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Conversational Fight Or Flight

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8 comments to Conversational Fight Or Flight

  • Imperius Rex

    Her grandmother WAS ugly, though.

  • Donna Vinci

    For me, “Pick Your Battles” is the general rule of thumb. If I feel I can engage someone in an honest dialogue, then I try to engage “with patience and knowledge”. I agree that’s the best approach. But let’s face it — some people either don’t want to be challenged, or can’t have a rational discussion about their views. Sometimes it’s just the wrong place and time. And sometimes I just don’t want to put myself out there, either emotionally or intellectually, to someone who I know is not prepared to listen critically. It’s just too much work and ends up doing more harm than good.

  • skillydog

    Brian Dunning had a recent podcast on this very subject, and came to much of the same conclusions as Jay. I personally have a very hard time biting my tongue, especially when it comes to medical pseudo-science. I recently got into it with a neigbor and berated them for weakening the herd by not vaccinating their children from H1N1.
    Jay, by the way, I couldn’t agree more about Modern Warfare 2… great way to get the aggression out.. let me know when you want to start the SGU clan!

  • TheCad

    CBF reading the whole thing for now, but you spell arse the Aussie (and English I guess, but I’m sure we did it first) way. I’ve met plenty of people here who spell it the American way but I’ve never seen it done by a yank. Sorry, pointless observation, just curious is all.

  • It really depends on how good friends you are, I have always considered it one of the duties of friendship to tell the truth. I have a friend that likes to lean towards the conspiracy nut side of things and when he starts up I let him tell his side then I say “You’re a moron and here’s why…” He knows that I’m not going to let him slide and afterwards more often than not he’ll say something like “I never thought about it that way” and we’ll laugh and that will be that.

    Perhaps we’re just odd.

  • halincoh

    Risk -benefit.

    If the person is engaging in behavior that puts him/her or someone else at risk, then I intervene. The greater the benefit vs. risk, the intensely I will argue my point. As a physician, I counter-attack any and all anti vax arguments in great detail ( refering them to Paul Offit or Amy Wallace’s literature ) because I am the forefront of that battlefield. If I don’t do it, who should? Alternatively, if they are into herbs, then I want to know which herbs, and if there are no herb-drug interactions ( there are many ), as long as they are compliant with my regime I do not counter-attack aggressively. Instead I ask, “how much do you pay for that?” I then point out , if there is no sound evidence, that they are paying X dollars needlessly. I then play the IF YOU WANT TO KEEP PAYING FOR SOMETHING THAT ISN’T DOING ANYTHING it’s ok with me card, but if were me, I’d spend my money elsewhere. It’s a softer arguement because the stakes are less. Usually they ask questions. If so, I’ll review the evidence and most, not all, stop.

    In everyday life I also argue only if there is a significant risk-benefit ratio with which they need be concerned; otherwise, I use humor to gently poke fun of the scenario, but not offensive humor; meaning NEVER, EVER say to someone that “your grandmother is f’n ugly” … unless you have the evidence staring you in the face!!!

  • Brian the Coyote

    Jay, I’d add “Defer” to your list of options. You can always say, “I’d love to hear more of what you know about (instert woo here) some other time. Then you can talk it out at a differnt venue, maybe even with some time to prepare. That’s if you think this person can be reasoned with. There is no good reason to engage a true-believer. It just seems to reinforce their beliefs.

  • mordred

    So… was it a good idea for me to recommend The G Hunters to the founder of the Paranormal Club at my university? Really that could go either way.
    :)
    But really Jay, I struggle with this. Thanks for putting it down in words. Personally, I have always been a bit of a fighter and when I found out an ex was anti-vax I did have to rip him a new one (we don’t talk anymore). Although, I enjoyed that too much to say it was a mistake.
    Oh, and God of War is better! Best really.

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