It sucks to even have to write about this, but believe it or not, there are people out there who think this actually works. Either that, or they are just cluelessly careless. (Or should that be carelessly clueless?)
Anyway, case in point: A couple of weeks ago I was sitting with another mom at our kids’ basketball camp, talking about the reality show The Bachelorette. We were gabbing about how one of the guys on the show (Jef, with one ‘f’) had really started to grow on us because of how sweet, respectful, deep, and witty he seems.
Suddenly a mom next to us (whom I don’t even know other than I’ve seen her at other kids’ events) pipes in: “Are you kidding me? He’s such a loser. I can’t stand him. I can’t believe he made it this far. She [the bachelorette] would be stupid to pick him.”
[Insert scratching record sound.]
OMG WTF, really?
Good grief, yes, she went on and on about how awful Jef was – after my friend and I had just gushed about him. Which of course makes it sorta personal, no?
The other mom and I didn’t really know what to say in the face of such scorn so we just let the conversation drift into safer waters. Clueless Mom didn’t even seem to notice the highly awkward pause after her outburst.
Afterwards, I wondered if I should have said something like, “good for you, you have an opinion, now go trot it elsewhere,” but of course that type of behavior would have been just as rude as hers.
So instead I’m blabbing about her douche-y behavior here so we can learn from her mistake. LOL
Oh yeah, and the Bachelorette ultimately picked Jef. BOO YAH! (Wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall in Clueless Mom’s living room as she watched that. She probably had an apoplexy.)
Anyway, the whole situation reminded me to be respectful of other people’s opinions – even when I totally disagree. If you dive into a conversation confrontationally, how the hell are you ever going to ease past people’s defenses enough to open their minds to your position?
As I’m fond of saying, I have an opinion, but I’m willing to be talked out of it. However, this is not the way to make that happen.
So what do you think? Has this ever happened to you? How did you respond? On the flip side, do you enjoy getting confrontational with others because you view it as a game? (I have an extended family member who does this.)