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It's the Governments fault
Old 02-08-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
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It's the Governments fault

I'm getting tired of peers always complaining that its the governments fault for their plight in life. Had an idol chit chat that started out with keeping barnicles off the boat, and ended with my neighbor (not friend) blaming the government that he can't sell his house and send his kids to college, or start another business like he had in the fat times.

I recommended that he apply to my megacorp. He snubbed me, saying he would never work for jobs like that because its below him. Then he continued to blame others for his conundrum.

I try and avoid these conversations, because seldom true facts gets spewed, and the person just complains without wanting to solve his issue.

I would like to be able to end these conversations before they start. How would you get out of this type of conversation once it strayed to political garbage?
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DAYDREAMER View Post
I'm getting tired of peers always complaining that its the governments fault for their plight in life. Had an idol chit chat that started out with keeping barnicles off the boat, and ended with my neighbor (not friend) blaming the government that he can't sell his house and send his kids to college, or start another business like he had in the fat times.

I recommended that he apply to my megacorp. He snubbed me, saying he would never work for jobs like that because its below him. Then he continued to blame others for his conundrum.

I try and avoid these conversations, because seldom true facts gets spewed, and the person just complains without wanting to solve his issue.

I would like to be able to end these conversations before they start. How would you get out of this type of conversation once it strayed to political garbage?
Probably no way to stop them preemptively. Just excuse yourself as fast as possible, and find someone else to hang around with.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #3
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I try and avoid these conversations, because seldom true facts gets spewed, and the person just complains without wanting to solve his issue.

I would like to be able to end these conversations before they start. How would you get out of this type of conversation once it strayed to political garbage?
You try to avoid these conversations--so you brought it here (complete with thread title)?

When someone goes on a political tangent, just don't feed the anger. Don't agree or disagree. Get the subject back on boat hulls. They'll stop. I hope.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:52 AM   #4
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Some people are able to derail conversation like this with witty rebukes. I am not so nimble, so I either move the conversation on to other topics, or lose interest and go find someone else to talk with.

Debbie Downers can be a real time-suck. I stay away from them.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #5
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Maybe he was just having a bad day? We are probably all like that sometimes, I know I am but really it is not my fault.

Some people are like that all the time, and if it it's not the gummint's fault, it's the boss, the spouse, the bank, the neighbors, the schools, etc. At least you know not to engage him. I would probably just avoid him when possible.

I know someone who just starts laughing when people complain about things and she is very charming in pretending they must be making a joke, and the complainer soon stops, either thinking she is right or she is an idiot, but at least they stop. Unique strategy.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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I avoid conflict like the plague. So, I end up standing there listening, and find that anything I say just fuels the fire, when my intention was to try to end the conversation.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:07 AM   #7
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I just don't talk with folks that behave like that. They are playing a victim, there's little you can do to help them. Frankly the folks I knew that acted that way need the help of a good professional. IMHO.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #8
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How would you get out of this type of conversation once it strayed to political garbage?
Call him a Communist. That seems to be how people like him usually end political conversations.

Honestly, this is one reason why I simply do not engage The World anymore.

I can't stand the gratuitous aggravation of these types of people anymore and it's really hard, even with 56 yrs of worldliness and money, to just smile politely and let it roll off.

In any given week my only "conversation" is with the cashier at the super market.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
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I avoid conflict too, but when you work/worked for the government, certain people try to put you on the defensive about it. (This also happened to me when living in another country where opinions on our government varied wildly). So the conflict lands in my lap. If I couldn't easily escape, I usually pointed out that no government is perfect - ours has a million flaws - yet we are entitled to elect our representatives, and also throw them out if they displease us. We need to look to ourselves and fellow citizens if we want improvement.

Sane people will recognize that you are being more forbearing than they deserved, and will let you change the subject.

People with a screw loose won't be swayed, but at least you know you have done your best and no etiquette maven could fault you for saying you're sorry, nice chatting, but you must go.

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I avoid conflict like the plague. So, I end up standing there listening, and find that anything I say just fuels the fire, when my intention was to try to end the conversation.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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Fake a cell phone call and excuse yourself. (Ooops my phone is vibrating...sorry, gotta go)
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #11
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I think this neighbor is just one of the people who always has to blame something or someone for everything that is not right in his life. He likes to be a victim. You can try changing the subject or step aside to answer that cell call as mentioned above.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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Call him a Communist. That seems to be how people like him usually end political conversations.

Honestly, this is one reason why I simply do not engage The World anymore.

I can't stand the gratuitous aggravation of these types of people anymore and it's really hard, even with 56 yrs of worldliness and money, to just smile politely and let it roll off.

In any given week my only "conversation" is with the cashier at the super market.

I use the self-checkout lane...
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:23 PM   #13
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I like DW's approach to these folks.

"Really? What specifically makes you think so?"

Nine times out of ten, it comes down to something they heard on some talk radio show.

So that would lead to:

"But what have you personally seen that makes you think so?"

And when those don't work, it's just time to walk away.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #14
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I use the self-checkout lane...
I used to but I moved across the river to a neighboring town and Iowa apparently isn't up to date with that sort of thing. I thought that self-checkout thing was the greatest invention since peanut butter!
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #15
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I like DW's approach to these folks.



"Really? What specifically makes you think so?"



Nine times out of ten, it comes down to something they heard on some talk radio show.



So that would lead to:



"But what have you personally seen that makes you think so?"



And when those don't work, it's just time to walk away.

I'm actually a bit of a policy wonk, but more often than not this is not an invitation to problem solving... :-P
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:00 PM   #16
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....

I recommended that he apply to my megacorp. He snubbed me, saying he would never work for jobs like that because its below him. Then he continued to blame others for his conundrum. ...
It doesn't sound so much like a political thing, he is just looking for others to blame.

Along the lines of braumeister's suggestion - ask a specific question so he actually has to think about it rather than just rant.

Or try empathizing (this catches them off-guard, they think you are on their side), but then twist it a bit - say something like ' yep, that's a problem, but you and I are unlikely to change that. So what do you think we can do to deal with it, or maybe take advantage of it?'

If you plan out in advance, sometimes you can get them to show their own hypocrisy. They won't admit it, but if you leave them an out they take it,, so you can change the topic.

Most likely he's a serial complainer, it won't help. But it might be fun to watch his face get all scrunched up thinking about it.


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Old 02-08-2014, 06:00 PM   #17
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I just don't engage in those conversations. Sometimes, like when I was at work, there was no escape so I just shut up and let them talk themselves out. They leave feeling like they were talking to a telephone pole, which is precisely the effect I try to create.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #18
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I have a knack for making these types of rants go away, whether the ranter is from the left or the right. Come to think of it, does anyone in the middle rant on?

I can usually present something from the opposite pole to give the ranter some pause, but it hardly ever turns to real discussion.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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I'd answer their complaint the same way I'm answering yours--

"Sounds like a first world problem"

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Old 02-08-2014, 06:55 PM   #20
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Just tell him you have to go Google it to see if it's true....or call him a communist (like suggested above) and excuse yourself to go finish cleaning your guns...
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