Getting Smart with Challenging Conversation

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I have accidentally put my trust in people during conversations and without realizing it I would get hurt and upset.  It has happened to me a lot recently and I didn’t fully understand why.  I’ve done a little reflecting and I think I have a much better understanding now.

Other people have typically made up their minds and opinions long before they’ve entered a conversation with you.  Remembering this might help pave a safe conversational path for yourself.  They might ask your opinion but they really just want an excuse to give theirs.  Sometimes it is better to be polite and let them get it out of their system.

I can confidently say that when I ask someone their thoughts on a topic it’s because I believe I could learn something new from a different perspective.  Most people do not operate this way and people can be very hurtful, disrespectful, rude, and even mean.  As a result I have decided to keep most of my opinions to myself from now on.  When I am asked a question my answers are generally vague.  The turning point for me was when I was asked my opinion on a controversial topic.  My opinion falls outside of what social media says is the correct answer.  When I answered I was immediately met with a patronizing pat on the shoulder, a shake of the head followed by “oh honey, we will just have to disagree.”  This upset me.  This person didn’t ask me why I felt this way.  They didn’t care to see a new vantage point.  I was graciously willing to offer a respectful explanation on my thoughts.  However, they were to closed minded and unwilling to open their eyes a little wider. It was as though I might not have a reasoning behind my opinion but because it varied from their view, it was wrong.

This was when I decided to give vague answers to certain questions unless I’m with someone I can trust.

It has been hard to hold my tongue but it has given me confidence in my thoughts and ideas. That is gratifying enough for me.  I know my thoughts are valid.  I don’t need to write them all over Facebook for validation.  I don’t want or need others validation either and neither do you.  I want to learn and grow in my thoughts and ideas but I’ve realized that I should do that with trusted individuals.  I remind myself with the following guidelines to avoid getting frustrated in conversation and keep on being my happy and hygge self.

  1. No one is entitled to your opinion.  You don’t need to give it.  If you want to keep your thoughts to yourself, do it.
  2. People rarely want to hear what you have to say rather they are looking for an excuse to push their views on you.  Be respectful but don’t be a sounding board.
  3. Hold your tongue, you’ll be glad you did later.
  4. Common sense isn’t common.  It’s okay to recognize this and just kick back relax, drink that yummy cocktail and keep those positive vibes flowing and ignore the ignorance.
  5. Seriously, if the conversation is headed in the wrong direction just excuse yourself from the situation or ask to kindly change the subject to something more fun. For example you could say, “I totally understand where you’re coming from but let’s talk about *insert fun thing here* instead.” Like I said, people mainly want to know their opinion was heard and achieve that validation.

I want to take the opportunity to learn something from all of you.  What are your social tips and tricks to avoid getting hurt or disrespected in conversations?  Have you found yourself in a similar situation?  What did you do?  Comment below!


9 thoughts on “Getting Smart with Challenging Conversation

  1. I tend to invite people into a conversation, setting context up front and hoping it will be at least progressive. People are more willing to flex if they see/hear their point of view being asked for and absorbed and given a place.

    Social media, however, will never be an environment for that too work ( and I appreciate the irony of this current conversation!). Feeling and strong emotion trump fact and research always. Within your own group and echo chamber all is well, but step outside and you enter the tribal lands where insult is considered a legit response.

    Finally, people are people; influences, upbringing, source of info, education…all will define that person’s world view…some people will come along with you, some never will.

    That doesn’t make you any less valid or worthy in your pov, and you should always retain your personal sense of self worth regardless.

    Don’t know if that helps any but just my tuppenceworth 🤔

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think your response was very well said. Thank you for taking the time to write a reply!! I really enjoy reading others thoughts! I agree with what you have said and definitely appreciate it! I liked what you mentioned above about feelings vs fact and research. That is such a great point to make along with what you said can happen when you step out of your normal social circle! ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. this was so eloquently presented and so true as well… what hit home for me especially was this “Finally, people are people; influences, upbringing, source of info, education…all will define that person’s world view…some people will come along with you, some never will.” this is something I truly believe in am guided by. It is the only way to maintain my sanity in this world…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. Number 2 is especially true. Many people’s minds are made up and they aren’t really looking for an exchange of ideas. And sometimes people can be very irrational when holding onto beliefs, and as my dad taught me, you can’t really have a discussion with someone who is irrational

    Liked by 1 person

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