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Thread: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

  1. #11
    Me and my shadow Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    If she truly is a friend, take her aside and make up a code word. Tell her that if either of you starts to go over the boundary of comfort in a social or work situation, the friend will use the code word to request a change of topic, or at least to warn the other they are being offensive. When I have extended family at my house, I get tense easily. My daughter uses the word "chamomile" to warn me to chill out. She'll ask if I'd like a cup of chamomile tea, or ask if I have any in my garden, etc. It works!
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  2. #12
    FORT Fogey Lil Bit's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    MRD - I wasn't rolling on the floor clutching my sides, but I did chuckle a little! (just kidding, just kidding)

    I think it's particularly funny that your coworker got her feelings hurt and now won't speak to you since what she was doing constituted a hostile work environment for you and could have been seen as harassment.

    I have a coworker who firmly believes that Obama is a muslim, isn't a citizen, has been planted by some nefarious organization to overthrow our government and destroy our way of life, etc., and nothing anyone says will change her views. I try to change the subject with her when she starts talking about such things, I've told her that I don't want to discuss politics at work, and I've also literally walked away from her to avoid the topic. I'm not sure how I'd deal with it if she was a really good friend. Most of my friends, even when we don't agree on something, respect each other's opinions and know when to stop.
    History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. #13
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Bit;3757175;
    I have a coworker who firmly believes that Obama is a muslim, isn't a citizen, has been planted by some nefarious organization to overthrow our government and destroy our way of life, etc., and nothing anyone says will change her views. I try to change the subject with her when she starts talking about such things, I've told her that I don't want to discuss politics at work, and I've also literally walked away from her to avoid the topic. I'm not sure how I'd deal with it if she was a really good friend. Most of my friends, even when we don't agree on something, respect each other's opinions and know when to stop.
    Kudos to you - you have a lot more patience than I do. My response to her would be (and has been to co-workers in the past) "you're an idiot". Fortunately I do my job very well and have yet to be fired for my occasional inability to keep my opinion to myself. One right-wing admirer of Conrad Black was firmly insistent that teachers are overpaid because they only work six hours a day and he knows this because all the many, many teachers who live on his street are home from work by 3:15 every single day. Lying crapsack or idiot? I don't know which, but I called him both.

    ETA: Yeesh, I just remembered a boss I had at the same company where lying crapsack worked. He was a former missionary with some strong bible-affiliated opinions that were offensive in the extreme that involved dragging certain peoples out into the street and shooting them, and burning down certain buildings and salting the land. Being that he was my boss and I really needed to keep that job, I couldn't actually verbalize my opinion of his. However, for the last year we worked together, I refused to speak with him at all. Refused. It is really difficult being supervised by someone that is so completely and unutterably vile.
    Last edited by Rattus; 11-25-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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  4. #14
    Living Vicariously via RT Fierce Critter's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    I just posted something similar to this on another message board.

    I just left - for the 2nd time - a local message board where I am the uber-minority in my political leanings. I don't have to be surrounded by people who agree with me. But I also don't have to sit there and let people insult and make fun of me because I don't follow their party line. I joined that board to discuss local events/happenings/etc, not constantly debate politics. So I gave up - again.

    If you value this friendship, "jumping ship" like I did isn't the answer. But I think you got some great suggestions from others.

  5. #15
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Fierce Critter;3757182;
    I just posted something similar to this on another message board.

    I just left - for the 2nd time - a local message board where I am the uber-minority in my political leanings. I don't have to be surrounded by people who agree with me. But I also don't have to sit there and let people insult and make fun of me because I don't follow their party line. I joined that board to discuss local events/happenings/etc, not constantly debate politics. So I gave up - again.

    If you value this friendship, "jumping ship" like I did isn't the answer. But I think you got some great suggestions from others.

    Message boards sometimes tend to bring out the worst in people, because they are anonymous. So, if a person is the type that has to bash or trash, he/she can say anything and everything they want, whether it is nice or not. I have learned on another board that it is better not to engage, debate or escalate. Because that is what those folks are looking for: attention.

    I also keep separate identities on each of the boards I subscribe to. Only a few selected people know who I am on both boards. And only a few know my real first name. Good luck to you.

  6. #16
    FORT Fogey Add It Up Champion famita's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    The way I feel is to listen to other view points helps me to grow as a person. Either I learn something new or I realize the other person isn't worth a hill of beans. I am a firm believer that MRD is not a political person. I repeat, MRD is not a political person. She likes to discuss the weather a lot!

  7. #17
    FORT Fanatic ElizabethG's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Columbia, MD;3757186;
    Message boards sometimes tend to bring out the worst in people, because they are anonymous. So, if a person is the type that has to bash or trash, he/she can say anything and everything they want, whether it is nice or not. I have learned on another board that it is better not to engage, debate or escalate. Because that is what those folks are looking for: attention.

    I also keep separate identities on each of the boards I subscribe to. Only a few selected people know who I am on both boards. And only a few know my real first name. Good luck to you.

    You mean you're NOT Columbia??? Sorry, I totally agree
    I enjoy the escapism of reality television. Beats the heck out of worrying about your REAL life!!

  8. #18
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    One of my very good friends is an ex boss of mine from years ago.
    The last time a group of us was together, he, once again, had to inject his politics into it. It got to the point where he had totally alienated another friend who walked out of the restaurant and refused to ever go out with him again. I've tried telling him, subtly, to please stay away from his political discourses and I've tried telling him bluntly. Neither works, as he feels that people from the 'other party' are all idiots. Kind of hard to have a discussion with someone who only sees black and white, but never gray.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  9. #19
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by ElizabethG;3757242;
    You mean you're NOT Columbia??? Sorry, I totally agree
    I'm Columbia, MD here only. I'm someone else on other boards. Sometimes I forget my real name!! Glad you agree.

  10. #20
    MRD
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    Re: Avoiding Politically Charged Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;3757178;
    Kudos to you - you have a lot more patience than I do. My response to her would be (and has been to co-workers in the past) "you're an idiot". .
    I LOVE it!!!!! Rattus you are my hero. I bow to you!


    Quote Originally Posted by famita;3757205;
    The way I feel is to listen to other view points helps me to grow as a person. Either I learn something new or I realize the other person isn't worth a hill of beans. I am a firm believer that MRD is not a political person. I repeat, MRD is not a political person. She likes to discuss the weather a lot!
    HA! I am very political. BUT there is a time and place to discuss politics and that is not every day in every situation. Believe me, I get my fix in the CE threads around here.

    My husband and I discuss politics a lot. We don't agree on everything, so at times it gets exciting. I have several friends and belong to a couple groups that are political and it's perfectly acceptable to discuss politics there.

    I do NOT discuss it at work, parties or other social settings as it just starts a lot of trouble. I had a friend do that at my Christmas party last year and it ruined the entire party. She won't be back this year.

    You can believe whatever you want, (I may not agree with you, but you can believe it if you want. ) you can discuss it if you want, but you also have to respect others feelings and when they don't want to hear it, then shut the hell up. Just my honest opinion.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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