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Old 05-23-2006, 10:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unsolicited Political Talk

How do you handle people who feel the need to engage you in unsolicited
political talk?

Recently, I was at the park pushing my son on the swingset, and this woman turned to me and my bf and asked us if we had voted on the school levy that day. I told her no, and turned away from her, thinking that this would shut her up. I was wrong. She then proceeded to tell me that she had voted against it, because it would have added an extra $900 a year to her property taxes, and her kids went to private schools anyway, and basically that she didn't want to have to pay for the poor kids to be educated.
Well, I wanted to roast her, as this goes against my beliefs, but instead I just found an excuse to remove myelf from the situation (I know, I am such a mouse !!!).

Also, my soon to be father in law is a conservative preacher. He is always giving me political propaganda in which I don't believe in. Out of respect for him and my bf I just smile and nod. Once he tried to make me sign this petition against homosexual marriage. I had to lie to him and tell him I had already signed it some where else, and didn't think it would be right to sign it twice.

These are just off the top of my head, but it seems this happens to me all of the time. I'ts so unfair, not to mention rude. Does this happen to others out there? How do you handle it, do you go in balls to the wall, guns a blazin' ready to debate, or do you scurry away with the rest of the mouse brigade like myself?

p.s. I searched for threads similar, if it's already been discussed, sorry.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
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Some of us are very into politics, and we simply can't help ourselves. I'll try to be better about it in the future.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree I'm into it to, but it's like sex, it needs to be consensual.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmm...political rape.
I think that you may well have inadvertantly coined a new term there, cookmo.
"There I was...mindin' my own business, and this moron comes up and politically rapes me." Yeah...I can see it.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I make it a point never to discuss politics, religion or baseball with strangers. I've seen too many of those lead to fights. And I'm serious about baseball - in Chicago, it can be quite the devisive topic.

I also have very conservative inlaws, but they have enough respect for me not to try to convert me to their way of thinking. It sounds like your future father-in-law has no idea that your beliefs are different than his, and you haven't given him any reason to think otherwise, at least from what you've written. So basically its your fault if he has no idea that you don't support a ban on gay marriage. Either work up the guts to tell him or put up with his political diatribe. Your choice.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
So basically its your fault if he has no idea that you don't support a ban on gay marriage. Either work up the guts to tell him or put up with his political diatribe. Your choice.
Or just give in to the dark side. Its quite nice over here
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
Or just give in to the dark side. Its quite nice over here
Some people see a dark side, others see oblivion. I just think that cookmo needs to grow a set of balls or at least beg, borrow or steal some. Her beliefs aren't the issue, its the fact that she can't work up the courage to express them to anyone other than faceless memes on a computer.
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Last edited by The_Jazz; 05-23-2006 at 12:55 PM.. Reason: trying to remember to be nice.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My uncle once gave me some very good advice when it comes to people you barely know:

Talking Politics or Religion is like playing Rochambo (sp?), nothing is accomplished other than ending up with two really hurt and pissed off people.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
My uncle once gave me some very good advice when it comes to people you barely know:

Talking Politics or Religion is like playing Rochambo (sp?), nothing is accomplished other than ending up with two really hurt and pissed off people.
Do you mean woshambo (cartman style). where I kick you in the nuts as hard as I can then you do the same to me and the first one that falls is the loser?
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've never understood people who can't discuss religion or politics without becoming irritable or irate. It doesn't make any sense to me. They can be such interesting topics.

For me, it's like ordering a ham sandwich.
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I tend to equivocate when someone I don't know well broaches a political question. Case in point: The home care aide for my friend Jan heard us talking about politics, and asked us what we thought of Hillary. I said we were long overdue to have a woman president as many other countries had already done,but Clinton may be too polarizing to be electable. You can only get away with a diversion like that with near strangers. With family, eventually you have to speak your mind.
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This doesn't happen much to me...but when it does, I just speak my mind. There will always be people you don't know who offer unsolicited advice/conversation, and when it's a stranger..fine, remove yourself from the situation if you don't want to talk about it. You really do need to speak up in a familial situation though...your future inlaws will find out eventually that you don't agree with them, so you might as well speak up now and save yourself future embarassment, discomfort, and let them know who you really are instead of who you are pretending to be.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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my only problem with discussing politics is... when the other person tells you how wrong YOU are. you can sit there for endless hours listening to their views, but once you open your mouth, you're WRONG!
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Try saying this:

"Although I respect your right to opinion, I really don’t give a shit what it is, keep it to your self, thanks.”

And if they go ahead and say something like ‘but this is important because it will save [money | your soul | other]” go ahead and say again,

“No, no, what part of, I don’t give a shit, did you not understand.”

That should shut them up. if it does not repeat the last part until they do.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Just today while riding transit, I listened in as a guy started up an unsolicited conversation with a women after he accidently bumped into her. He began with an apology, moved onto a rant about how kids today don't respect strangers and then somehow ended up on politics.

I couldn't believe it. I'm not against breaking down the walls we build around ourselves, but I'm very respectful of your personal space when out and about. To her credit, she was game and spoke her mind. But this wasn't a heated conversation (I think he was clumsily but confidently flirting with her) and by firmly stating her opinions , she forced him onto other topics.

I think most strangers who want to talk politics unprompted are just looking to vent, rather than engage you. When put on the spot like this, I do my best to shut down the conversation by returning as little energy as possible.
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Last edited by fresnelly; 06-15-2006 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I used to elicit my political beliefs, but then I realized, it's like religion. Who am I to tell someone that doesn't want to talk politics with me they are wrong in their beliefs?

I may say something in other threads or in real life outside of discussing politics that in my mind is a joke or lets out my disappointment that leaves no doubt as to my beliefs..... however, besides here, paranoia, maybe in some religion threads and my writings in the Lit.... I try very hard not to espouse political opinion that would offend anyone.

I have learned in my job that doing so, can turn a client off to my helping them, in familial and friend relations it can hurt the bonds and in life in general, noone will share exact beliefs with me nor I with them and that being the case, it is best to sometimes just leave it alone.

I have some very political friends and family, what we have learned is not to truly go into depth, if something slips to let it go and move on ignoring the offensive foul as though it was just not said.
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If someone can't speak their mind without being drawn into an arguement, then it is my belief that they need to work on their conversational skills. If someone can't talk politics without losing their cool, then their objectivity has been lost.
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
I make it a point never to discuss politics, religion or baseball with strangers. I've seen too many of those lead to fights. And I'm serious about baseball - in Chicago, it can be quite the devisive topic.
Wow. That is SO freakin' true.

And the thing is, my hobbies are politics and baseball. And like you said, Jazz, here in Chicago you can't even talk about baseball without accidentally pissing somebody off!
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I was taught by my parents never to discuss politics or religion in polite company. Nothing wrong with a political debate amongst friends or family, but when you don't know the person that well things can get dicey and people can get offended. This is especially true with topics like abortion or gay marriage.
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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never mind. i shouldn't post in the politics forum.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I think it's perfectly acceptible to dodge politics, especially if it's family and you can tell that that their not going to budge from their way of thinking.

I let it be known that I don't agree with them but I would rather just agree that we disagree, than get into it and go away with bad feelings.

I've seen way too many political discussions turn very ugly especially when alcohol is involved.

Now with a stranger or someone I'm not close to then it's another story, unless you can tell their a total ass, then I'd just rather find a pretty lady and talk more casual!
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I had this happen a few days ago at work, with a coworker that I mediocre working relationship with. Out of know where he corners me and goes on a diatribe of how global warming is bull shit and how the liberals are making everything up. He started spewing scientific “facts”. Now, how you feel about global warming is not the issue here. I love to talk politic and religion, I just never ever do it with coworkers. This made me very uncomfortable. It was painful to listen to him speak and for me to bite my tongue, but I did. When he was done, I just told him I disagreed with him, and then he tried everything in the book to get a rise out of me, but I just let it go
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I try to avoid discussing politics in public, mostly because nothing comes of it, but in big part because there are certain issues that are of such profound personal importance to me that it would be difficult for me to keep calm about them. To some people gay marriage and adoption may be a political issue or a topic of intellectual discussion that doesn't really affect them--those issues don't affect many people--but they have such a significant impact on my everyday life that I cannot remain detached emotionally.

So I avoid discussing them outside of my family and a small handful of friends. If someone tries evangelizing to me about their pet political issue, I tend to deflect or ignore, or make neutral acknowledgment statements.

Sports bore me, so that's not a problem, and one of the core tenets of my religion is an acceptance of other faiths, so that's never a problem unless someone tries to convert me.

What happened there was rude, I agree. It's a shame some people are so eager to share their beliefs with others that they don't stop to think about whether they're imposing unreasonably on others.

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Old 08-01-2006, 07:36 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I am usually willing to listen to someone challange my beliefs political or otherwise. In this crazy world I'm never 100% sure about much of anything.

It is interesting to find out why people feel the way they do and reflect on my own positions. I have changed my mind several times in my life regarding politics and religion. I don't really want to argue about these things though and there are times and places for these discussions.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Well it depends on how the person comes across.

If I feel they are just trying to start a discussion or convert me, then I will probably debate with them.

I enjoy a good political discussion, especially on controversial topics.

If I feel it might be dangerous to get involved in conversation with the stranger (the person is angry and drunk, for example), then of course I am going to avoid it.

And I'd probably avoid any discussion if I was by myself (meaning there is no-one else nearby) and a stranger wanted to talk to me.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I start by being subtle about my disinterest in what they have to say, and if that doesn't work I make it perfectly clear.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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People who continue to talk about politics after I've said that I'm not interested in that particular topic of conversation get on my nerves. I tend to just nod and say "oh, yes, that's nice" until they get the hint. I'll talk about politics when I want to, not because I have to.
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