Avoiding Arguments

Lounge By mbelgard Updated 15 Dec 2008 , 11:19pm by eme926

mbelgard Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 5:58pm
post #1 of 25

Does anyone have a good way to get a family member to quit bringing up their views on politics/birth control/religion without causing a fight?

My MIL is a very opinionated person who happens to assume that we agree with her on such topics despite the evidence.

With the holidays approaching I'm trying to figure out how to handle this to avoid fights. In the last few months as she's gotten more vocal about it, I suspect the elections have had soemthing to do with it, I've tried hinting that I either don't want to talk about it or that I have different views.

We have never flat out told her that we don't believe the things she does, we've always figured it's kinder to just try to avoid the topic.

24 replies
Karema Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:03pm
post #2 of 25

You can handle it a few ways:
1. Tell her you dont agree with her and you want to agree to disagree
2. Tape a sign to the door that says "no politics or religion discussions allowed"
3 Explain to her before hand that you appreciate that she is so passionate about what she believes but you and the family would rather not discuss them during holidays or never to avoid arguments.
I would advise you to be honest with her and she will understand.

Karema

Mike1394 Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:30pm
post #3 of 25

She would look pretty silly fighting with herself. The best way to avoid it, avoid it, don't play her reindeer games icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

Carolynlovescake Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:48pm
post #4 of 25

It's Christmas, buy her the gift of a muzzle. icon_lol.gif

Monkess Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:49pm
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

She would look pretty silly fighting with herself. The best way to avoid it, avoid it, don't play her reindeer games icon_biggrin.gif

Mike


I agree...even f she raises the issue, do not respond smile and nod and let her vent but if no one rebuttles she has to stop. Try and change the topic to something else she is passionate about instead!

mbelgard Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:57pm
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema


I would advise you to be honest with her and she will understand.

Karema





Oh you don't know my MIL. icon_lol.gif She's the bossiest person I've ever met, she even lectures me about how high up my plates are in the cupboards because she can't reach them, she happens to be at least 6 inches shorter than me. No she does not live with me and she NEVER cooks in my house.

If you don't agree then you're wrong.

TexasSugar Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 7:11pm
post #7 of 25

My grandma has made it a rule that we are not allowed to discuss any politics/religion on holidays.

I agree with everyone though, tell her that you don't wish to have those discussions on those days. If she starts simply leave the room and don't engage.

jammjenks Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 11:21pm
post #8 of 25

I think I'd just let her talk to that blank stare on my face.

indydebi Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 12:09am
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

She would look pretty silly fighting with herself. The best way to avoid it, avoid it, don't play her reindeer games icon_biggrin.gif

Mike




Abso-freakin-lutely! I'm not even polite about stuff like this. I just get up and walk away while they are in mid-sentence or just start talking to someone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

I would advise you to be honest with her and she will understand.


You must come from a family of normal and reasonable people. Me? Mine tends to resemble a Jerry Springer show! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

ladyellam Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 12:21am
post #10 of 25

Alright mbelgard I will come to your house and have a talk with your MIL. We will go out to the woodshed but only one of us will come back--I'm only kidding!

Just look at her like she has said the DUMBEST thing in the history of the world. Keep staring at her with incredulity and if she isn't the most dense person in the world, hopefully she will stop. I had to do this with a couple of people and now they are extremely pleasant or they aren't allowed back. I will under no circumstances be abused in MY HOME.

HTH

michellenj Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 12:22am
post #11 of 25

I have to do the same thing Indy does. My family has some members that are so obnoxious and opinionated about politics that you can't get a word in edgewise and you're belittled if you disagree. Keep a magazine or newspaper nearby, and pick it up and start reading.

Cakepro Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 12:39am
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbelgard

Does anyone have a good way to get a family member to quit bringing up their views on politics/birth control/religion without causing a fight?




Hmm, knowing where you stand on these subjects, just send her to my house! I bet your MIL and I agree!! icon_biggrin.gif

Seriously though, I have been having to steer conversations AWAY from politics although we all agree in my family/extended family. We are all just so disgusted with the election, and with the government bailouts, and the recession, and illegal immigration, etc etc that we have called a moratorium on such subjects because people get riled up and nothing is accomplished.

Even when everyone agrees, politics should not be discussed at family gatherings! UGH

mbelgard Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 7:58pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

I have to do the same thing Indy does. My family has some members that are so obnoxious and opinionated about politics that you can't get a word in edgewise and you're belittled if you disagree. Keep a magazine or newspaper nearby, and pick it up and start reading.




If it was a large family gathering she was likely to do this stuff at I wouldn't have an issue because I could find something else to do or be able to walk away, I have enough nutty family members on my side to be good at that. The family things she's likely to bring this up at are when it's just 6 people. Walking away to go read or something is going to cause a fight just as much as me telling her what I really think of some of her views.

I really wish she'd stick to neutral topics like what the kids have been doing in school or the funny thing her new kitten did the other day.

ziggytarheel Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 11:06pm
post #14 of 25

I've had to deal with similar things, but I have the advantage of a lifetime of figuring out how to handle it. I have diametrically opposed views on many issues. The family member holds dearly to a family connection to an extremely prominent political figure. I do not hold those views.

I am adept at steering the conversation to other topics. I am an expert on just giving a blank look and I'm a pro at saying absolutely nothing. I keep a book nearby. I always know of something that needs to be done in the kitchen. I excuse myself to go lie down. I have some sort of handwork that I just immerse myself in. I pick up the newspaper. I point out something that is going on outside. But under no circumstances do I even participate in the conversation at all. I am not unpleasant. I do not argue. I do not even give my opinion. It is pointless and not worth it.

Oh, and there is usually between 4 and 10 people in the room. I do this even when it is just the two of us. I just become disengaged. Even with the difficult personality here, it hasn't been a problem.

That might not work in your situation, but I would surely give it a try.

Carolynlovescake Posted 11 Dec 2008 , 11:45pm
post #15 of 25

I still vote for buying her a muzzle.

It's the gift that keeps on giving for ALL family occasions ALL year. icon_lol.gif

Mike1394 Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 12:07am
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

I still vote for buying her a muzzle.

It's the gift that keeps on giving for ALL family occasions ALL year. icon_lol.gif




LOLOLOL icon_biggrin.gif

Gefion Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 12:48am
post #17 of 25

If both discussing politics AND asking her to shut up will cause heated arguments, I would chose the latter. If you're gonna fight, at least fight the fight that would solve the problem.

Tell her flat out that you do not agree and that you don't want to discuss politics. It might take a few tries and some fighting, but it's better than keep on fighting for years.

dldbrou Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 2:17am
post #18 of 25

My son and nephew (like a son of mine) are on opposite poles about politics. I have let them both know in advance that there will be no politics or bashing of any groups of people at my house or they will not be invited back for another gathering. I only have one child so this was not easy for me to tell him, but I did not want the tension at my house. They both think that only their views are the ones that matter and if you have a different opinion, then you are just ignorant. Ignoring them did not help and it got to a point that people would ask if both would be at the gathering, so I put down my rules. My house is neutral (Switzerland). This past Thanksgiving, no fights and it was wonderful.

Just look at her straight in the face and tell her that you appreciate that she has an opinion, but you choose not to discuss your views with anyone other than your dh and that you would prefer not to have debates at your gatherings. If she starts to argue, then say something like, "Well, if you can't behave like I asked, then you will not be invited to the next get-together."

Deb_ Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 2:33am
post #19 of 25

I agree with dldbrou........if this is at YOUR home than you set the rules.

Hey, everyone has a right to their own opinions, but, they don't have a right to make you feel uncomfortable in your own home. I would tell her in the calmest possible voice that "any discussions about politics and religion are not welcome in your home"......if she or anyone else doesn't respect your wishes than they will be asked to leave.

If you don't feel comfortable being the bad guy, than ask your DH to talk to her, it's his mother after all.

Good luck, I hope you have a "stress free" holiday.

emrldsky Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 3:16am
post #20 of 25

You can always start singing, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" when she does it.

But honestly, do you want to argue about politics, or argue about not wanting to talk about politics? It seems that she doesn't care about arguing so much as she cares about talking.

Just keep some earplugs around and when she starts going on, yell, "I'm sorry, I'm really having a hard time hearing you!"

chutzpah Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 4:41am
post #21 of 25

Where does she live? I'll swing by on my way home from work and slap her up for ya!

indydebi Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 4:44am
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky

Just keep some earplugs around and when she starts going on, yell, "I'm sorry, I'm really having a hard time hearing you!"



Those kind of folks will NOT take a hint. They'll only just try to talk louder for you!

lardbutt Posted 12 Dec 2008 , 3:59pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

She would look pretty silly fighting with herself. The best way to avoid it, avoid it, don't play her reindeer games icon_biggrin.gif

Mike



EXACTLY! It takes character to be able to ignore it. She can't have a conversation all by herself!(she will proably try) I would tell her, kindly, that you don't want to talk about those kind of things before you start ignoring her though! lol

Aliwis000 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:10pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

I have to do the same thing Indy does. My family has some members that are so obnoxious and opinionated about politics that you can't get a word in edgewise and you're belittled if you disagree. Keep a magazine or newspaper nearby, and pick it up and start reading.




lol this is sort of my family, VERY opinionated, thankfully I have been brainwashed into agreeing with them from a young age lol jk jk I would say at your house you set the rules so if she starts up in your home you are well within your rights to ask her to stop. At her house, or others homes its a different story.

JMP

~Alicia

eme926 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:19pm
post #25 of 25

I have a sister who has very different views on things than I do, specifically on religion and politics. I told her long ago that since there was NO way we would ever agree on either of these two topics, there was no need in discussing them...EVER. It took a few times repeating this on different occasions, but it finally sunk in and we get along fine now.

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