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Old 07-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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How do you argue with uninformed people (a rant)

and not want to wring their little necks???

My friend (let's call her "the fascist"... she has made comments in the past about "rounding up X people and putting them on an island" ) was here in her annual visit (which I am strongly re-thinking ) and when the subject turns to food, which it ALWAYS does (b/c she needs to lose maybe 10lbs to get to her wedding weight, she says its 15lbs... of course, DH and I each need to lose 100lbs...)...

When the subject turns to food, she spouts off whatever her "nutritionist" or "doctor" has told her, like it's the GOSPEL.

She sends me links on FB on how bacon will kill you (conveniently ignoring the part of the study where those people didn't eat veggies and also SMOKED), and generally looks disparagingly at me whenever I serve anything.

However-- when I served turkey burgers, she said: Where are the buns?

and I'm like, why would I serve buns? How, in the last 10yrs of my adult life, have I served you a bun.

First (she recently tried weight watchers)-- a bun is at least 200 calories, that I would rather "spend" elsewhere.

Second- wheat belly. Seriously. (don't get me wrong... I like bread... but I don't do hamburger or hotdog buns. To each their own, I would generally say).

So I get into the wheat belly info. I mention GMO. She's like, ya, that also causes headaches.
:
I'm like, no, that's M S G..... she's like, whatever.

So, let's recap-- when she states something (and it could be anything-- she said a newer polititian was an idiot b/c among other things, he had been a drama teacher. HE WAS NEVER A DRAMA TEACHER, we verified on wiki, and so what if he had? UGH ) she states it as a FACT.

When I suggest there is another view, and perhaps, maybe, her sources don't know *everything* b/c doctors do NOT always keep up with the latest research, and nutritionists follow the "Canada food guide" which is the pyramid, which we all know is sponsored by the wheat lobby (5-7 servings!)... maybe there are other sources out there for info?

Oh-- did I mention that I have a minor in chemistry from my college and undergrad days, and she, with her several post-grad degrees, and reading the business newspaper daily, and being in PR professionally... doesn't know the difference between GMO and MSG, and should NOT be lecturing me about FOOD SCIENCE???

deep breath.... deep breath...

Ok-- please talk me off this ledge. I didn't even get into her denial about her shopping habit...

S.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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It's not worth your time to argue with people like that. I've learned over the years . . . sometimes it's just best to keep my mouth shut. I don't talk to certain family members about politics, for instance, because they're idiots. There are certain friends I won't discuss diet or exercise with, again, because they're idiots. Religion? Don't get me started. Racism, ageism, sexism, bigotry or hate of any type? Please.

If someone seems even remotely open-minded about other points of view, I will have a conversation with them about whatever topic. If they are sure their view is the right one (like I am ), I just make sure we agree to disagree, then discuss the fun things we have IN COMMON.

Of course, I have very strong beliefs, and one of them includes that others have the right to their beliefs, too, so even though I'M RIGHT (or maybe not, who knows?), I just let it go.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Oh Soren, she sounds just delightful!

I'm not sure I could keep my mouth shut around her. Of course, there must be some redeeming quality there, or a past history with her that makes her worth keeping as a friend. Or if not, that's a whole other conversation!

I'm always so amazed people can be so ill-informed but have such vehement beliefs in their knowledge and rightness. They do say that the smartest people don't think they're that smart and the dumbest think they're really smart. Case in point?

Deep breath. Visit over. Maybe next year you can avoid her visiting somehow, although I don't know...if your dishwasher exploding didn't do it this year, I'm not sure what would.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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This part is the funniest thing ever

"So I get into the wheat belly info. I mention GMO. She's like, ya, that also causes headaches.
:
I'm like, no, that's M S G..... she's like, whatever."

Oh boy.

What's really irritating is that people who are naturally thin think that they know everything or at least know better than everyone else, because "they're thin" when in reality, if you think about it, it's those of us who struggle and who do lots of research that learn A LOT. I don't have that much to lose, and I guess some people MIGHT consider me naturally thin (I disagree but either way I have always always always researched... it's kinda how I was taught, my parents were into LC and Dr. Atkins when I was a kid.

I think it's sooo important to be open minded to the "behind the scenes" information of health. Because sadly the truth is our doctors just don't know... or they just don't tell us!

Yeah.. don't argue, you'll never get anywhere. Some people are like that. I usually give limited information to most people b/c (1) I really don't want to get into "it" and (2) I know they won't listen (which frustrates me!!). It's hard not to tell everyone when you learn exciting things, but that's where I'm at... I try to tell my DH and my mom, that's about it! LOL.

As far as her saying things like "where's the bun" that's just rude. "Sorry don't have any" should suffice. *Eye roll and ignore*
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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You guys are the best. I knew you would a) get it and b) have sage advice.

Carol, I've known this nut since I was 17, though we only really became closer after university... But an article I read suggested some friends are more for a season/reason...I might consider scaling back contact, or something.
She is caring, in a crazy way, I suppose. And we like her husband.

I did ask my dh why *her* dh didn't "control" her and my dh looked at me like I was crazy... I was like, oh, right. Bc he can't control me
But seriously , she's nuts.

Sigh. Thanks for letting me vent. I'll try to let this go now...
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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((Soren)) If this discouragement in conversation extends into politics, society, pronunciation, etc. then it's nothing for you to take personally and you shouldn't feel your education is being disparaged. It's probably not that she is unappreciative of your knowledge, it's that she can't process it. She has a block of self-absorption. Sadly, this same series of events is playing out in every area of her life, with everyone. Feel sorry for her dh, who may be long-suffering!

In general, I've noticed that most discussions have become more inclusive and understanding in recent years. I had a pleasant discussion today with a WW idealist and we were able to share and appreciate each other's views without for a moment feeling our own opinions were discounted.

Perhaps we should all notice when those inclusive discussions take place and even thank the other person. That's when we are seeing real maturity.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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She sounds like a "one-upper". Just say "you're right" and let it go! That's what I always do. (Yeah right! )
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:48 AM   #8
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Ugh... this is when I say to myself... Would I rather be happy or would I rather be right... I'd like to be happy AND right, but since that can't always happen I usually opt for happy.

With people like this I just smile and nod... rinse and repeat. For kicks I would have said, "Oh, hum, now that you say this I do get a headache every time I eat GMOs."

I would definitely have to review this annual get together... life is too short... of course friends like this can make it feel a lot longer
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:09 AM   #9
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carly View Post
With people like this I just smile and nod... rinse and repeat.
Yes, I find i have to do this often. It's just easier that way. I usually take a lesson from Winston Churchill, "Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man (or woman)."
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #11
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Where are the buns?!?!

Bwahahaha!

Soren, this could be some of the folks I work with. Thank God, I am soon to retire and leave. They are so scholarly and intellectual that I just smile and think to myself, "oh, brother."
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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Oh boy do I empathize!!!! I usually do what Carly does and just smile/nod. If she is this obnoxious with every topic, I would probably severely restrict get togethers. I don't have time for "friends" like this anymore. It's rough enough at family get togethers!

Ps, her poor hubby!!!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #13
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Hey, what about a voodoo doll!! You might feel better, at least!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:50 AM   #14
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My dh always says, "Arguing with a fool proves there are two!"

There are many times with certain people that I don't offer my opinion and then afterward think that I should have. But then I realize they would just think I'm crazy!!!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Yes, I find i have to do this often. It's just easier that way. I usually take a lesson from Winston Churchill, "Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man (or woman)."
so true. Sigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flutter View Post
Hey, what about a voodoo doll!! You might feel better, at least!
OMG, totally. I'm sure she'd go running to her doctors looking for a pill as the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shirlc View Post
My dh always says, "Arguing with a fool proves there are two!"
You guys are right, I should just let it go. I guess that says something about me, too, that I won't. So I'll work on that in myself (I can do it at work, let obnoxious clients have their say... I just hang up and rant for a while).

Yes, rethinking the whole relationship... going now to FB to perhaps move her to a limited list.

S.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #16
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I need what you guys have. I'm not very tactful. I am all about "if you don't like it, don't look"...or don't come over...or don't talk to me. Straight up. I don't look for confrontation, but in my own home, NOBODY is going to talk down to me or talk down about my values and choices. Had it been me...and asked about the bun...I would've said something like " We don't eat buns in this house. There is a store 1/2 mile down the road if you really want one." On the other side of that, if somebody didn't use black pepper, for example, I would ask the reasoning, to gain another perspective and possibly a great bit of information. (I would have to then research whatever the reasoning was LOL)
If you ask me if your butt looks big, and it does, then I'm going to say yes. Because if I ask you the same question, I would want an honest answer. It's about trusting your friends to be honest, even if it hurts sometimes. Thankfully my friends and family know this. Many don't ask for my opinion anymore. But they know they will get it straight up if they do ask.
So Kudos to everyone that has tact.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:42 PM   #17
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Soren, you're to be commended for still having this woman as a friend, lol. I cannot stand argumentative people, or know it alls. It's amazing how many "experts" are among us, isn't it? I understand your frustration and just wanted to acknowledge it and give you a .
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
It's not worth your time to argue with people like that. I've learned over the years . . . sometimes it's just best to keep my mouth shut. I don't talk to certain family members about politics, for instance, because they're idiots. There are certain friends I won't discuss diet or exercise with, again, because they're idiots. Religion? Don't get me started. Racism, ageism, sexism, bigotry or hate of any type? Please.

If someone seems even remotely open-minded about other points of view, I will have a conversation with them about whatever topic. If they are sure their view is the right one (like I am ), I just make sure we agree to disagree, then discuss the fun things we have IN COMMON.

Of course, I have very strong beliefs, and one of them includes that others have the right to their beliefs, too, so even though I'M RIGHT (or maybe not, who knows?), I just let it go.
A wise, sage impart of wisdom. I like your way of thinking.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #19
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Thanks Cindy. I don't like to argue either. But when someone is speaking lies... Not just their opinion, but actual mistruths, in order to be true to myself, i *have *to say something.
Sigh.
I have another friend, a guy, who we see much less often. He enjoys debate, and also holds different political views than I do. While I don't like arguing with him, bc I just find it frustrating, i know he understands both sides and is sort of a reasonable person.

My friend, the fascist, is not. How do you live like that?
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorenkkg View Post
But when someone is speaking lies... Not just their opinion, but actual mistruths,
Sigh.
I have another friend, i know he understands both sides and is sort of a reasonable person.

My friend, the fascist, is not. How do you live like that?
I was speaking with my Honey about a food choice change I had made, and said, 'I was wrong about that(something he had said years earlier). I really wish I had listened to you and learned these things earlier.' He was blown away and said most people just CANNOT admit they have made a mistake in their beliefs. It is just too painful to their conception of themselves. They HAVE To believe lies, otherwise they might be wrong, and that's too painful.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:21 AM   #21
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They HAVE To believe lies, otherwise they might be wrong, and that's too painful.
That is really important, and a powerful statement.

I think most of us (literally, us, here, JBs) don't *like* to be wrong. I know I'll argue quite a bit, if I think I have the leg to stand on.

but doing what I do (or did... I'm a software trainer, although now I'm a manager, so I don't actually do that anymore)... I find I'm always learning, and hence, always having to GIVE UP things I *knew* and replace them with the new reality.

maybe that helps me in my daily life. Oh, whole grains, not good for you as we previously believed? Ok-- what's the info, where's your proof, etc.
Hmmmm... sounds reasonable to me, I will adopt this new info and replace the old info.

I was reading a thread someone had posted here, and what I about our group, and the folks on this board overall, is that we now know how to look at a published article about a "study" and pick it apart, noticing how small a sample group is, or that the premise of the study was flawed, etc.
It's one of the reasons I subscribe to Dr. Eades' site-- he (when he posts...) sheds a very critical eye on food-science publications.

Anyhoo-- all this to say, this goes deeper than who is right and who is wrong. It goes to core psychology, at least in part.

and kudos to your hubby!


S.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #22
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I wish I could say I always follow my own rule, but here it is anyway:

Much like a war, before starting an argument, decide what the acceptable losses are, the victory conditions, and an exit strategy.

Now, trust me, I have started more than a few arguments where I sustained unacceptable losses and did properly prepare for an exit strategy. But the arguments I regret most are the ones where I didn't know what my victory conditions were. Or, to put it more simply, I started the argument without knowing what I wanted to get out of it beyond being right.

Sometimes, it is important to confront ignorance. To actively make another person uncomfortable, to make them pay a price for their behavior in terms of being challenged. If someone were in my house *****ing at me for not serving them a bun, I might think that victory had been achieved when I taught them some manners.

But that might be at the loss of a friendship. Or, being silent, might be at the loss of your own sanity and self-respect.

This is an equation that only you can do. What say you, General Soren?
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #23
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While I'm in the mood of thinking about Tim Minchin - Soren, are you familiar with his

Storm?

It's on YouTube, it's an animation as well, and the words are transcribed everywhere. You may have much empathy and several flashes of recognition

Quote:
My hostess throws me a glance
She, like my wife, knows there's a chance I'll be off on one of my rare but fun rants but I shan't
My lips are sealed, I just wanna enjoy the meal
And although Storm is starting to get my goat I have no intention of rocking the boat
Although it's becoming a bit of a wrestle because - like her meteorological namesake - Storm has no such concerns for our vessel:

"Pharmaceutical companies are the enemy
They promote drug dependency at the cost of the natural remedies that are all our bodies need
They are immoral and driven by greed.
Why take drugs when herbs can solve it?
Why use chemicals when homeopathic solvents can resolve it?
I think it's time we all return to live with natural medical alternatives."

And try as I like, a small crack appears in my diplomacy-dike.
"By definition", I begin,
...
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:19 AM   #24
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Well honey... that old saying, "You can't argue with stupid," comes to mind here. Sorry your friend's visit is such a vexing thing.

One thing to consider, Robert Frost said it best, "Good fences make good neighbors." It's all about the boundaries and letting people into your space only upon your acceptable terms. Sometimes, I have found, you simply out-grow your neighbor and need to move. I think dramatic weight loss success and difference it makes on us psychologically truly changes us. And sometimes that new person isn't a good fit for the old friendship based on a more narcissistic parameter... ((hugs))
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #25
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Well honey... that old saying, "You can't argue with stupid," comes to mind here. Sorry your friend's visit is such a vexing thing.

One thing to consider, Robert Frost said it best, "Good fences make good neighbors." It's all about the boundaries and letting people into your space only upon your acceptable terms. Sometimes, I have found, you simply out-grow your neighbor and need to move. I think dramatic weight loss success and difference it makes on us psychologically truly changes us. And sometimes that new person isn't a good fit for the old friendship based on a more narcissistic parameter... ((hugs))
and very well said!!!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephdray View Post
Much like a war, before starting an argument, decide what the acceptable losses are, the victory conditions, and an exit strategy.

..... I might think that victory had been achieved when I taught them some manners.

But that might be at the loss of a friendship. Or, being silent, might be at the loss of your own sanity and self-respect.

This is an equation that only you can do. What say you, General Soren?
I don't know Steph. I have to think of this in terms of your scenario-- which I think I do innately when I know I'm encountering my other friend, the one who I *know* likes to debate. Do I try to debate, or stay silent but just hold to my convictions?

With the fascist, I feel like it's about education, and *maybe* she'll absorb something from me, and change...

Last year, she accused my almond milk (and something about the light breakfast I served) for her tummy ache one of the days she was here.
This year, she shows up with almond milk in her cooler, for her morning smoothie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
While I'm in the mood of thinking about Tim Minchin - Soren, are you familiar with his

Storm?

It's on YouTube, it's an animation as well, and the words are transcribed everywhere. You may have much empathy and several flashes of recognition
No-- I'll have to find that, I'd like to know the end of the story. Sounds like I can relate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pooticus View Post
It's all about the boundaries and letting people into your space only upon your acceptable terms. Sometimes, I have found, you simply out-grow your neighbor and need to move. I think dramatic weight loss success and difference it makes on us psychologically truly changes us. And sometimes that new person isn't a good fit for the old friendship based on a more narcissistic parameter... ((hugs))
I have to say, I agree. I also have to be honest-- I've managed to keep quite a bit of my 30lbs off, but I tend to fluctuate with 10lbs. I think she doesn't see enough change (FOR HER LIKING) and is probably honestly concerned about my health.

Of course, no one believes someone who is 100lbs overweight could have perfectly fine cholesterol, blood pressure, no pre-diabetes or any blood sugar issues, etc. Heavens, how could that possibly be true?

so, I'm losing weight in MY way, on MY timeline. And picking the bacon off your sandwich at the zoo isn't going to do a d-mn thing to change it.

Hmmm... maybe we're the perfect match of stubbornness and knowing each is right?

Regardless, it's the WAY she says what she says. Some of you have said it above-- you can agree to disagree, you can hold opposing views and still be friends. Unless you're an asshat, in which case, you can't.

Thank you all for giving me more to think about
S.
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