong).  It *infuriated* her.  Our coworker just laughed while watching and seeing other coworker getting in a tizzy because I wouldn't give in.  I didn't care.  I wasn't going to play the game.

MonteCristo

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Re: I do not want to discuss this topic
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2015, 10:39:27 AM »
This is exactly how I have to deal with my family, too. The key is remembering that their "last word" tactic is a matter of control for them. However, it does not have to be one for you. It requires a little rewiring of your thinking: you have to remember that calmly smiling and saying "I don't want to discuss this" is YOUR matter of control, and your way of "winning," if you will. You're never going to get them to understand that last words don't mean they "won" or are "right." You can't change their thinking about the topic OR the way they're discussing it. So don't even try. Remind yourself that you have established your own rules for conversing with them, and be confident in them. Soon, instead of a frustrated huff, you'll respond with a calm smile, knowing you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to.
Off-the-wall suggestion here:

It sounds like maybe the OP needs to break the established patterns of interaction, which go something like "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. meltdown." or the new pattern which is "harangue. harangue. plea to stop. harangue. stomp off in huff."

Instead of leaving the room, could you maybe just sit back in your seat, take a deep breath and look calmly at them without saying anything until they change the subject? Not coldly ignoring them or blanking them, not nodding along or shaking your head (that's still interacting). Just lean back in the seat you're sitting in (or the wall your leaning on) and try to stop yourself giving any physical interaction and just watch them calmly like something on TV. Just sort of socially disengage without actually leaving the room? It's a change of tactic (you aren't having an emotional explosion via meltdown or huff) and it might break the old pattern of social interaction by derailing it with something so unexpected they can't follow their old established pattern because you're not doing what they expect you to do. I have no idea if it would work, but I'm curious to see how they react to a complete change of tactic.

The more we talk about this, the more unreasonable my family starts to sound!  I did something very similar to this a while back with my dad and he got annoyed because he said he could tell I wasn't agreeing with him because I stopped talking.   ::)  But even if they are being silly, at least with this method I'm not the one being rude.