Ignoring Your Spidey Senses

bang_head_here

Yup! I finally did it, boys and girls. I stupidly allowed myself to get sucked into the vortex of one of those pointless debates. You know the ones I’m talking about. The one you jump into innocently enough because it sounds interesting and voice your thoughts on the matter.

You think to yourself, we’re all grown ups here. Healthy discussion and debate can be a good thing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to influence someone into looking at something from a different perspective. Maybe they’ll even cause me to see things a bit differently. I mean, isn’t that what we all strive for when we get into those deeper discussions?

And then….BAM!!!! Instead of the debate you imagined you’d have, you find the opposite has happened. You realize when that one person disagrees with you that there’s no changing anyone’s mind. In fact, you feel the judgments and closed-mindedness rolling off the response and think to yourself….”I should probably back away”. But you don’t.

Argh! So rarely do I not listen to my inner voice! But the initial post belonged to a long time friend, so I shrugged my instincts away. I assumed there would be no personal attacks and name calling. That we’d stick to the issue brought up. My mistake. Should have known better. Oddly enough, my first foray into this particular post was to ask for clarification. By the time I finally backed away, this stranger who had never met me in my life had decided that I’m someone who enjoys labeling and passing judgment on people.

Yup, should’ve listened to my gut. Instead, I found myself annoyed…at me…for putting myself in a position like this. As most of you know, I refuse to publically discuss my political feelings for two reasons… One, it’s not really anyone’s business but mine. Two, lately politics has brought out the absolute worst in people and it’s made me sad to see the mud slinging and bullying that’s gone on from both sides.

Since the discussion of givers/takers was loosely based on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged I should have considered that similar rules that I use around politics should apply. Unfortunately for me, my brain took a vacation in that moment. I mean, seriously. How likely would it be that nastiness would ensue over the idea that there are makers and takers in this world. Foolish, foolish me.

What about you guys? Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an unwinnable discussion that you regretted involving yourself in? What was your discussion about?

Advertisements

44 thoughts on “Ignoring Your Spidey Senses

  1. Cowboys and Crossbones says:

    Oh yes. And I have learned to keep my big yapper shut if at all possible. From my experiences living in the South, religion, politics and race are discussed as leisurely as if it was talking about what to have for lunch. A white girlfriend of mine was in love with a black man and when I asked her why she was ending it after a blissful year, (because she was all kinds of torn up about it), she said, “I just can’t do that to my parents.” We had a very frank discussion but one sentence in to the conversation, I realized what a mistake it was for me to even open my mouth, thinking I could sway such a deep seeded issue for her. A shame.

  2. susielindau says:

    Although I can be outspoken, I avoid confrontation like the plague. It comes with age. I used to be more about convincing others that I was right, back in my 20’s and 30’s. Now I don’t care so much if people don’t agree and change the subject when the conversation gets uncomfortable. The only time I will not back down is if someone makes some sort of derogatory racial comment. Then stand back!!!!!

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I’m mostly a pick your confrontation gal. As a former manager, I understand that there are moments that require you hold your position. Socially, I enjoy varying thoughts and ideas and learning how people come to their conclusions. I love learning and gaining a deeper understanding into people.

      Having said that, the racial stuff can bring out the fireball in me, too. I’ve tried to temper it with the understanding that fear is at the base and not to feed that fire when I confront those statements.

  3. Gloria Richard Author says:

    Of all the people in my blog-o-sphere least likely to be called out as someone who enjoys labeling and being judgmental…

    That is simply #sowrong, Kitt.

    I’ve trapped myself in that abyss more than a few times, but can’t recall the specific topics. There is one insidious issue that continues to float close to home, but I conceded to myself that nothing I can say will change this person’s mind. Now? I simply say, “I’m going to give that statement the attention it deserves.”

    Silence.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Have I mentioned I heart you?

      As for your concession, I think that falls into the category of “beating a dead horse”; pointless and exhausting, right. You’ve absolutely got the right attitude. Give it the attention it deserves….none. 😉

  4. George says:

    “My first vote was cast by absentee ballot while I was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Air Force. My peers, mostly two and three striper’s, were mostly Kennedy supporters, while there were a few of the “old goats” who quietly smiled at my heated defense of my Ayn Randish views and beliefs in state’s rights. While many of our discussions were at times loud and boisterous and usually at extreme odds, never once did personal insult or slander enter our minds. Our intellect and our character were not part of the debates.” Excerpt from “Confessions of an Old Liberal,” © George Mindling 2013. That piece refers to 1962 when I was a young man and finding my way politically. I find inter-party or divergent political discussions today are all but impossible, everyone is so polarized.

  5. John W. Howell says:

    Yes I have had my head handed to me by someone who was supposedly an open minded individual. The attacks became personal and I simply stopped responding. I did notice the “spin of cohorts” take the audacity of my position and continue the diatribe without my participation. They may still be going at it for all I know.

  6. brickhousechick says:

    Oh boy, have I been THERE!!!! Always on facebook. It got ugly fast. Sadly these were relatives who live far away. It resulted in some of us de-friending each other (not me but them) and lot’s of hurt feelings. I learned my lesson!

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Ugh. I hate that debate and good, solid discussion always seems to devolve in such negative ways, these days. Oddly enough, in the blogs I find myself nodding or considering different points of view… In that “elsewhere” place you mentioned, the opposite seems to be true.

  7. filbio says:

    Yup. Been there done that. Now I know better to zip my lips and keep myself and my opinons out of those discussions. Never get in heated discussions about politics and religion. Not worth it. Just back away slowly.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Right? Religion can be another biggie. Truthfully, I don’t necessarily mind getting into that discussion as long as we’re being rational. You can usually spot the cray-crays or those that pick one verse to take the entire book out of context pretty quickly.

  8. datinginvegas says:

    I’ve made the bad decision on participating on a post about abortion and my feelings about it. Boy did I get beat up! I usually never participate in topics about religion or politics but the writer was so one sided I couldn’t help myself. Epic Fail 🙂

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Ooh, another touchy one. One of the biggest issues I’ve found with that is that people don’t always understand that believing in the right to choose does not necessarily equal pro-abortion. Or that not all pro-lifers are rabid, crazy people intent on blowing up buildings or the medical staff in them.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      LOL! Odd that you should mention the atheism, Katie. The person prefaced her argument prior to her attack on me and others with a comment to this general effect “this has nothing to do with religion. I’m not religious. In fact, I’m an atheist. Maybe believing this way makes me naive…..”

      All I could think was…what does this particular subject have to do with religion? We’re talking about human nature…. Then I thought of you & several of my other buddies and how we coexist beautifully. Atheists, Wiccan, agnostics, Jewish, Christians….black, white, hispanic, asian, gay, straight….it doesn’t matter. I have made a bunch of pals who I enjoy talking to regularly for the many, varied perspectives you all carry. Your different points of view help broaden mine…sometimes you guys even help shift my paradigms. I love that!

  9. Professor Taboo says:

    As we both discussed only briefly in my last post Kitt, the one discussion I allowed myself to get ‘suckered into’ was about polyamory and swinging (or open relationships), BDSM, and rape with a 42-year old married lady who felt she had been raped (consensually?). I felt she went into BDSM and those alternative scenes naively and prematurely — yet she claimed to be polyamorous/open for many years. Due to her latest “mishap” and severely broken heart, she began trashing the lifestyle and groups she once associated herself with. She seemed to forget she just had 3 prior very similar situations happen. I asked myself, “Do I want to help her see the pattern in order that she NOT fall into the same ‘hole’ again, or will I quickly appear to be condoning some type of horrible behavior?”

    Now she refuses to speak to me anymore and all I was was a friendly ear — and she merely wanted a silent listening-board with no voice. :-/

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Sometimes it’s tough to gauge when a person is looking for a sounding board v. Advice/opinions.

      I still remember a former employee who became frustrated with me because he can into my office to rage about a changing company guideline. As a leader in the company it was my job to both uphold the guideline and bring him around. Later he explained he simply needed to vent/rant to get it out of his system so he could publicly support it, but my position left him feeling chastised & more frustrated. We agreed that in the future he simply needed to say “I need to vent” and I would provide him the safe place and ear, but no words.

      Your situation is a much tougher one…and so sad. You both lost a friendship over something that didn’t really have anything to do with your relationship. Those losses sting the hardest for me. It makes me grateful that the other person was a stranger in my scenario.

      • Professor Taboo says:

        I’m okay with how our now ‘killed’ friendship has become; it has been a valuable lesson for me not only in when to speak and not speak, but more importantly I soon realized that the friendship had developed into a ONE-WAY friendship; she was a “taker” when the ‘friendship’ (us) had no possibility of becoming an in-love, intimate, open/poly relationship secondary to her marriage. In our 14-month friendship, she never once asked or initiated conversation about my life; it was always about her life/drama. I easily fall into a counselor/sage role in many of my acquaintances and friendships — and I’m perfectly fine with that, even when it sometimes becomes very lop-sided. I’ve learned to watch out for those who I call “Black Holes” — that can suck out all of my light and energy. LOL

        But nonetheless, it is unfortunate because I absolutely LOVE to promote, nurture, and make healthier all the alternative lifestyles so that the vanilla-world will see their immense benefits. Can’t win them all though, huh? 🙂

  10. James Garcia Jr says:

    Hi, Kitt. *waves*
    I’m sorry to hear about this, but at least we got some Quiet Riot out of the deal, right? 😉 I guess we ignore our Spidey Sense at our own peril, huh? It is too bad that it resulted in such a negative way.
    Anyway, have a great weekend and do your best to forget about it.

    -Jimmy

  11. reganking2013 says:

    All the time! For a time I was in something of a long running twitter feud with an extremely right wing friend of a friend on Facebook, much to the entertainment of my friends who looked forward to our latest ridiculous spat popping up on their newsfeeds. I knew that there was no way I would ever change his mind (or even persuade him to stick to acknowledged facts) and briefly persuaded myself that I wanted a different point of view to be on his page for the benefit of less-decideds who might be reading… then finally admitted that it was a time and energy black hole and deleted him.

    This post resonated with me so much!!

  12. Emma says:

    Yes, been in that situation before. Now when THAT person who shall rename nameless starts up a discussion about THAT topic (which I’m not going to bring up here), I just change the course of the conversation as soon as possible. It’s her way or the highway and there’s not talking reasonably to her.
    Actually I was on Goodreads earlier and a review piqued my interest as it was so scathing towards the author. At the end of the review, the reviewer asked people to be respectful if they felt like commenting. I scanned through over 200 comments, the majority of them venomous. I had been tempted after reading the review to leave a reply but thought better of it.

  13. rgayer55 says:

    It doesn’t take long to figure out who you can have a rational discussion with and who is going to go postal if they don’t agree with your position. I generally try to avoid subject that people get emotional about, such as religion, guns, politics, and sex toys. People tend to be pretty sensitive in those areas and it’s not worth losing a friend over.

  14. Tana Bevan says:

    I’ve actually gotten pretty good at keeping my mouth shut around the no-way-can-you-win/this-is-going-to-turn-into-a-cluster-you-know-what “conversations.” It’s the listening to the “Little Voice” I still miss more often than I’d like. My head insists when asked my opinion on a subject, it is MY opinion sought, not a regurgitation of theirs.

    Robert B. Parker protagonists noted they got into less trouble when they kept their mouths shut. Makes for bland conversation, but that’s the way it is at times. Sad. Sometimes it’s nice to just debate an issue, swap differing points of view, and perhaps learn a little something about another’s perspective, or have them learn about yours. But, that takes an open-mindedness to listen, a lot of respect to accept a point of view different than yours, and it needs to be reciprocated.

  15. Christy Birmingham says:

    Oh yes, oh yes, been there… Especially online, where it’s so hard to have a respectful conversation… You can find out a lot about someone you’ve never met during those tense moments though.. I refuse to discuss politics on Facebook.

Don't Be Shy, Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s